Three Steps to Market Adoption
Based on my own experience and that of successful viral marketing campaigns, such as Facebook, Ford Focus, and Waze, to achieve a wide market adoption you should follow these three steps:
- Know your target customers/audience. Study your customers well enough to know what are their problems, needs, and priorities. Ideally, you should “walk in their shoes” to see the world through their eyes and understand what’s important to them. Bunker Roy left his affluent home to live in a rural village. That’s how he could identify the real needs of the poor and come up with the idea of the barefoot college.
- Identify the most effective channel of communication to reach them. Learn how your audience prefers to get new information, and who influences them most. Is it best to reach them via e-mail, social media, or specific bloggers? Bunker Roy realized that in the rural villages of India the best means of communication is not television, nor telephone, it’s “tell a woman”.
Also, try to exploit common motivations and behaviors within your target customers. Waze targets daily commuters who share a common motivation for avoiding traffic jams and shortening their commute times. They also take pride in finding new routes and sharing them with others.
- Identify and recruit your initial “evangelists”. Once you’ve chosen your channel of communication you then need to “seed” your campaign. You need to find and recruit your “ambassadors”. They might be influential bloggers, popular university students (Facebook), or in the case of the Barefoot College, grandmothers.
Where possible, try to leverage existing networks. For example, Facebook initial adoption was in US universities where students use intranets and internal e-mails to share information. They also leveraged the universities’ social networks of fraternities and sororities to create a viral adoption through word-of-mouth.
When you provide real value, it can easily scale and proliferate via viral networks. But at the end of the day, you must first provide your customers something they truly need and want. Moreover, their overall experience with your product and your company must be very positive.