The book ‘Influence’ by Robert B. Caldini (PH.D.) discusses the principle of consistency and commitment. It highlights the psychological human trait to make consistent decisions we then commit ourselves to. Whether it be our favourite sports team, the way we take our coffee, the watch brand we associate with - we make decisions in a format that follows a consistent pattern and do so with commitment.
And why wouldn’t we? This consistent approach provides a route to short-cutting decision making, we trust it, and we have faith in what we know.
But this presents innovation sectors a problem
You’ll be familiar with the effort involved when a software update brings a raft of usability changes - it sparks instant fury, disrupting our normal working practices and slowing our progression. Although it might in the long-term speed up our processes, we kick off with resentment at a disruption that came from nowhere.
If small changes like this disrupt us so much, then it is only fair to think that bigger innovations would provoke a stronger reaction. Feelings of frustration build because our quick decision making processes can’t help us understand new innovations.
We must commit time to educate ourselves on these new solutions, time in itself is paramount for most of us, who has the time to learn about yet another new thing?! Our trust response can often kick in:
Why should I trust this new concept?
Who else is saying it’s worth my time?
What are the credentials of not only the technology but the company delivering it?
What experiences of innovation in this area do we have to draw on?
Innovation sectors are often on the back foot before they even get started.
Before we kick into gear and outline a path to success, we need to explain two models. You may well be familiar with these, and if not, well, read on…
Technology Adoption Curve
When talking about human psychology, there are always the few vs. the many and in the technology adoption curve it’s the few that help build the momentum.
As you see below, the tech enthusiasts and visionaries are more open to change to achieve progress IF it is an area they are excited by or see great potential in. Only once the technology is deeply proven will the rest of the market follow.
Customer Relationship Journey
We not only need to discuss the technology adoption curve, because this addresses what to expect from your market. But we need to talk about the customer relationship journey as well, no matter if you are an early adopter or a conservative - each one of us needs to pass through this journey when coming on board with an organisation's products or services.
Guiding your audience through the journey
If you are to be successful in transitioning your audience from a skeptic to a believer, we need to revisit our earlier human psychology lesson about consistency and commitment. Because it is not only a foe for innovation, but when applied correctly, it can also be a friend.
Let me explain…
You’ll be familiar with the selling phrase “I’ve got a foot in the door” - you’ve found some common ground or caught the prospect's eye enough for them to give you the smallest amount of consent. Selling techniques can often start with selling a customer a small service or offering a free trial, and then upselling from there.
This works because the buyer has made an intention, our human reaction is to be consistent with our intentions, and commit to our decisions. It is why this technique is so effective. Luckily, for us in marketing, it works with information too.
So don’t overwhelm your audience to begin with - catch their attention, invite them to commit a small amount of their time to enlighten themselves about your innovation and build from there. The elements below are key topics, from our expertise, we believe you’ll need to help guide audiences through the technology adoption curve and the customer relationship journey.
Innovation Communication Elements
Empathy - Show you understand the audience's challenges, after-all it is the reason your innovation exists.
The Vision - The transformational goal for your customer - how your innovation will help them succeed.
Contrast Principle - The contrast principle is especially strong at helping audiences understand the problem that exists and the end goal your innovation achieves.
Technology Normalisation - Although we often balk at change, the evolution of society, technology and the natural world is part of life, we progress, improve and evolve from innovations, this is normal. Furthermore, familiarising or humanising the solution can help build customer confidence and engagement.
Authority - Why should they trust your business, what are your credentials, experience, expertise.
Future Social Proofing - Often with new solutions, there is little in the way of substantial proof of its success - so we turn to ‘future social proof’ which uses trends to showcase the momentum building in a positive direction that supports your business.
Pain free transition - Help your prospects over the line by guiding them through a pain-free transition.
Let’s wrap this up
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the art of innovation marketing. Perhaps as much science as art.
If you are struggling to build wider community engagement and confidence as an innovation business or are soon to launch a new product or services that falls squarely in this category, then consider…
The Technology Adoption curve
Customer Relationship Journey
Innovation communication elements
Wildtribe is an innovation digital marketing agency - specialists in Ai, SaaS, Renewable Energy & Sustainability, Aviation and Aerospace. We create winning digital marketing strategies to build online communities, leads and revenue.
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