How waves of adoption work
Growth Hacker, User Acquisition Expert
Diffusion says product will be adopted by innovators, early users, then early majority, etc.
Ask: Who are the early adopters within your target market?
Growth tactics & messaging will look different depending on where you are in the diffusion process.
Lesson: Scaling User Growth with Maud Pasturaud
Step #3 Diffusion: How waves of adoption work
What are the right targets? Who are we targeting, and what is the right penetration? When do we feel like the product is getting traction, and what are the strategies that we develop to really get to the point at where we want? Where do we want to be, what makes sense, and what are the strategies that are going to help us get there?
Diffusion is a very old theory, around who is going to first use your product, and what other critical masses, within your target demographic, that you need to hit for your product to start growing, and hitting more and more people. There are different thresholds. So those different faces, an example is you always start with the category of innovators, innovators are the ones that are taking risks, and willing to try products that are unproven, and completely new, and bizarre. A typical innovator is Silicone Valley, techies, who are always craving for the latest innovation.
We're going to take an example, going back to the methodologies that we worked on, is that we're going to try to target college students, so what makes sense? What is this overall population, and how do we go at it? If you have to apply the definition of innovators to college students, the ones who are trying new things, they're probably frats and sororities. They're testing new things that are going to help give them status, and be opinion leaders within their peers.
So that gets us to a second portion, which is early adopters. That gets you to around, I believe, 7% of the total population that you are addressing. You have innovators, you have early adopters, and you have early majority. So, you need to figure out, they all have a precise definition of what makes them use your product, and adopt your product. Innovators are the ones that are going to be the most open minded about testing out new products, and then the early adopters are going to be people who are looking to be the users who are in the know. So it's different. They don't discover the product for the joy of discovering something new, it's because that they are in the know, and they're ahead of their peers.
Early majority after that, gets to the people who are directly related to the early adopters. So there's all of those faces, and that's something that has been proven to be true for a lot of products today. So how you target for customer acquisition, and how you look at the growth of your product for a certain target demographic, those are very important concepts to have in mind. And that helps also, just model out what your growth should be, and that's pretty powerful.