Ever wonder what is Product Adoption Curve is? Let’s back up a moment so that you can understand.
SaaS marketing depends solely on understanding your clients, just like any other form of marketing. If you don’t know your audience as well as you know yourself, you should quit your job. That’s how important it is. But now and again, even if you know your audience intimately, you get…stuck. Even the most successful firms have been affected. Even if your product development, marketing, and launch are flawless, everything may still go wrong. Perhaps you are just making a few sales and are becoming dissatisfied with your results. Is your product, in fact, that good? Is there anything you could do better?
What Exactly is Going on?
The answer might be that you are unfamiliar with your Product Adoption Curve. If that word is unfamiliar to you, you owe it to yourself to read on. Even if that is the case, you should still read this essay. Because understanding the product adoption curve and using it in practice may completely transform your SaaS marketing. For more marketing tips, click here.
You’ll be able to plan more effectively, and you’ll know what to do at every step of the journey. The most important thing is that you will acquire a better understanding of your target market, and your product lifecycle will be much smoother.
A Product Adoption Curve overview
The product adoption curve is a common model that shows who buys your items and when they buy them. Consider it a bird’s-eye perspective of your company’s product acceptance. It evaluates what happens at various times during the product’s lifetime. As previously said, this curve demonstrates who and when to purchase your items. (You might even learn why.) There are five main stages in most product adoption models. Because each stage reflects an arbitrary length of time, the whole process is what is most essential here. Let us now break this down stage by stage.
Stages of Product Adoption Curve
Stage #1: Innovators
The innovators are the individuals who are the first to invest in your product. This is a one-of-a-kind organisation. People that buy early are often enamoured with SaaS and want to be on the leading edge of SaaS technologies. However, in terms of specific client categories, this category might have a wide range. Perhaps someone just needs the particular product you provide. This is where the Product Adoption Curve comes in. Let us explain.
The size of this group is the most significant feature. You may have observed that it’s tiny. That is entirely natural. As a result, you may only obtain a few sales right away. Innovators generally account for around 2.5% of overall revenue. This is not always the case, of course. If your marketing was successful and reached a large audience, you may have a greater number of innovators. If you’re somewhat unknown in your industry, you may have a smaller percentage of innovators. So, while 2.5% is a good starting point, keep in mind that it is not universal.
Stage #2: Early adopters
You’ll see a surge in sales at some time, and your conversion rate will begin to stabilise. This is most likely due to the presence of early adopters. Early adopters, like innovators, are often ahead of the product adoption curve and prepared to take risks. Although early adopters and innovators share certain characteristics, there are some key distinctions. It’s possible that early adopters delayed purchasing your goods on purpose.
Whereas innovators are unafraid to jump in and try something new, early adopters are more cautious. They still want to attempt something new, but they want to talk with a few people first. However, they may have only recently learned about your goods. Expect your adoption rate to rise to around 13.5 %.
Stage #3: Early majority
This is the point at which your product truly takes off. You have a decent number of sales from early adopters and innovators. Usually, at this moment, a much larger group arrives and makes a lot more sales for you. In particular, around 34%. Your Product Adoption Curve moves upwards.
People in the early majority are typically realistic, and they will only buy anything when it has been road-tested (at least a little) and shown its worth. This is the beginning of the pinnacle of your product. Perhaps more promotion or word of mouth has helped it acquire momentum.
Stage #4: Late majority
At this point, your product has been on the market for some time and is widely used. However, some individuals are still suspicious about your offering. They buy your goods once their concerns have been alleviated, and these folks are typically in the late majority or laggards. You will reach a peak during the early or late majority period, when you will have more sales than ever before and your product will be at its most popular. Surprisingly, when it comes to adoption rates, the early and late majorities are often about equal, at around 34%.
Step #5: Laggards
These are the folks who purchase your stuff after the initial frenzy has subsided. Laggards are those who buy a product years after it is introduced. Laggards might be severe doubters or those who only learned about your product after it was released a long time ago. Whatever the cause, these individuals do not purchase until far later in the product’s lifetime.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few of them. Laggards will account for 16% of your total product adoption. Try to comprehend the reality that laggards outnumber early adopters in terms of adoption rate. Isn’t that odd?
We’ll look at why this occurs, as well as a few additional ways you may manipulate the product adoption curve.
Here are three approaches to consider:-
1. Modify your marketing strategy as your product ages
Certain demographics will most likely purchase your product at each level of the product adoption curve. Innovators, for example, are more likely to buy on the spur of the moment, whereas the late majority of purchasers would conduct an extensive study before making a purchase. And, as time goes on, your product will gain popularity.
