Adding science to the art of marketing!
Marketing is a science rather than gambling with blind trials. Managers should understand its dimensions and analyse it using scientific methods. The first step to marketing is segmentation of targeted market for positioning the product.
We can use different segmentation methods according to our convenience, targeted users and nature of the product; however, the most important method is segmentation based on the adoption of a Product. The main segments of the targeted market based on the adoption of a product are the following:
Innovator - Innovators are the first to purchase a product and make up the first group of all purchases of the product. Innovators purchase the product at the beginning of the life cycle. Sales to innovators are not usually an indication of future sales as innovators simply buy because the product is new.
Early Adopters - Early Adopters make up the second group of purchasers. This group of purchasers adopts early, but unlike innovators, adoption is after careful thought. Early Adopters are usually opinion leaders in their circle, so adoption by this group is crucial to the success of the product.
Early Majority - An Early Majority is a cautious group of purchasers, making up the third type of purchasers. They will not buy a product until it has become "socially acceptable". Early adopter purchases are needed for the product to achieve widespread acceptance.
Late Majority - Late Majority makes up the fourth group of purchasers and usually purchase the product during the late stages of the product's lifecycle. They are more cautious than the early majority and will only buy after the majority of people have purchased the product.
Laggards - Laggards makes up the last group of purchasers and usually purchase the product near the end of its life. Some laggards will never purchase a product, Laggards may wait to see if the product will get cheaper and by the time they purchase the product a new version is already on the market.
So when "early majority" starts purchasing, then we can conclude that the product is successful.
How to identify segments
The easiest and most common procedure is the classified first group of innovators and the next one to early adopters and so on. This method may be good for products where brand value is not relevant. but it's not good for products where brand value is high, especially for premium and luxury products. In this context, the product manager should identify these segments from markets and market the product to them. First Target the innovators and early adopters first, the rest will follow them. Based on this outcome the product manager can assess in what stage the product is now. If the product moves to late majority fast, then the market penetration will be low and a product will fail in financial terms. Moreover, if the Product manager finds that late majority is using the product more or equal to early majority, then the product is in the mature stage of the product lifecycle and going to die soon!!
Market innovators and early adopters are the influencers of any market, others will follow their footsteps. So every product should pass through these segments when it enters a market, otherwise, it will fail even though the product is innovative. Product managers can taste success adopting a scientific approach to marketing targeting segments rather than stick to a traditional approach to up their sales.