The Diffusion of Innovation Model helps businesses and marketers to understand how a buyer engages with new products over a period of time. Businesses typically use the model when their launching a new product or service into a new or existing market they operate within.
The Diffusion of Innovation model has five stages, these are:
- Early Adopters
- Early Majority
- Late Majority
Let’s look at each one in further detail:
- Innovator – The Innovator stage is a small
group of people exploring new ideas and technologies. In an online marketing
context there are a lot of specialist blogs and media sites to engage them
- Early Adopters – Early Adopters are considered to
be Opinion Leaders who may share positive testimonials about new products and
services, seeking improvements and efficiency.
- Early Majority – The Early Majority are Followers
who will read reviews by earlier adopters about new products before purchasing.
They can be engaged with reviews and via Social Media networks where they will
look for your products and further information.
- Late Majority – The Late Majority are typically
regarded as the sceptics, who are not keen on change and will only adopt a new
product or service if there is a strong feeling of being left behind or missing
out. They can be engaged with providing marketing material, evidence, reviews
from Opinion Leaders and case studies to show how it works.
- Laggards – Typically Laggards prefer traditional communications and will adopt new products when there are no alternatives. Laggards will come on board when ‘others’ have written about your products/services, they have research evidence, statistics or felt pressure from others
Let’s explore how the Diffusion of Innovation Model works in a real-life situation.
Let’s say Lisa owns a company and is launching a new piece of software
In the first stage, Lisa will appeal to the Innovators and highlight the software on relevant and key outlets, such as technology websites, magazines and blogs.
She will then target the Early Adopter, by creating helpful guides about the software and can also produce additional content such as FAQ’s and case studies to re-enforce the marketing strategy.
Lisa will then concentrate her marketing on the Early Majority, where she will guest blog or provide extra information on social media, including specification details, facts and so on. She may even produce how-to videos on YouTube and video websites to create extra buzz.
After this, she will then focus on the Late Majority, by encouraging reviews from initial customers, highlight any press coverage in magazines, newspapers, and share comparisons with other established brands.
Finally, the last stage of the model is to target the Laggards, they will generally only purchase the new piece of software, when their old version becomes outdated or unusable due to technological advances.