As a result, you may begin with a product that no one knows about and finish up with a product that everyone and their brother knows about. Given these facts, think about altering your marketing messages as your product becomes older. Consider the iPhone as an example.
An advertisement for the second-generation iPhone showed off many of the cool new capabilities, such as music, email, and Internet browsing. This appealed to a younger, more tech-savvy demographic. The iPhone 4 was released in 2010, three years after the original iPhone was released in 2007. It showed two grandparents celebrating their granddaughter’s graduation. Apple intended to demonstrate that the iPhone could benefit even grandparents (who may not have understood cellphones in 2010). This is significant since elderly customers are often slow to accept new technologies. Apple’s plan was simple: show off all the bells and whistles first, then broaden the audience to include a broader range of buyers.
Similarly, consider how your marketing should seem at each level of the product adoption curve. For example, when early adopters and innovators arrive, your marketing should communicate the value and benefits of your product. You may include client testimonials and reviews later on, possibly in the late majority stage. This can assist to alleviate the doubt that many late adopters experience. Consider addressing the common concerns of each group.
Innovators will wonder what makes your product so special, whilst the early majority will want to discover what others think of it and why it is beneficial. This way of thinking may drastically alter your marketing. You will overcome objections and inquiries by sending a personalised message at each stage of the process.
2. Understand how to cross the divide
SaaS already faces the challenges of an online business. There is a tipping point in most product adoption curves that may make or break the product’s success. The chasm is the name given to this phenomenon. It is the transitional period between the early adopter and early majority stages. Crossing the chasm implies breaking into the mainstream market, as seen in the graph above.
It is one of the most challenging parts of product acceptance, but it is also one of the most critical. Crossing the Chasm is a best-selling book about the subject. For several reasons, crossing the abyss is very difficult. One reason for this is that your audience’s expectations will rise as your product ages and matures. Your prospective clients, in particular, will seek more compelling reasons to purchase your goods.
You must be prepared to fulfil these expectations throughout the lifespan of your product, but it is especially critical in overcoming the chasm. The inventors and early adopters did not require compelling reasons to purchase your goods because they were impulsive consumers. But that’s exactly what you’ll need to persuade the early majority to convert. You must consider your branding as well as your goods. You must provide more than simple features.
Another source of difficulty is the possibility of pivoting. In other words, to overcome the gulf, your campaign may need to adopt a different approach. You may be hedging on the idea behind your product early on. Early adopters are fine with it, but the bulk of early adopters desire consistency. If you are now in the chasm, you may need to pivot or even enhance your product.
3. Don’t forget about the Laggards
You can’t stop once your product has reached its peak and is riding the waves of success. Remember that the second biggest adoption category, at 16%, is laggards. Many people will purchase your goods long after the excitement has died down, and you cannot ignore or alienate this group. Laggards are often doubters, therefore towards the conclusion of your product’s lifetime, your marketing should be laser-focused on addressing objections.
Consider this: you are selling to individuals who are resistant to change and may not even want to be customers. They will need compelling reasons to invest in your brand. (A plethora of good testimonials, reviews, and press mentions will come in useful for this.)
Time is also an essential consideration. Consider the iPhone; although older people are often seen using iPhones, the gadget has been on the market for over a decade. In terms of SaaS, this may imply that some businesses are satisfied with the software they already use. It may take some time and exposure to your brand for people to alter their views. Learn important SEO tools to boost your brand on search engines.
Finally, you’ll need to prepare for the inevitable decline in sales towards the end of the product’s lifetime. This is a normal part of life, but you must be prepared for it.
The product adoption curve is one of those ideas that is difficult to grasp but very rewarding if mastered. It requires a great deal of attention to your customers––a lot of listening and altering. It is not for the faint of heart. But developing a great product and launching it successfully isn’t easy.
If you’re going to create a name for yourself, you may as well go all in. Knowing when, why, and how your consumers embrace your product may change the way you think about product lifecycles. You may plan for each step of the curve, and you’ll be better prepared to react to any unexpected changes.
You must meet your prospective consumers where they are at each step of the product lifecycle, whether it is to excite the innovators or to persuade the laggards. It may make the difference between a good product and an exceptional one.
You now have a solid idea of the production adoption curve in SaaS marketing. It all depends on how successfully you can integrate it into your current marketing initiatives. Depending on your organisation, you may require a complete overhaul or simply a few minor changes to your marketing strategy.