We know what differentiates the rock star brands like Apple or Google from the rest in their domains. The defining role of early adopters in respective products are well documented.
The pertinent question therefore is – what makes these products continue to be successful (continuity and relevance) in the most disruptive times of humankind ?
I personally look at the excellent and taken-for-granted role that human connections and social behavior provide in supporting models that aid technological adoption and therefore successful products. On consumer tech side such a thing is a normal in any strategy or self referential studies.
I have begun wondering if the same has been reflected in the strategies of b2b products and services. As for all the proof I have, not much is available as a model reflecting consumer side frameworks of technology adoption in business to business products or services.
If one cares to look into existing products in the b2b domain then one would see sales driven models and pricing based (including freemium) structures prevalent across the board.
There seems to be an existential expectation to solve broken models that are failing to produce amazing results and failing to sustain an adoption model that’s brilliantly successful and on par with an Apple or Google.
If consumer tech adoption did not follow the early adopter to laggards model then mostly Apple or Google would have resorted to tactics like pricing and mass marketing. Proven models need to studied closely and parallels need to be drawn from them. Sadly business to business domain and products don’t seem to taking much lessons from these consumer tech models.
I was asking myself during my own sales review this year that there is a very strongly defined set of clients that I have for my b2b product who have helped our new products become successful in generating amazing returns for them. These are people who have always proactively been an important part of our research and product development. These are clients who also provide some of the largest billings for my company and represent a section that’s improving every year in terms of revenues and profits.
However there exists a second set of people who have been refusing to proactively be a part of any developmental discussion and have a very different vision and usage of some of our other products. They neither generate the kind of revenues not are profitable to the extent of the early adopters. They seem to have the ambition but don’t recognize the product adoption that’s needed saying – “Oh but they are different than me and I am not as strong a name as they are”. Nevertheless, the true fact remains that adoption of the product by them will allow for better growth and revenues.
I have asked myself some straight forward questions:
– Are my early adopters excited and valued partners in my products success?
– Is there a gradual and seamless communication system between my early adopters and laggards?
– Do my early adopters take personal ownership to discuss and share their products usage and success to the rest of the spectrum?
– Have I done anything to ensure that the adoption model is established and aided by interventions to ensure that my b2b product is accessed by the next set of people with the right reasons and without pricing bias?
I sincerely feel that there is a lot to learn and integrate from consumer end products and their adoption into our b2b side. We have not even scratched the surface of possibilities of models that will be the reason b2b products will grow beyond it’s current limitations. Freemium just gets you new customers but what about continuity ? What about seamless growth and numbers that defy 30% growth rates? What about sustaining amazing returns for your clients?
The next set of movement in b2b needs to be in this direction to ensure that we have an Apple or a Google in this side of the equation. Continuous fishing for a short term solution has been the hallmark for b2b on the pretext of am excuse that businesses are dynamic. Are they really more dynamic than the ethnology adoption of today’s consumers using technological products in communications and entertainment?
A framework for product adoption for b2b and the resultant seamless communication flow where businesses start acting as individual consumers and then communities/tribes will be phenomenal.