The Technology Adoption Lifecycle – Why You Should Care

The Technology Adoption Lifecycle, from Wikipedia
Wikipedia’s Adoption Lifecycle Graph

One of the trends I’ve noticed over the lifespan of the internet and social media channels is that the “innovation adoption model” is alive and well.

What do I mean by that? Look at the graph I’ve attached to this blog post. This is how new products are typically adopted – if they are adopted – and the only difference for many products is how long it takes for this cycle to play itself out.

Think of Facebook, for example. At the very beginning, it was only college students who were allowed to see it and who used it, as it spread like wildfire. Advertisers, looking to contact this market, jumped into the fray and started advertising. As more and more people heard about it and the great success of it, the market started to expand – not just outside of the U.S., but also to other age groups.

Over a few years, more and more people started to sign on – of all ages and nationalities – so that Facebook became the behemoth that we all know today.

But then it started to become “not cool” to be on Facebook. The college age-group shifted off of Facebook to Instagram. And Mark Zuckerberg realized that, which is why Facebook bought it. Now, Instagram is following the same pattern, as younger people post and advertisers jump on, eager to reach out to that market. You can be sure that everyone at Facebook is looking to see how long this cycle will last and is getting ready to jump into the next “hot darling,” too.

It’s interesting to note this if you’re a user or consumer of these technologies, so you can see the pattern as it emerges. It’s critical to be aware of these patterns if you’re doing marketing or advertising for a product or service, because you need to know where each technology is as you plan out your marketing strategy.

Why is this critical? Because your marketing strategy helps you focus on who you are and who your target marketing is, or will be. Once you’ve established this, it’s critical to know where those people are, how to find them, to message to them. If you’re reaching out to college students, Facebook is no longer the place to be. And you need to know that.

If marketing isn’t your specialty and you depend on others, be sure that they know about technology adoption lifecycles. And are watching to see if the market is shifting. Because knowing where to find people – to show them who you are and what you offer – is critical to your marketing success!

Testing is the best way to be sure you’re right in your choices – test, test, and keep testing. And be aware of these critical models that show shifting behavior, so that you’re not focusing your efforts in the wrong place.

Not sure how to do this? Contact me and let’s have a conversation about it. I’m happy to help!

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