Okay, so I’m gonna be upfront with you. I really don’t read a lot of marketing books. Sure, I devoured all the classics. Still, for the life of me I couldn’t name the latest and greatest marketing and advertising book topping the best-seller list.
But you’re a marketing Wizard, you say. How can this be?
Oh, no! I’ve been exposed as a fraud.
I dunno. Maybe it’s the non-conformist in me. More likely than not, it’s because I want to know the root of an idea’s origins. I want to know WHY something works. So I’ve developed my persuasive prowess by studying neurology, psychology, biology, and the arts.
That’s probably how I stumbled upon a little-known research book titled, Diffusion of Innovations by Everette M. Rogers. It’s a book every Marketing Wizard should read. And it definitely ranks as a classic.
Diffusion of Innovations: http://www.amazon.com/Diffusion-Innovations-5th-Everett-Rogers/dp/0743222091/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408307729&sr=1-1&keywords=diffusion+of+innovations
Now, don’t get your undies in a bunch about the “innovations” part of the title. Yes, when Roger’s speaks of innovations, he’s referring to new products or services being introduced to the marketplace. But, the concepts found in his book provides any Marketing Wizard with a rock-solid blueprint for persuading customers to buy from you—even if what you’re selling has been around longer than Jerry Lewis.
Is he still alive?
Just look at all the dog-eared pages and highlights I made. Lots of good marketing mojo in this book for sure. Like this:
“In developing a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward an innovation, an individual may mentally apply the new idea to his or her present or anticipated future situation before deciding whether or not to try it,” says Rogers. “This vicarious trial involves the ability to think hypothetically and counterfactually and to project into the future: What if I adopt this innovation? Forward planning is involved at the persuasion stage.”
Helping your customers to imagine doing the thing that you want them to do. That’s what Rogers is talking about here. And that’s what you’re trying to make happen with your marketing as well. So let’s get knee deep into the five factors that influence the spread of new ideas and lead to widespread adoption:
Number One: Relative Advantage - the degree to which an innovation is perceived to be better than the product or service it supersedes.
Naturally, the greater the perceived relative advantage of an innovation, the more rapid its rate of adoption will be.
Your goal here is to frame the buying conversation to favor you. Since we know that customers naturally contrast and compare the differences among their available options, you must make an apples-to-oranges comparison—rising above the competition to become the obvious choice.
Now, logical, reason why marketing is important … but don’t forget to speak to your customer’s emotions. Tap into an emotional benefit that drives your customer’s desire—one that your customer is willing to pay for.
Marketing and advertising that speaks to a dominant, driving emotion is much more powerful and persuasive than copy that makes a logical argument alone.
Number Two: Compatibility - the degree to which an innovation is perceived to be consistent with existing values, past experiences and the needs of potential adopters.
Products and services that are deemed less compatible or incompatible with the norms of a social system will not be adopted as rapidly as those that are.
Please don’t expect your customers to adopt a new belief system. You can’t please all. Remember, only weasel brands try’n snuggle up to every customer in the marketplace. So find a group of customers with a social system that your products and services are compatible with.
Number Three: Complexity - the degree to which which an innovation is perceived to be difficult to understand and use.
Simplicity is a better way to think about this.
Marketers have known for awhile now that uncertainty is the costly side-effect of overwhelming your customers with too much choice. Generally speaking, the more options customers have at their fingertips, the more indecisive they’ll become. And complexity often creates the desire for simplicity.
Watch today's episode to learn more about how to market new products and services.
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