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The importance of fan engagement and adoption – part 1

Normally I’d start by extolling the value of Tappit’s cashless system – but we’ve got plenty of other blogs highlighting all the advantages. One of the questions that we see regularly is about how to engage fans and ultimately get them to adopt the product. It’s incredibly important to get this right, so here are our tips for delivering great engagement and adoption.


First of all, you need to decide if you’re going to go 100% cashless. If you do decide to go 100%, you’ll find that fans will get on board quickly, but can do so begrudgingly. You have to make sure your fans are ready and prepared for the experience and then move them through the transition with over-communication. People are naturally cautious of change and going 100% cashless can exacerbate this feeling. Going 100% will allow you to take advantage of the benefits cashless provides, but does require an extensive roll out plan.


If you’re not going 100% cashless and are instead looking to phase the roll out, then this is where fan engagement and adoption become really important. First of all, you’ll still need to think about communication, but in this instance, your goal is to drive adoption.


In start-up circles, you’ll quickly hear about the adoption curve and crossing the chasm. To save time here it is in a handy image:

Innovators and early adopters make up 16% of your audience, with 34% sitting in the early majority. The trick is to cross from the first 10% of users to 20%+, and then the rest follows via momentum. You’ll need to hit 30% of your audience for the adoption to be classed as “mass market”. To give a real life example, smartphones hit 30% adoption in early 2012, look where we are now.


Your aim is to create engagement to get the early adopters (about 12% of your audience) completely on board. There’s no point in marketing to the innovators – they will use cashless regardless. For the early adopters you need to provide them added value to make usage so beneficial that there is no question as to whether or not they should use cashless, and then make sure they know about it. 


In this phased approach we like to suggest a two season approach. When you first start your comms you’re talking to your early adopter exclusively. Strong incentives include things like a 5% discount on all purchases, free items (good ones, no one wants random energy drinks), and money-can’t-buy experiences (these need to be en masse, not for the few). You are paying to get those early adopters on board. Once you hit the magic 20% figure (it may be early in  the season), you’ll want to switch to a more sustainable incentive. Once you’ve got that vital 20% onboard and active you can switch to loyalty points. If you haven’t got a loyalty program, get it done. All purchases under the original promotion can accrue points (so people see this additional benefit), then once you’ve got an engaged user base you switch to “double points” rather than the more costly free items or discounts. 


Fans will see quickly that using cashless is so beneficial to their experience that they’ll use the system anyway – and you’ll have mass market adoption. In the next part of this blog we’ll go over some examples of bigger brand engagement.


Read part two here.

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