[Read the entire chapter by chapter review of Crossing the Chasm.]
Pages 33 – 72. Locations 544 – 1071 in Amazon Kindle.
In Chapter 1 Moore introduced one great topic – his guiding light – his North Star – the Technology Life Cycle Adoption model. His great bell curve of adoption, with sections denoting the psychographic profiles of each type of buyer, is his prescription for the future of every industrial B2B product.
“…market, which we will define, for the purposes of high tech, as a set of actual or potential customers for a given set of products or services who have a common set of needs or wants, and who reference each other when making a buying decision.” loc 567
Moore’s definition of a market – tucked away as an aside – is one of the best anywhere. Across 100s of marketing books there are many definitions, but his is clear and consistent.
“Because controlling expectations is so crucial, the only practical way to do business with visionaries is through a small, top-level direct sales force.” Loc 716
Business books have value when they give clear definitions (like above with markets) and when they are prescriptive about specific situations. New products need a direct sales force to succeed with the most likely group of buyers – early adopters.
“Visionaries are the ones who give high-tech companies their first big break. It is hard to plan for them in marketing programs, but it is even harder to plan without them.” Loc 725
Moore’s comments here echo the persuasion methods of Carnegie. Yes, the visionary is a hard person to win over – but woe to the company that decides to avoid visionaries.
“Then we must get very practical about focusing on one application, making sure that it is indeed a compelling one for at least one visionary who is already familiar with us, and then committing to that visionary, in return for his or her support, to removing every obstacle to getting that application adopted.” Loc 772
Focus, focus, focus. Too many modern products launch as the ‘AllTech’ with many applications and uses. Find one use with one market and validate that it works. Moore’s comments on focus and validation sets up Ries’s writing in The Lean Startup.
“If high-tech marketers do not take responsibility for seeing that the whole product solution is being delivered, then they are giving the skeptic an opening to block the sale.” 1003
The D-Day invasion is Moore’s metaphor for successful marketing – here he is building off of Sun Tzu’s more ancient counsel from his chapter on Tactical Dispositions, “13… Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.” Don’t let the skeptic block the sale, be prepared. Moore is helping the reader launch a product that can survive the first three waves of buyer – from the early adopters to the pragmatist, and in so doing, cross the chasm. In Ries’s Lean Startup, we see how this can be done as effectively and with the lowest amount of risk.
Page by Page, Screen by Screen, Swipe by Swipe
“If all goes well, and the product and your company pass through the chasm period intact, then a mainstream market does emerge, made up of the early and the late majority. With them comes the real opportunity for wealth and growth.”
“To reap the rewards of the mainstream market, your marketing strategy must successfully respond to all three of these stages.”
“Marketing: It simply means taking actions to create, grow, maintain, or defend markets.”
“market, which we will define, for the purposes of high tech, as a set of actual or potential customers for a given set of products or services who have a common set of needs or wants, and who reference each other when making a buying decision.”
“If two people buy the same product for the same reason but have no way they could reference each other, they are not part of the same market.”
If they can’t talk to each other – or refer to each other in any way – then those two buyers are not in the same market.
“High-tech marketing, therefore, begins with the techies.”
From a persuasion standpoint – these lists are great because they show us what the other buyers are not. If this were Carnegie, he would explicitly say something like, “If your buyer is not Gyro Gearloose, then he is not an early adopter!” Moore is never that explicit – but he gets closer to such prescriptive statements later in the book.
“They are the ones who will spend hours trying to get products to work that, in all conscience, never should have been shipped in the first place.”
And most customers do NOT want to do this! If your marketing plan involves finding all the customers who love doing your work for you – then your marketing plan is insufficient.
“In business, technology enthusiasts are the gatekeepers for any new technology.”
- Access to source
“In sum, technology enthusiasts are easy to do business with, provided you (1) have the latest and greatest technology, and (2) don’t need to make much money.”
“want to try it out just to see if it works.”
Early Adopters: The Visionaries
Kennedy w Space, Henry Ford, Jobs at Parc, Laube at PWC for Lotus, Solvik at Cisco – web service, Barksdale at Fedex,
“Visionaries are not looking for an improvement; they are looking for a fundamental breakthrough.”
