Marketing High-Tech Products
1. THE TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION LIFE CYCLE
2. A COMMON MISCONCEPTION IS THAT THE LIFE CYCLE IS CONTINUOUS. IT'S NOT!
3. HOW TO MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM ONE MARKET STAGE TO OTHERS
4. RESEARCHING YOUR MARKETS
5. THE "ELEVATOR TEST"
6. OTHER CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS
7. YOUR PLAN
- Are fascinated with technology itself, and its potential.
- Expect to experiment, and work out bugs.
- Will offer their suggestions for improvements
- Technologists without much clout within an organization (money).
- Sees your product can provide a competitive edge
- Knows there will be problems that will have to be worked out
(Components of the whole product have yet to be devised.)
- Will invest heavily because he/she expects to obtain a competitive
- Will work with you to develop the whole product
- On the fast-track: He/She won't be around long enough to live
with your product. He/She will move on quickly.
- Will buy only in order to keep up to others in the industry.
- Expects all bugs to have been worked out by others
- Expects to pay low prices - because of your volume
- Won't buy until after having experienced being left behind
- not really a market!
- The Technology Adoption Life Cycle is discontinuous!
- These are really different markets, requiring different marketing
- Progression from one market to another is perilous
- Each market stage references others within the same market
- References from other segments are irrelevant
- Develop different advertising, promotion, and distribution
strategies that reflect the characteristics desired by each market
- You need to first dominate a small market segment -
one that is only a few multiples larger than your own projected
- Provide a complete solution - take a problem off your
- Service them.
- Each market segment wants to identify the market leader, then
stick with the leader.
- Then they will rally behind you, and conspire to keep others
(your competitors) out.
- Then, having dominated your first target market, you expand
into other market segments
Primary Data = consumer information you obtain yourself
- You need to understand your customers mindset. Talk to them.
Find out how they perceive your product, its benefits, you, and
- Read the trade journals and press that your customers read.
- Questionnaires - pay customers $10 to answer them!
- Talk to your competitors & their customers
- Industry Insiders (Salesmen, Editors of Trade Journals, Association
representatives). Their insights can be invaluable, and dramatically
affect your strategy.
- You'll often get 15 minutes on the phone for free. Perhaps
offer to pay them $100 to spend an evening with you. They'll usually
be flattered, often decline payment, offer advice, and maybe even
join your team - perhaps informally at first, then maybe even
permanently as your relationship grows.
Secondary Data = statistical data from published sources
- Advertising kits of trade journals and magazines are full
of statistical information about your market!
- Association membership lists
- Government Statistics: SIC (Standard Industry Classifications)
- On-line commercial databases ("Dialog" is a pay-as-you-go
gateway to 450 databases concerning every conceivable topic of
- Stock Analysts' "Investment" Reports. These are
often a consolidation of several of professional researchers reports,
couched to hype the stock they are promoting.
- Market reports by professional researchers (Typical price
= $1,000 to $3000)
- Take advantage of the Science Council's generous MART funding
(3/4 of the cost!)
- Try describing your business in 2 to 3 sentences (maximum),
in 30 seconds (maximum). If you can't state it succinctly, other
people won't be able to either. References by word of mouth are
critical to dominate your initial market segment(s).
- For... (the target customer)
- Who...(statement of their need)
- The ... (product) is a ... (product category)
- That ... (key benefit)
- Unlike ... (primary competitor)
- Our product (statement of primary differentiation)
- A readily identifiable target market
- A unique product
- ... with an obvious customer benefit
- You can sell it at 4 to 5 times your manufacturing cost
- Easy to distribute - Try to tap into someone else's established
- A detailed list of what you are going to do for about 2 years
- Customer service
- A vision (creative visualization)
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore (no relation)