Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Who Buys What? Research Finds Clues To Marketing Innovation

28.07.2010
Introducing innovative new products and ideas to the marketplace can be a tricky proposition. Sometimes they take off immediately (like the iPod) and sometimes they can take a while to garner consumer confidence (like the Segway).

A troubled economy can make it more difficult to convince consumers to take a leap on a new product. But new research from North Carolina State University finds that targeted marketing to opinion leaders makes it more likely that consumers will buy into innovative products and ideas.

“There are lots of reasons why it might be difficult to get buy-in for a new idea or product,” says Dr. Jon Bohlmann, associate professor of marketing in NC State’s College of Management and co-author of a new paper on how acceptance of innovative technology spreads in the marketplace. “There may be a lack of consumer understanding, uncertainty about whether a product is viable, or it may be that tough financial times make people more hesitant to buy something new.” So Bohlmann and his co-authors looked at how consumers are connected to each other, to see what they could learn about how the relationships between consumers affects the “diffusion of innovation.”

For products that were difficult to diffuse, meaning they were not readily accepted by consumers, the researchers found that clustered networks could be a key to getting greater buy-in from consumers. Clustered networks are social networks where a person’s friends are likely to be friends of each other, rather than being connected to random individuals. People are more likely to take a risk on a new product if someone in their close network cluster is trying the product, rather than if they see an advertisement for the product.

In addition, the presence of well-connected opinion leaders can mean the difference between a new idea catching on or not. In some social networks, large numbers of people are connected by links to a relatively small number of people. For example, every person who reads a popular blog is connected to the person who writes that blog, but they are not necessarily connected to each other. The blogger serves as a sort of hub, serving as the primary link for the network and offering a potential kick-start to the innovation.

“How consumers are connected to each other is essential to understanding the spread of new products,” Bohlmann says, “because social communication is the key to diffusing innovation.”

Bohlmann explains that this finding could be important given the economic climate. “People are being more judicious in spending their marketing money, and we found that spending money to reach out to a large audience would be better spent focusing on well-connected, influential members of a social network – such as opinion leaders on blogs, industry leaders, and so on,” Bohlmann says. “Instead of an ad campaign, I’ll seek out the opinion leaders in the network I’m marketing to.

“But,” Bohlmann adds, “we found that it is not only about getting people on board, but getting people on board who are influential in their social network. Not just having a lot of connections, but having strong connections. Depending on the kind of innovation we’re talking about, these influential people could be community leaders, members of trade groups, et cetera.”

For example, Bohlmann says, some nationally influential physicians may prescribe an innovative drug. This might influence some regionally prominent physicians to follow suit. Soon you have a domino effect, with local physicians willing to prescribe the new drug.

The study, “The Effects of Market Network Heterogeneity on Innovation Diffusion: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach,” was co-authored by Bohlmann, Dr. Roger Calantone of Michigan State University and Dr. Meng Zhao of California State University, Dominguez Hills. The paper will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management.

-shipman-

Note to editors: The study abstract follows.

“The Effects of Market Network Heterogeneity on Innovation Diffusion: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach”

Authors: Jonathan D. Bohlmann, North Carolina State University; Roger J. Calantone, Michigan State University; Meng Zhao, California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Published: September 2010, Journal of Product Innovation Management

Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>