“a visionary derives value not from a system’s technology itself but from the strategic leap forward it enables.”
“They typically have budgets that let them allocate generous amounts toward the implementation of a strategic initiative.”
“The “incarnation” of this dream will require the melding of numerous technologies, many of which will be immature or even nonexistent at the beginning of the project.”
- 1 Project focused. Forces need to productive.
- 2 In a hurry.
such that each phase is,
“• accomplishable by mere mortals working in earth time
• provides the vendor with a marketable product
• provides the customer with a concrete return on investment that can be celebrated as a major step forward.”
As Moore discusses in his later book Zone to Win – much of the way that bigger companies can win in new markets is focusing on their ability to properly do project management.
“Because controlling expectations is so crucial, the only practical way to do business with visionaries is through a small, top-level direct sales force.”
“Visionaries are the ones who give high-tech companies their first big break. It is hard to plan for them in marketing programs, but it is even harder to plan without them.”
The Dynamics of Early Markets
Challenges that are common include:
- company cannot market
- Sells product too early – vaporware
- Product never finds a compelling large value proposition
“Then we must get very practical about focusing on one application, making sure that it is indeed a compelling one for at least one visionary who is already familiar with us, and then committing to that visionary, in return for his or her support, to removing every obstacle to getting that application adopted.”
“Ray Lane of Oracle (as opposed to Larry Ellison), Craig Barrett of Intel (as opposed to Andy Grove), Lew Platt of Hewlett-Packard (as opposed to Scott McNealy at Sun), and Carol Bartz on Autodesk.”
“This focus on standardization is, well, pragmatic, in that it simplifies internal service demands. But the secondary effects of this standardization—increasing sales volumes and lowering the cost of sales—is dramatic.”
“When pragmatists buy, they care about the company they are buying from, the quality of the product they are buying, the infrastructure of supporting products and system interfaces, and the reliability of the service they are going to get. In other words, they are planning on living with this decision personally for a long time to come.”
There is a Catch 22 for companies that are looking for pragmatist buyers:
- Won’t buy unless established
- Can’t get established unless they buy
Tend to be vertical, hard to penetrate. Like to see competition. Keeps costs down. Willing to pay some premium. Cost sensitive.
“Market leadership is crucial, therefore, to winning pragmatist customers.”
How to market:
- Conversant in their language
- Industry specific trade shows
“You need to have earned a reputation for quality and service. In short, you need to make yourself over into the obvious supplier of choice.”
Late Majority: The Conservatives
“Conservatives, in essence, are against discontinuous innovations. They believe far more in tradition than in progress.”
“I did not buy my first CD until 1998.”
Moore is using Carnegie’s writing style – inserting himself into the vignette.
“In general, I hate “being connected,” which I associate with being either interrupted or confused, not being in touch.”
2 ways to market:
- Whole solution
- Low cost channel
The Dynamics of Mainstream Markets
Examples of mainstream market failures – Autodesk.
“The key lesson is that the longer your product is in the market, the more mature it becomes, and the more important the service element is to the customer.” 971
Laggards: The Skeptics
“One of the favorite arguments of skeptics is that the billions of dollars invested in office automation have not improved the productivity of the office place one iota. Actually, some fairly good data exist to support this notion.”
“If high-tech marketers do not take responsibility for seeing that the whole product solution is being delivered, then they are giving the skeptic an opening to block the sale.”
“What skeptics are struggling to point out is that new systems, for the most part, don’t deliver on the promises that were made at the time of their purchase.”
“Steamrolling over the skeptics, in other words, may be a great sales tactic, but it is a poor marketing one.”
Back to the Chasm
Psychographics show the development of each position as we work our way left to right across the bell curve.
“As we move from segment to segment in the technology adoption life cycle, we may have any number of references built up, but they may not be of the right sort.”
Ways that visionaries alienate pragmatists:
- don’t respect their experience
- More tech interest than the rest of the industry
- Existing product infrastructure expectations – how much of the whole product is there?
- Overall disruptiveness
“The high-tech vendor wants—indeed, needs—the pragmatist to buy now, and the pragmatist needs—or at least wants—to wait.” 1071