The Adoption process in marketing [5 Stages With Examples]

This article won’t only be about consumer adoption process in marketing . But will also entail details like simple ways to promote a product which is beneficial to business owners and marketers.

Therefore if you think you’ll like to know of some methods to getting more customers and keeping them happy, you should consider reading on. But if not, I have prepared a pretty straight forward version on this topic for those who are not interested in marketing. You can navigate to the summary version of this article on 5 stages of consumer adoption process by clicking here . Trust me you would loved it.

Having said that, let’s now move forward to the reason you are here.

However, before we go into the business of the day I would like to share the meaning of some key terms in this article…

  • Consumer (Who is a consumer?)
  • Adoption process (What is adoption process in marketing)

Who is consumer?

A consumer can be defined as an individual who buy goods to satisfy personal needs / wants or that of his organization. In summary , a consumer is the end user of a product.

What is adoption process in marketing?

The adoption process in marketing can be defined as the series of stages which a potential consumer go through when deciding whether or not to buy or purchase a new product.

In summary , adoption process is the series of stages consumer go through before actually purchasing or rejecting a product.

Note: The product might have been around for a while but because the consumer had no idea of it, it is therefore perceived as a new product.

Therefore if you intend to know the various learning stages consumer go through before buying a product or rejecting it, you’re in the right place.

Consumer Adoption Process In Marketing.

The 5 Stages To Consumer Adoption Proces s in Marketing

Stage 1:  Awareness.

Awareness is the stage of being conscious of something (product); or having knowledge about something.

  • In this stage, the consumer is just aware or knows about the existence of a product. But lacks enough knowledge about the product or service to actually patronize it immediately.

For example, It was just of recent I learnt one can actually go to school online and be offered a real certificate. After conducting a few research, I got to know that such program has been around for a while now. In all the years I wasn’t aware of such schooling opportunity, there’s no way I would have thought of enrolling; And now that I am aware, I’m likely to try it out.

  • What I want you to understand here is that getting to know that something (product or service) exist is the first stage in consumer adoption process in marketing. And this is because a consumer can’t adopt or buy something he has zero / no knowledge about. In other words, end users cant purchase what doesn’t exist to them or are unaware of.

This is the stage marketers spend millions of dollars in making sure their product or service is known by their target audience. This is because they understand that demands can’t occur without awareness.

Below are some of the ways consumers becomes aware of various products.

  • Social media

Examples of social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wechat, whatsapp etc.

Marketers are aware of the increase in the usage of social media globally in the 21st century; And they are leveraging this platforms to create awareness about their product or service. Facebook has exposed millions of individuals to a lot of things…

I was going through my feeds one day on Facebook when I saw the online schooling advert I talked about earlier. And it was also on Facebook I got to know of a device called power bank you can actually use to charge your mobile phone when there’s power failure.

Therefore as a marketer, you should consider creating awareness for your product on social media.

  • Commercials: it’s an advertisement in a common media format usually radio or television.

I started blogging two years ago; and that’s was because I saw a T.v commercial on ways you can make money online while at home in which blogging was on the list. If it wasn’t for that commercial, perhaps I wouldn’t have known a thing about blogging.

In essence, radio and television advertisement are sure ways consumers becomes aware of various products. Therefore I’ll advice you adopt this strategy as a marketer by getting your products aired (advertised) on radio or television.

  • Word of mouth: This is a method of creating awareness which involves verbal means of passing information about a product or service. Consumers becomes aware of something (products or services) when someone tells or talks to them about it.

I was aware of hair creams, I mean different types of hair creams. But there was a time I wanted to boost my hair rapidly and didn’t know what to do or what to use. I was in a conversation with a guy at a football viewing center who suggested a particular brand of hair cream that enhances hair growth after talking to him about me wanting to boost my hair. Thanks to word of mouth, that was how I became aware of that product.

As a marketer, I’ll advice you gather a few persons around where your target audience are located to help spread the news of your product. Trust me it works.

