Who Is Investing in Radio Frequency Identification Today?

Last week, we published “The RFID Marketer’s Handbook: Smart Strategies for Finding Potential Buyers and Converting Them Into Customers,” a follow-up to our 2009 marketing report. For each, we surveyed more than 200 current and potential end users of radio frequency identification technologies, and then analyzed news stories we have published about RFID deployments, as well as data regarding the more than 90,000 registered users of RFID Journal.

Our reason for publishing these reports is simple: We want to offer RFID solution providers the information they need to better understand the types of companies investing in RFID today, as well as how they obtain data and make decisions. Armed with this information, we believe, RFID technology providers will be able to better market to potential customers and have a message that is more likely to resonate with those customers.

The “RFID Marketer’s Handbook” leverages insights based on Geoffrey Moore’s technology adoption life cycle. After we published the 2009 report, Mike Shiff, at RFID Recruiters, encouraged me to read Moore’s books, including Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado. RFID Recruiters also sponsored a webinar featuring Moore speaking about the RFID adoption life cycle.

What I learned is that the vast majority of companies are led by pragmatists who will not invest in a technology until it is mature and has been proven by others (or, using Moore’s term, until RFID has crossed the chasm). This has profound implications for how to market RFID. Indeed, RFID Journal has adjusted its marketing strategy during the past couple of years as a result.

The “RFID Marketer’s Handbook” explains the technology adoption life cycle—and where the RFID industry is on the adoption curve today. It provides a great deal of information about the companies that are investing—how they get interested in RFID, how long they research the technology, where they get information, who is involved in RFID purchasing decisions and how those decisions are made.

Of course, some RFID technology providers believe they have the correct marketing strategy and will thus ignore this report. And they’ll likely continue making marketing decisions that yield a lot of business cards but little business. I have already seen firms with good technology fail because they didn’t connect with the few people interested in adopting RFID today—yhey were too busy chasing all those who won’t invest until the technology becomes mainstream.

I am certain the companies that understand the technology adoption life cycle and embrace the approaches we outline for marketing will gain more leads—and convert more of those leads into business. I know these strategies have worked for us, and for solution providers already using them.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.