Proven and Credible Ways For High Tech Marketers to Reach the Mass Market
How on earth are marketers and innovators supposed to get their product to the masses when technology is such an oversaturated market? It’s not easy, but there is always room for a credible new kid on the block.
The best method to win over the mainstream market is by “crossing the chasm.” The idea comes from Geoffrey A. Moore’s book that has become the bible for bringing high tech products to larger markets. If you stick to a single, rigid formula, your technology has a better chance of succeeding.
What Is Crossing The Chasm?
Simply put, a chasm is the difference between people, viewpoints, and feelings. If you hang around High Tech Board Rooms or Venture Capital meetings, you will hear the marketing buzz phrase "crossing the chasm."
If not, this article will clarify what it means, and explain how to rise above your competition, gain credibility, and reach the masses with your new technology.
The chasm High Tech Marketers are talking about is between the Early Adopters and the Early Majority on the Technology Adoption Life Cycle. First, you need to understand the cycle.
The Technology Adoption Life Cycle Consists of Five Groups of People:
The Innovators - Innovators LOVE technology. They are enthusiastic about trying new technology and pursuing new products aggressively. Since technology is central to their life, they are likely to try it, regardless of its functionality.
The Early Adopters - They also appreciate new technology especially if it can give their company a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Unlike Innovators, they want to imagine and understand the benefits of new technology in their life or business.
The Early Majority - This is the bulk of the market and tends to buy into technology once its concept is proven. They are driven by practicality and want to see references before investing.
The Late Majority - This is a large part of the market that is very conservative in their purchases. They don’t buy new technology unless there is solid proof that it’s useful.
The Laggards - These are skeptical buyers that don’t buy any new technology unless they absolutely have to. Their lack of interest is sometimes personal and sometimes economic, but overall they are not worth pursuing.
The basic idea is that there is a chasm between the Early Adopters of the product (the technology enthusiasts) and the Early Majority (the practical buyers).
Marketers need to move the majority of their customers from the Early Adopters to the Early Majority to sustain itself in the oversaturated High Tech Market.
How Do We Reach The Early Majority?
Since the Early Majority is the largest part of the market, companies need to understand how they think. The Early Majority buys a product when it’s released to the public and when they can read its reviews. They expect new products not only to solve their problems but also to be simple to use. They prefer a more mature product, with better design, more features and integrations, and fewer bugs.
While Early Adopters are willing to sacrifice for the advantage of being first, the Early Majority waits until they know that the technology offers improvements in productivity. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to reach the Early Majority market and gain loyalty while doing so.
Choose a Target Market - To expand the Early Majority you need to target a niche market within your field. Pick a market segment that suits your company’s ambitions. Getting enough word of mouth recognition will help you become the market leader, which is essential to the Early Majority.
Deliver A Whole Product - To reach the Early Majority you will need a complete feature set with all major bugs eliminated. The Early Majority is not as forgiving as early adopters. You also need to make sure that you fulfill the marketing promises you make to your customer.
Create Competition - Attracting the Early Majority requires competition as a necessary condition for success. They don't want to buy from you unless there are comparable products. It's imperative that you know how to position your product to our competitors. If there is no competition, you are not ready to cross the chasm.
Sell Effectively - The best way to cross the chasm is through direct sales as it gives you maximum control over your destiny. Face to face meetings help to penetrate the initial target segment. Know your position and have leadership in place.
Position Yourself Properly Position your product between the company currently providing a similar solution and another that delivers an alternative solution. Price yourself in line with the product similar to yours as you are fighting for their current customers. With the second competitor you need to be prepared to deliver:
Two sentences that sell the product
Clear evidence of leadership
Communications aimed at the right audience with the correct content at the appropriate time
Feedback and adjustment in response to competitor attack
What Else Can Your Company Do To Cross The Chasm?
Your company can add the following jobs to assist in reaching the Early Majority:
Whole Product Manager - They will be responsible for bringing the product to the mass market by managing the list of bug reports and product improvements. This job will eventually evolve into a Product Marketing Manager once you cross the chasm.
Target Market Segment Manager - This position is responsible for getting the product to the mainstream market. They secure the product in the Early Adopter Market segment and put the steps in place to reach the broader market. The Target Market Segment Manager is a challenging role that requires creating a “bandwagon effect” that leads to the product becoming the standard.
Understanding how the Early Majority thinks and following these proven tactics to market to them will help your Tech Company reach its first steps to full-scale commercialization.
If you found this article useful, SHARE this information with others who are involved in innovating and marketing High Tech products!