It doesn’t matter how many hours designers and software engineers spend building something. A successful product needs to solve a problem while being intuitive enough for customers to figure out.
Even the best products on the market can fail if it fails to reach that “aha” moment with its target audience.
That’s where product adoption strategies come into play.
New product adoption programs help companies cultivate a loyal following and gain a foothold in the market. That’s because product adoption is so much more than advertising — it’s about getting prospective customers to take that first step and engage with your product.
Ready to learn more about the different product adoption strategies you can use right now to improve your product’s performance in the market?
Production adoption is best described as user adoption — or colloquially as the “aha” moment — a stage in the customer journey where a user starts using your product or service to accomplish goals and solve problems. From this stage on, clients receive value from their relationship with you and are likely to become recurring customers.
Mathematically, it’s the percentage of new users who start using your product’s key features for their intended purpose. What exactly these key features are and where the “aha” moment lies is up to your teams to decide.
Product adoption differs from acquisition. Acquisition is the job of your marketing department to attract the attention of prospective customers and bring them to your product. Adoption is showing those interested people that your product or service is worth the money in the long term.
It’s obvious that a high adoption rate translates to more users and thus more revenue. But adoption matters for other reasons:
User adoption strategies also directly impact other sales metrics like cost per customer (CPC), conversion rates, and churn rates.
It’s worth knowing the makeup of your potential clientele to understand the adoption process they go through. For most businesses, the product adoption curve is a bell curve:
Regardless of what group clients come from, any who convert to your brand go through the product adoption stages detailed below.
|Stage||What Happens||How You Can Help||Example|
|Awareness||Prospective customers might not be aware of a problem they’re facing or not know where to look for a solution. It’s your job to introduce yours.||Educate potential clients at this stage through advertising and awareness campaigns. Offer sales and promotions to get people’s attention.||A coffee shop puts up a billboard in the city or a print advertisement in the newspaper to attract new visitors. Alice happens to see one.|
|Research||You’ve piqued a customer’s interest, and that person starts gathering information about your company, either through research or just asking around.||Offer robust customer support to help prospects learn more about your company. Tweak your website to be as informative as possible to new visitors unfamiliar with your brand.||Alice goes online to start researching the location. She Googles the shop and looks up its location, menu, and customer reviews.|
|Consideration||The customer evaluates whether to engage with the business and make first contact.||Inform customers of how your brand differentiates itself from the competition. How do you compare objectively to the alternatives on the market?||Alice looks at her schedule and decides whether to head over that afternoon.|
|Trial||The customer samples a product or service from the brand for the first time, either through an initial purchase or a free trial.||Make the first contact as low-risk and convenient as possible. Offer free trials or money-back guarantees to this effect.||Alice walks to the shop and orders an inexpensive espresso.|
The final stage is the decision of whether to adopt the brand or reject it. Imagine Alice looks around at the decor and takes note of the coffee’s taste, as well as the barista’s positive attitude. Her next step is to decide whether to add the shop to her morning routine tomorrow.
There’s no silver bullet to the adoption problem. However, you can raise user retention and boost engagement through these strategies and best practices.
Don’t forget to engage with customers outside of the product as well. Even a small push, like a reminder email or a software update notification, could be enough to reel someone back in.
Data analytics matters immensely to product adoption initiatives because it identifies exactly when interested customers recognize the value of your brand. This aforementioned “Aha!” moment can be difficult to pin down, especially in complex markets like software technologies.
For this reason, you can’t just rely on any available metric like website pageviews to guide your efforts. Instead, look to:
Gathering this information and tracking these analytics requires a robust technology stack. Only then can your teams correlate specific user behaviors with adoption.
You’ve likely spent a lot of time developing and improving your customer experience. Don’t let that go to waste.
Start turning potential customers into long-term paying customers with the right product adoption strategy.
If you’re serious about product adoption — read our blog post covering the exact metrics you need to know to streamline the product adoption process. In this blog, we take a deep dive into 5 key metrics every product marketing manager should know, why they matter, and unpack the goals of each.