How to Use Product Adoption Curve to Drive Up Your Adoption Rate

  • Datameer, Inc.
  • July 22, 2022
How to Use Product Adoption Curve to Drive Up Your Adoption Rate

Our previous article on product adoption explains the concept in detail. This article will examine the product adoption curve, its importance, and invaluable strategies to drive your adoption rate. 

Product adoption highlights users’ stages, from becoming aware of your product’s existence to being converted to repeat buyers.

What is Product Adoption Curve?

As part of marketing strategies, we constantly create campaigns with goals that aim to reach several customer segments. Achieving your campaign goals is determined by many different factors. 

One of the most crucial factors to consider is understanding your target audience. To do this, let us look at understanding customer segments in light of the product adoption curve.

What is the product adoption curve?

Product adoption curve is a graphical representation that segments customers into five categories and shows when they are likely to adopt your product. Product adoption curve is also known as the innovation adoption curve.

The 5 Customer Segments of the Product Adoption Curve  

Professor Everett Rogers found that individuals in any society can be categorized into one of 5 adopter groups based on how early they adopt an innovation.

This categorization has now been widely adopted and forms the basis upon which many businesses plan their campaigns and product adoption strategy.

Here are the five customer segments of the product adoption curve:

Segment #1: The Innovators: 

The Innovators are a small group comprising just 2.5% of the adoption curve. This group is essential because they are always the first to learn about and adopt new products.

Consider them your typical techies who would try out a new product for the sake of it. To them, the features, price, and quality of the product are secondary considerations compared to the thrill of being the first to adopt the latest trend in their industry. 

They are significant because they spread the word and create buzz about your new product to the rest of the segments. You can also get them to provide valuable feedback to help you update and improve your product. 

The only downside is that they are usually reluctant to pay the entire premium for your product because trials and beta test volunteering satisfy their curiosity.  

Segment #2: The Early Adopters:  

This group comprising 13.5% of the product adoption curve, is very similar to the innovators. They don’t always need to be first, but they love to try new products.

Innovators will likely get wind of your product, but they are more cautious. They rely on feedback from innovators and product reviews. They want to know if what you are offering matches what they are looking for and if it is free from bugs.

The early adopters genuinely need your product, so they don’t need much convincing to adopt, and they are willing to pay for premium access because it is valuable to them. 

The only challenge is that they expect your product features to meet their needs to a T, so they are far less tolerant of technical problems.

The Chasm

Early adopters are respected as opinion leaders, meaning that their adoption of your product plays a vital role in crossing “the chasm.” 

The chasm is when the adoption of a product bridges the gap between those who set the trends (innovators & early adopters) and the vast majority (early majority & late majority) who adopt the product because it has become a trend in the market.

Segment #3: The Early Majority: 

This group makes up 34% of the product adoption curve and marks a shift from early trendsetters to the calculating majority. 

They do not hurriedly adopt products. Instead, they prefer products to prove authentic and valuable over time. They feel safer if your product addresses their pain points and has been approved to be ok by the early adopters. 

They are less tolerant of technical issues than the early adopters. 

Adopting your product by this group marks a shift from a start-up to an established business. They’ll pay for the premium because they have thought and researched before adopting your product. 

When the early majority adopt a product, they usually stay loyal to the brand. 

Segment #4: The Late Majority: 

They also make up 34% of the product adoption curve. This group is called the late majority because they have a low appetite for innovation.

They are resistant to change and probably still holding on to the previous versions of your product. 

They respond to peer pressure, meaning that innovation must have been around for a while, been well tested, and generally approved before adopting it.

Having a few late majorities adopt your product could get the rest sold because adoption for them is more of a necessity than innovation. If they see that they are behind and their competitors have all adopted the product, they will likely adopt it.  

Segment #5: The Laggards

Laggards are highly resistant to change and can be difficult to persuade through marketing campaigns. They make up the last 16% of the product adoption curve.

They seldom take risks and are most comfortable when everyone else has adopted and all the possible risks and issues have been addressed. 

They only use your product out of necessity, without an alternative, or if the current product they are using can no longer meet their needs. 

Strategies to Drive Adoption Rate of Your Product 

The Innovators 

When pre-launching your product, attract them by positioning yourself well. Communicate that beta test users will get first access free of charge to the latest technology trend features for a limited time.

Take it further by using targeted advertising to set demographics that match users with the innovator persona. Also, give rewards to the first set of adopters if necessary. 

Also, use long form-based surveys, customer satisfaction score surveys, or exit-intent survey popups to take advantage of their pace-setting by asking them for feedback.

 

The Early Adopters 

The innovators are a small group, but if you can quickly get feedback and improve your product, you can hunker down on new and improved features you have added to your product offering to attract early adopters. 

Suppose your product addresses a pain point of the innovators. In that case, that is the feature you want to announce loudly in your subsequent campaigns to early adopters, primarily USPs that differentiate you from the competition.

Be sure to take advantage of the influence of the early adopters by collecting approval feedback and testimonials.

Because they are less tolerant, they might need more product support if you want them to stay.

The Early Majority

Marketing campaigns to this group should exhaustively highlight all the pain points your product addresses because it’s the most important thing to the early majority. 

They research because they want value for their money, so help them by providing free trials. The free trials should have as many features as possible that address their pain points; this will drive their interest and convince them to adopt the premium version.

Also, they seek approval from your early adopters, so use the endorsement and testimonials of your early adopters to encourage them. 

This group is the majority, so employ rich data analysis tools such as Datameer on Snowflake to gather, transform and deploy trusted consumer behavior datasets. Let the insights from data help you personalize the product and determine campaign goals.

The Late Majority

You don’t need to do much for them to adopt your product; a track record of meeting consumers’ pain points and seeing their competitors adopt the newest technology is all the motivation they need to come over.

However, you can speed up their adoption by highlighting the safety features of your product and the immediate benefits they stand to derive from adopting. 

Designing an effortless customer journey with only a few steps could also hasten the adoption process.  

Finally, revealing the product adoption rate of your product per industry might help the jerk late majority out of any skepticism holding them back.

The Laggards 

The most crucial tip for laggards is not to ignore them because they make up 16% of your market. 

For laggards, discontinuing support for older product features to drive the adoption of new features is a good option. 

You can also organize webinars and workshops where they can ask questions to quell their doubts.  

Why is the Product Adoption Curve Important?

Here are some reasons why understanding the product adoption curve is essential:

  • Understanding it equips you to adapt to changing consumer behavior and keep your product relevant to meet the changing needs of your customers.
  • You become clear on what specific information and feedback to gather from customers and what information to give on campaigns that will convert.
  • The curve shows how people respond to your products, which helps you interact with your potential clients at different levels. You can market to each adopter group differently using distinct communication channels and messages. 
  • You can rapidly innovate and design your customer journey to accommodate the needs of the different customer segments at a time. 

Bottomline

The idea behind the product adoption curve is that when a new product or feature is released, many people will not adopt it initially. 

But with consistent marketing, and if your product continues to deliver on what it promised, more and more users will hop on it. 

The recurring theme is how data gathering and analysis play critical roles in understanding your customer segments and designing personalized product offerings.

Planning for a constantly changing audience is hard enough; data analysis doesn’t have to be as well. Employ a quick, easy, and robust data transformation tool like Datameer in Snowflake to help you personalize your product and campaign offerings to each customer segment.

Immerse yourself in our whole user experience with this free 14-day trial.