Other sources of consumers awareness are

  • Magazines advertisement ( you can leverage this by paying for your product to be advertised on a popular magazine.
  • Newspaper (the same method for magazine advert goes for newspapers. Just make the brand has lots of readers or customers.
  • Website advertisement
  • Billboard adverts
  • Etc

In summary, awareness is the first stage of consumer adoption process in marketing. And it’s all about an end user (consumer) getting to know about a new product but lacks enough details about it.

Stage 2: Interest

  • After being aware of a product or service a consumer think can satisfy him, he would want to know more about such product or service by seeking more information about it. And that’s basically what the second stage of the consumer adoption process is about.
  • In other words, interest is the stage the consumer seeks more information about a product he’s aware of because he’s interested in it.

I now know there’s an online schooling platform that works, now this is stage I seek more information about it to know what I’m getting into.

Another example.

A few months back, I heard a commercial on radio about an android phone with an installed app called the YouTube Go app . With this app, you can actually watch and save YouTube videos to share with friends when necessary. I thought the app was cool so i searched online to gather some information about the phone. All I did was type the phone’s name + specifications like this “ itel x specifications” . That’s me seeking more information about a product because I’m interested in it.

Below are some of the ways consumers gets more information about a product.

  • Product package: A package simply means a container or rapper used to cover a product. A fancy product is good because it can interest consumers to want to know more about the product. And by checking the rapper or container of the product, the consumer can get to know what the product is all about or it’s contents.

For example, if you’re the type avoiding fat, you can check the container of that food or drink you’ll like to consume to know the fat percentage. The Information will enable you determine the level, amount or quantity you should buy and consume daily or weekly.

As a marketer you can also provide your customer care details on the package of your product. Something like a website, social media details etc. One which customers can visit to complain, give reviews or drop suggestions the product.

  • Reviews (it’s the feedback of a product from consumers who have patronized such product or service.

Note: Reviews can be offline or online.

It’s online when a consumer seeks information about the product on the internet maybe having searched the product via search engines like google bing etc. And it’s offline when the consumer decides to seek information about the product from individuals around; could be family members or friends, neighbors etc.

In situations whereby a consumer would like to purchase products like mobile phones, cars, chargers and other gadgets, reviews be it online or offline plays an important role. Therefore as a marketer, you should make sure your products has good reviews and this can be achieved by creating or promoting quality.

In a nutshell, Interest is the second stage of the consumer adoption process in marketing whereby a consumer seeks more information about a product; or wants to know more about a product by searching online or by getting the information offline by checking the product package, asking about it from individuals around etc.

Before buying a book, or that suit/dress for prom, expensive mobile phone, new house, mouth wash etc; Consumers would like to know a few details like the cost, where to purchase, its size etc.

In addition, this stage is like getting to know more about someone you just met. You can either go online to gather information about the individual via social media or ask a few persons around the neighborhood. Hope you got it now.

Stage 3: Evaluation.

  • After the consumer had successfully sought and found some information about the product, this is the stage they now decide if buying the product is the right thing to do or not.
  • During evaluation, consumers uses all of the information they’ve gathered about a product to judge the product.

Below are some of the key factors in product evaluation done by consumers marketers and business owners should be aware of.

  • Price: This is the amount or cost placed on a particular product. During product evaluation in a consumer adoption process, the cost / amount needed to purchase that product is always a major factor.

What’s the cost of the product? Because they can’t possibly buy something beyond their purchase power or out of their budget, consumers tend to evaluate a product based on its price value to know how much it will cost them.

For example, as at the time the latest iPhone was launched, I gathered the price of one iPhone is equivalent to a plot of land or two in some areas in my country. And that was why I decided to trash the idea of buy it and opted for an Android phone.

The point here is that just like me, other customers will always evaluate a product based on its price. So make sure your price is affordable by your target audience.

  • Place

Consumers are likely to buy a product that is closer to them than that which is far away. What I mean is an end user is like to purchase a product that available at a nearby store than that which is miles away. That’s why question like where can I even get this product pops up during product evaluation.

For example let say you gathered the new mouthwash you’re interested in will require you travel from Chicago to New York whenever you need it; you’d surely lose interest in such a product.

