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What do you do about late adopters?

Most folks love to talk about early adopters. Seth Godin’s practically made a career of it, most notably in his classic book Unleashing the Idea Virus. Mike Blumenthal at Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo Local Search points to a survey detailing late adopters among mobile phone users. Do you pay more attention to early adopters or late adopters?

For instance, any number of factors reflect “late adopter” tendencies. These include:

  • Shopping channel – and don’t assume they’re exclusive to a single channel
  • Buying channel – ditto about multi-channel
  • Device (PC, mobile, what-have-you)
  • Screen resolution
  • Connection speed
  • And so on…

I’m sure there are others. Please add yours in the comments.

Michael Arrington, in a recent comment on a TechCrunch post, notes, “If all we did was listen to commenters we’d be paralyzed”. While I’m (somewhat) putting words in his mouth, it’s worth noting how “commenters” in this case can equate to early adopters, too. You’ve got to serve the needs of all your customers, early, late and in-between.

What items do you do to focus on early adopters? Late adopters?

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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