I’ve been reading about a marketing theory called the Law of Diffusion of Innovation. Simon Sinek explains it really well in this video. He starts explaining it 11 minutes into his speech.
Basically, the theory says that if you want to be successful at getting the majority of the people to adopt your new idea or product, you should first find a way to get some hardcore followers; somewhere between 15% and 18% of the market.
The theory separates the people into five categories: The innovators (2.5%), the early adopters (13.5%), the early majority (34%), the late majority (34%), and the laggers (16%).
The innovators and early adopters (16% total) are the ones that are willing to try something new and be the first ones to do so. He uses the example of those that stood in line to get the first iPhone, knowing they would be able to walk right into the store and get one a week or so later. For them it wasn’t just about the iPhone. It was about something much more important to them. It was about being among the first to get it.
The early and late majority, on the other hand, don’t want to try something unless other people have tried it first.
The point Simon is making is that if you want the majority to buy your product…if you want your idea to spread throughout society, all you need to do is convince between 15% and 18% of the people and your ideas will explode. In order to do that, you have to give those early adopters and innovators a reason to be hardcore supporters. You have to find the people that truly believe in the same things you believe. You have to find the ones with the passion for your ideas. The rest will follow.
I think this theory explains very well, the story of Ron Paul. Those innovators and early adopters were those who stood by him in 2007-2008, when the other candidates and the media were laughing at him, and dismissing him as a kook. Not only were his hardcore supporters not manipulated by the techniques the media used to undermine him, but deep down, they liked it, for they knew they were part of something special that the rest of the country just didn’t quite understand yet. But they did, and the more the others did to ridicule Dr. Paul, the more passionately they were willing to fight to get his message heard.
The problem was that there weren’t enough early adopters back then. The message just couldn’t spread fast enough to reach the tipping point before the primaries. But Ron Paul still won. The party is now talking about the things he’s been talking about for thirty years. Candidates are actually being asked about the Federal Reserve, in the debates. What a difference four years can make! Ron’s ideas have reached enough people that politicians have started to change their tune. After all, most of them believe their job is simply to keep their job, and in order to do that, they have to pretend to understand the concerns of the voters.
This is a different time now. Many polls have Ron Paul at around 10% and some as high as 15% in the early primary states. And unlike 2007, Ron Paul has money and he knows how to use it. Most of the money he received in 2007 came too late in the process to make a difference. In 2007, his campaign didn’t expect to receive the kind of support that it did, and based on some of the ads that they put out, many questioned whether Ron was just running an educational campaign.
It’s 2011. The economic crisis has vindicated Paul. He has the money. The ads the campaign has been putting out this time have been flawless. His numbers keep steadily rising. There are many who admit they would vote for him as long as others are also willing to do so. If Ron Paul can reach that tipping point…if he can convince just a few more voters, it just might happen. The Ron Paul Revolution’s membership will explode. The early and late majority will no longer feel he’s not popular enough to support.
The question is though, can the Paul campaign do this despite the media bias against him? Unless you actually watch the entire debates, it would be hard for you to know that Ron Paul was there. He never makes the debate highlights which I’m sure many rely on to find out how the debates went. A study came out recently that showed Paul is the candidate that gets the least amount of news coverage despite many polls having him in third place. Another study came out that showed Paul is the candidate that gets the least amount of face time in the debates. He was virtually tied with Bachmann in the very important Iowa Straw Poll, and was basically ignored, while Cain is pushed after having won a much smaller straw poll in Florida.
Will that tipping point be reached in time? Will he be able to convince enough voters to get the rest to join in? I think it is very possible. One thing is for sure though. For those early adopters, it was never about Ron Paul, but about his ideas, and those ideas are not going anywhere. Those ideas are what this country was founded upon. The people are just being reminded of them. That tipping point will be reached whether Ron Paul is there or not. The only question is, will it happen before it’s too late?
- Rand Paul Proves He is Serious About Liberty by Endorsing Romney
- Ron Paul Never Got Any Bills Passed? Good.
- What Happened in the Virgin Islands? Did Ron Paul Win or Did Romney?
- Is Ron Paul Gunning for VP?
- How the Original Tea Party is Co-Opting the Establishment