The tech adoption lifecycle explains how the use of new products or innovation spreads.
Please click the above image (specific to Southern Africa) to expand this view of typical user types. It’s amended slightly for commercial property.
Adoption happens from left to right – starting with the small minority of innovators on the left. Use by each segment occurs strictly in sequence. A segment or adopter group will only adopt if used by the immediately previous segment. Adoption doesn’t “leapfrog” or skip adopter groups.
The adopter groups are, in order: innovators –> early adopters –> early majority –> late majority –> laggards. The bell curve distribution means that the bulk of the users (early majority and late majority), an estimated c.70%, exist in the “middle”.
Regis McKenna, the famous PR and marketing agency, responsible for the marketing successes of brands like Apple, Intel and Microsoft, was a big believer of the tech adoption lifecycle model. Out of interest, this model was first proposed by agricultural researchers in 1957 in Iowa. The model has been embraced by luminaries such as Geoffrey Moore and Clayton Christensen. For more information, please see Wikipedia’s excellent post here.
The tech adoption lifecycle model and CRE
The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is comprised of many verticals. These verticals influence tech adoption by other verticals. Further, within these verticals, the tech diffusion model is in play too. Efficient distribution of new products within CRE is thus nuanced and requires a deep understanding of the industry ecosystem.
CRE is a highly complex, IP-dense industry. CRE professionals, having been burnt by industry outsiders who don’t have the domain IP to deliver, are traditionally wary of data- and technology-driven innovation.
For more relevant information, this article explains how enterprise SaaS (the vehicle that delivers innovation to CRE users) applies to the CRE industry, and why the CRE industry is starved of high quality technology.
The converse to this distribution model
When attempting to sell a new product, proactively profile a target customer. If that customer is not an innovator or early adopter, avoid engaging with that customer. “Tells” of more conservative and risk averse early or late majority customers are questions such as: “which other companies are already using this product”