Techniques to Identify Early Adopters

Pinpoint Best Prospects for Launch Success

The key to product launch success lies in finding the customer segments that are most likely to become early adopters. So how do you identify these essential early adopters?

Arthur Middleton Hughes, of The Database Marketing Institute, suggests these techniques:

Dr. Paul Wang, of Northwestern University, identified three main types of business customers. They are program buyers, transaction buyers and relationship buyers.

  • “A program buyer is one who follows some sort of internal procedure to make their business purchases.” These buyers are not likely to be early adopters.  You should identify program buyers, and eliminate them from consideration.
  • Transaction buyers are motivated by price. “By keeping track of the ebb and flow of buyers as your prices change, you can often identify these transaction buyers, and eliminate them from your product launch portfolio.”
  • Relationship buyers are the buyers who already like your products and services. Your launch should focus on this group as they are most likely to be early adopters.

The next crucial step is to “find businesses in areas where you have a high penetration ratio, and customers who, by their behavior, are disposed to respond to your promotion.” This requires that you:

  • Have your prospect/customer list coded by Standard Industrial Code (SIC). Dun & Bradstreet and other suppliers, can code most records by SIC code. “They can also tell you how many companies there are in the US who lie in the same SIC codes.” SIC codes identify the type of business.
  • Carefully screen your SIC list and hand code as needed. This should allow you to code more than 90% of your customer base in a few days and identify your best prospects.

Instead of spending hours sending e-mails, cold calling and creating brochures, marketing professionals should use these techniques to pinpoint likely buyers for a successful product launch.


Vickilynn is a Novelist whose first book "Waving Backwards" was published in July 2015. She is also a Blogger at Adoptionfind Blog. Previously, she was a Freelance marketing copywriter at OpenView.
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