A Good Example of the Attitude of Laggards

Yesterday we discussed the idea of the Product Life Cycle (PLC). Another concept tied closely to the PLC, are the product adopter categories. As we discuss here, people tend to adopt new products at different times. Some, like those in the Innovator category, are extremely early in wanting to try new things, while those in the Late Majority category will take a wait-and-see approach before trying something new.

Then there are the Laggards, they may never adopt a new product or will only do so if they have no other choice. This research report, from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, presents an outstanding example of why there are Laggards. In this study, Pew sought to find out why people are not using the Internet. Some people may find it quite surprising that 15% of Americans claim they do not use the Internet at all and another 9% only use it at work. The reasons for not using the Internet include such issues as: difficulty using; lack of interest for what is found on it; expense; and inability to access due to a physical condition.

For marketers, the results should not only be viewed as just interesting statistics. What is learned from this research may actually provide insight that will allow marketers to target some of these people. How? By using methods, such as product design and unique promotional messages, that aim to address the reasons that are cited for not using the Internet.


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