And that’s how it is really – Consumers will always consider the accessibility of a product when evaluating it. Therefore as a marketer or business owner make sure your products is close or even closer to your target audience. They shouldn’t have to go through hell to get it.

  • Qualities:

This shouldn’t come has a surprise, consumers will always want to know those special features a product has that differentiates it from others. As a marketer or a business owner, what makes your product stand out? What are those attributes your product has that similar ones don’t have?.

For example, let’s say Mr Chan is using a with the following specs – 16gb ram, and 1 terabyte Rom. Someone like is 90% likely to ignore other p.c’s with equal or lesser qualities.

This is because consumers are always looking for something better than whats currently available. Therefore the quality or qualities a product posses is a major factor during product evaluation in a consumer adoption process in marketing.

  • Quantity .

In as much as consumers value quality, they also appreciate quantity. This is because they would like to enjoy a product for as long as possible after purchasing it.

True life experience: I asked my sister to help me with a pack of coke on her way back from her trip. Upon her arrival, I was surprised when she handed me a pack of Bigi Cola (B. Cola) a similar product to coke. According to her there’s no difference in the quality (taste) of Coca Cola and Bigi Cola and Bigi Cola had more quantity. Moreover the Bigi Cola product with more quantity and same quality as coke was being sold for ₦100 while Coca Cola was ₦150. Which would you have bought?

The point is she evaluated the products based in their price quality and quantity and that’s what I want you to understand. And as a marketer you also consider all of the above.

In summary, evaluation is the third stage in a consumer adoption process in marketing ; and it’s all about a consumer considering if or whether the product will make sense when purchased. Be aware that the qualities of the product, price, place and it quantity plays key roles in the product evaluation.

Stage 4: Trial.

This stage in the consumer adoption in marketing doesn’t require much talk.

  • It is simply the stage where the consumer buys the product in small quantity / small scale to determine if it’s worth purchasing in large quantity.
  • The trial purchase or sample of the product will determine if the consumer will buy more of the product overtime.

An individual trying a new mouthwash is like to buy that product in small to actually determine it’s value.

The reason for that is because the consumer wants to have that self experience of the product.

  • The consumer wouldn’t want to make the mistake of purchasing in large and end up not liking the product. That’s why providing samples samples of your product to consumers is always a welcome idea. Now that’s all on the 4th stage of consumer adoption process in marketing.

Stage 5: Adoption (product purchase)

Here, consumer decides to buy the product after due consideration of all of the above stages.

In essence, the adoption stage is the last and final stage in the consumer adoption process in marketing ; and it’s in this stage the consumer decides to buy in large quantity and make full regular use of the product.

if after buying the product on trial the consumer gets to like it, this is the stage they purchase in large quantity and start using frequently.

  • Firstly as a marketer or business owner, it’s at this stage you need to make the payment process easy for the end user.
  • Secondly you should also make sure you maintain transparency in the price or cost of your product in cases of home delivery. What I mean is, make sure your customers are aware beforehand in situations where they’ll be extra charges during home deliveries.
  • lastly, you should endeavor to provide tips on how to use your products for maximum satisfaction or for best results.

If you’re into mouthwash you can always advice your customers to brush with it day and night for best results.

For products that requires installing, you can provide a manual or guide to help consumers have a clear understanding on how to do the installations themselves. While your contact details or that of an agent who can help out should be provided in situations where the consumer might need assistance.

Also See:

Final words.

In as much as the adoption process in marketing is very important and useful, there are some cases where it’s not needed.

For example, let say your mum asked you to buy her something; in cases like this the consumer adoption process is needless because you wouldn’t have to go through all of the above process. All you to do go is go a nearby store and get what she wants for her.

Answer the question below before you go…

Based on your knowledge or experience, which of the adoption process is most important in marketing and why?

Share your thoughts via the comment section.

Agabi Godwin

Authored by Agabi Godwin. A marketing student with a passion for writing and business. Life motto: Plant trees under whose shade you do not plant to sit. Don't let criticism get to your heart ♥ and don't let compliments get to your head.


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