Are you familiar with the Diffusion of Innovation Model? If that title doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably heard about the concept, which categorizes the adoption rates of technology into 5 groups: Innovator, Early Adopter, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggard.
Your adoption style doesn't only affect your own experiences and internal operations, but it also impacts the quality of your users’ experiences and the pace of your audience growth. When you recognize your own adoption style you can use it to leverage both the benefits and drawbacks it has for your audience.
As one who loves new tools and embraces changes with open arms, you thrive on the next big thing. Risk makes the journey more exciting, and you don’t stop short of exploring any opportunity to up your game and the experience for your users.
Considerations for Innovators:
- For the greatest impact on your audience, make sure implementation of new technology has a strategy and well thought out plan of implementation.
- Include the risk/reward analysis in the value of your considerations. For example, the risk of users not using a new tool as much as we hope could financially impact us, but the payoff, if even a small percentage, would be worth [or not worth] the effort financially or in insights gained.
- Don’t forget where your audience segments stand. Moving too fast could leave some users confused.
Example: A medical institution adds virtual reality technology to their surgical training process, which has proven results in operating skills and outcomes for patients. The rollout plan includes extra training time for the course instructors who have varying comfort levels with technology.
You also enjoy exploring the newest opportunities and tools. Just a step behind innovators, you tap into new opportunities to create exciting experiences for your guests that also generate revenue for your organization. You often have opinions formed about technology as others are still getting their hands on it.
Considerations for Early Adopters:
- Use your opinions (personal or organization level) to draw in users, but don’t overdo it; you don’t want to alienate users who aren’t up to your speed.
- Leverage your new tools to provide learning opportunities as well as experiences specifically related to your organization.
Example: A zoo implements an AI experience through its mobile app. In addition, they write a blog and create a short video to share on social media about the technology they’ve incorporated.
You like new things, but you have other, higher priorities. You wait for technology to be out on the market for a bit and vetted by consumers before you’re ready to implement it yourself. This works to your advantage as new technology sometimes has kinks still to be worked out.
Considerations for Early Majority:
- It may feel good to play it safe, but falling too far behind can increase the cost to catch up.
- Consider a few new platforms or pieces of technology and find out which has the greatest potential to help you take a leap forward. Get an expert’s input on the cost-benefit analysis and go for it!
Example: Cryptocurrency is more than a buzzword and becoming a difference-maker in how people are transferring funds. Embed a donation form that accepts cryptocurrency to open up a new giving opportunity or payment method for your users.
Simply put, you’re not in a hurry. By the time you decide to move forward with something new, it’s a norm in society and already “old news” for innovators and early adopters. This feels comfortable to you because there are still others that are “more behind” but by waiting this long, you also risk losing an opportunity at the height of its impact. You maintain your tools to be functional but are falling behind in what is trending and gaining the most traction in audience growth.
Considerations for Late Adopters:
- Rather than comparing the status of your digital landscape to others who appear more behind, take note of new things you see and the impact they have.
- Envision what greater audience engagement could look like, and what it could mean for your organization. Pivot your perspective of measurement to a goal of growth instead of focusing on what you can just get by with.
Example: A museum has been holding off on getting a mobile app out of fear that their visitors won’t use it. Once they learn the full landscape of offerings that are available through a mobile app and that using one could also open up additional revenue opportunities, they move forward and see engagement beyond their expectations, realizing maybe we should have done this sooner!
More than simple procrastination, you actually resist change. While you have the best interest of your organization in mind (financially, time capacity, etc), you’ve fallen so far behind that it’s going to require a major investment to catch up. Lost time is also a loss in audience engagement/growth.
Considerations for Laggards:
- At this stage, the thought of catching up may seem daunting, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. It’s never too late for a fresh start!
- Consult with an expert to learn the full picture of updates that are needed. Then look at the production time compared to the significance of impact to determine priorities.
- In this category, budget is often a key factor, possibly a hurdle. If the full set of recommendations isn’t feasible, find out what budget you can allocate and where they could start creating some momentum for you.
Example: A small business fell behind their sales goal and puts off a website redesign another year. However, their current site is 7 years old and is actually deterring potential customers. After talking with an expert, they learn how to create some small, quick wins with lead optimization and a targeted campaign while they work on a road map for working up to their needed redesign.
Are you ready to leverage your adoption style for greater audience growth? We can help you turn your current perspective into meaningful insight for your digital strategy and audience growth.
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