Moore states that it is the existence of the high tech products that allow the US to sustain its economic success. However, the concern that technology companies do not often get their marketing correct has led Moore to write Crossing the Chasm, by advising the approach they should be adopting. Moore’s confidence in writing Crossing the Chasm comes from numerous reviews of companies who either boast success or despair over failure.
High Tech Marketing Illusion and Enlightenment
In the initial chapters, Moore introduces the reader to the Technology Adoption Life Cycle (TALC) in detail and outlines how organisations who introduce discontinuous innovations (those products that require a change in behaviour), work their way through the cycle avoiding the cracks and the all important chasm.
Starting with the Innovators, a company has to work their way through the Life Cycle until finally reaching the Laggards. Each area of the TALC has to have its own strategy and it is imperative to enter and survive in each area before moving on to the next level.
Innovators (Techies) – this is the segment that will willingly seek out the product and accept its faults just to try it. Innovators are an essential test market and once on board will provide an essential reference for marketing to the Early Adopters.
Early Adopters (Visionaries) – they see the strategic opportunity in the product and are willing to outlay huge investments to buy into the offering but this brings with it the challenge of managing their “vision”. Ensuring that the offering is enough to satisfy demand without making a level of commitment that cannot be upheld is crucial to success.
Early Majority (Pragmatists) – pragmatists play the “wait and see” game. The keywords for this group are established, trustworthy and market leader. As the aim of the Pragmatists is to make incremental improvements, the product has to be perfect before they will buy in. However if this stage is reached, the chasm will have been crossed and the organisation will be well on the way to combating the next level.
Laggards (Skeptics) – Moore suggests that they should not be dismissed despite their negativity towards the high tech world as they can be used for continuous improvement. Skeptics don’t argue for the sake of it so companies need to listen to their feedback.
The D-Day Analogy
Target the Point of Attack
Moore refers to the niche market as the beachhead in continuation of his military theme. As data is at a minimum at this stage, the niche can be identified through scenario planning, checklists and assessments. This is about pooling the intuition of the company's resources, or in simple terms, brainstorming.
Assemble the Invasion Force
The Whole Product Model
Define the Battle - Remember your compass.
Launch the Invasion