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 New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>