- Innovators - 2.5% - the first to pick up on an innovation or product.
- Early Adaptors - 13.5% - this group spreads the news on the product.
- Early Majority- 34% - With this group you are at 50% of the population.
- Late Majority - 34% - As you cross the center line of the Normal Curve note that curve goes down!!
- Laggards - 16% - The last to jump on
Dave's study really shows us the importance of the Innovators and crossing to a majority of the Early Adaptors. With that 10-12% you are poised to influence the Early Majority and get your station, personality or format (your brand) to that point where you can reach 1/2 of the market and beyond. This is what is also called - The Tipping Point in Malcolm Gladwell's works.
How many times have we seen strategies and tactics in programming that leave out the Innovators and the Early Adaptors? Taking out some of the features or key elements that made the station unique, tightening the music so much that we leave this influential group searching for a new innovation. Trying to smooth over a strong personality to be more adaptable to the Late Majority.
You also have to keep in mind that the audience under this Normal Curve is in a constant state of change as innovations and products in every sector and our own sector are launching. Each is gathering it's own series of innovators, early adaptors and spreading to the majorities. To stay ahead you have to identify who your Innovators and Early Adaptors are and keep them high on the station.
As you market the station and develop the content make sure you are balancing both the Innovators and Early Adaptors with the Early and Late Majorities. Perhaps one of the big reasons we see the new media building so much momentum is that Radio has left the Innovators and Early Adaptors behind and while we still enjoy the acceptance and usage of the large Majorities and the Laggards how much longer till the Majorities adapt the new technologies?
In the early 90s more studies and theories focused on crossing the line between the Early Adaptors and the Early Majority as we began to see many innovations struggle to reach beyond a small group of fanatic followers. Crossing the Chasm by Geffeory Moore is probably the best book.
The keys to using these theories and ideas in your marketing plan is making sure you are balancing your efforts. Remember that you are also marketing your product on your product - the imaging, on-air promotion, music mix, and personality all support the innovation of your product. Making sure that you have a balance in all areas for both the Innovators and Early Adaptors as well as the Majorities is the key to long term success for any station and really for our media as a whole.
Thanks to Dave and the Bridge Ratings folks for bringing these basics back into the spotlight.