Archive for the ‘Buyer Adoption’ category

Key to Your Buyer Adoption Problem

January 14th, 2014

The key to buyer adoption is to understand the context of the target buyers’ needs as “what tangible business problems the product will be able to assist them in solving?” For uneducated and unaware buyers, how do they know they need your product? If they only “know” their pain and are struggling to figure out the underlying problem causing that pain, how do they make the leap to your solution? Especially if it is an unique, disruptively differently innovation pre-market? Word-of-mouth? Sales relationships one-by-one? Carpet-bombing email campaigns? PR? Search?

The premise is that you will find them, they will become aware of your company, they will connect the dots to their issues, and get everyone involved in the decision on board to buy. Compound that with getting industry standard language, cohesion amongst emerging “lesser” competitors, critical mass of satisfied customers and you realize building a market for your disruptively innovation is long, costly, risky, and difficult.

The real challenge for your buyers is that buying your technology is not necessarily the same as solving their operational  problem. Continue reading “Key to Your Buyer Adoption Problem” »

5 Leading Questions for Disruptively Innovative Companies

December 15th, 2013

If you haven’t read my last post Innovators Dilemna http://www.socialgastronomy.com/?p=1939, this post is going to be a nice list of questions that are nice to think about in your spare time; between 9:02PM and 9:17pm on Sunday night after the kids go-to-bed and before your prep for the week.

If you have read that post, you will be coming to the conclusion that you need to fix buyer adoption NOW. Its not a nice to fix, but a must fix if we are going to monetize this amazing technology we created. You have come to the uncomfortable realization that nobody buys technology these days. They buy solutions to fix major problems that they cannot fix on their own. Must have purchases or die. You are NOT in the technology business, but in the MUST FIX OR DIE business. So, with that said, what are the 5 leading questions that you MUST FIX OR DIE for your Disruptively Innovative, but Complex business?

1. How do we find more opportunities? In-market would be nice if we ACTUALLY had a market yet, but we need a more effective way to scale finding more pre-market opportunities before our sales team runs out of people in their networks.

Continue reading “5 Leading Questions for Disruptively Innovative Companies” »

Innovator’s Dilemna

December 15th, 2013

The biggest challenge for truly disruptive technology companies is how to fund their market adoption. “Do we bootstrap it or do we raise funding?” I admit it was much easier almost 15 years ago when I was raising money in the dot-com era. There was a lot of investments getting done on concept, but not anymore. Rule of thumb these days seems to be that entrapenuers are responsible for design and prototype, while angel investors fund on proof-of-concept and early market validation. Series A seems to be primarily for funding adoption. Now, there are always exception to the rule; either the founder has prior experience , the technology is sufficiently complex and expensive, or there is sufficient differentiation to drive displacement within an existing market sufficient to reduce risk for the investors that they will fund earlier. But, for most early stage technology companies, funding is tied to business performance. In reality, the management team needs to plan for bootstrapped growth to survive until you thrive.

It has been surprising to me to see how many technology companies that still believe that investors generally invest in your technology innovation. It is even more surprising to find how many of those same companies think their buyers do the same. When we talk to the investors and the buyers, the conversation is about adoption; investors are focused on how to drive market adoption, buyers are focused on their problem adoption. The key to understanding how to help the business grow, solve the buyers problem, and mitigate the investors risk is simply understanding the inverse relationship between disruptive technologies and adoption. The more disruptive the technology, the harder the adoption. The harder the adoption, the more risky to buy for the buyer and the investor. The harder it is to buy and invest, the harder it is for the business to survive, let alone thrive, and reach wealth creation for the founders.

So here are my Top 5 Myths /Misconceptions for Disruptive Technology Companies

1. Market Adoption Takes 18-36 Months – Look, the reality is that new markets don’t just form. They are expensive to build. Truly new concepts are even harder. In reality, markets are an aggregation of buyers. Markets for when a critical mass of buyers starts to use the same language to self-identify with a a category. After a while, new buyers will use that language to find the category and the vendors in that category. The misconception is that it takes a long time to build a critical mass of buyers. It takes a long time for the buyers to ADOPT your solution language, but they are discussing business problems today. Investors look for short-cuts that lower their investment costs in building the market. That is why they look for sales relationships, OEM deals, ready made buyer relationships, competitors who have already invested in building the category, etc. Anything to shorten the time it takes to get in front of the buyers and get the critical mass of sales. They know it is expensive to pioneer a market.

Continue reading “Innovator’s Dilemna” »

Do or Die – The Adoption Venture Funding Quagmire

November 14th, 2013

For disruptive technology companies, the key is to become less disruptive in your adoption. For technology venture investors, the key is to minimize your cost of adoption to the buyers, which will drive your market adoption. Investing in the market before buyers is an expensive proposition for which there is a better use of funds.

Venture capital is a risk management game. Invest in a certain number of companies, expect a certain number will fail, but make sure you have a minimum number of “wins” sufficient to drive a return. Simple, right? Not really because the elephant in the room is adoption. Great technology, but unable to find a market, couldn’t capitalize on the early wins, couldn’t get it to market, beat by a weaker technology, bigger guys moved in, etc.

Let’s face it, if technology investing was really about “technology”, every venture firm would be really a R&D shop. Good technology is the first step in developing a technology company on the way to building a market to driving a return.

Continue reading “Do or Die – The Adoption Venture Funding Quagmire” »

BtoB Lead Generation is Wrong

August 22nd, 2013

What we call “lead generation” today is really short-hand for multiple processes, none of which is “lead generation” and all of which is causing major headaches for BtoB companies today. This short-hand is actually the root cause of the declines BtoB technology companies are seeing in “traditional lead generation” channels. In reality, leads are the outcome of a several step process. With the changes in buyer behavior over the last couple of years, digital has really split our “pipeline” into 2 separate distinct staged funnels.

First is the awareness marketing funnel which is pretty simply the goal is to get prospective buyers aware of our solution and hopefully our brand of solution. Almost all lead generation activities fall into this pipeline – anything with a campaign (email, search, direct), PR, shows, etc. The goal is to now get them to come to our website for education and conversion. In short, we use our websites now to qualify on interest.

Continue reading “BtoB Lead Generation is Wrong” »