Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Context Impacts High Tech Marketing

HBS professors Gary Pisano and Robert Huckman discuss the implications of their research on how organization adopt technology in an interview with Sara Grant, Publications Coordinator, HBS Working Knowledge.

They did their research in hospitals but the findings impact technology adoption in other industries. The key, it turns out, is surprise, surprise: context. The better we understand the social context we are marketing and selling to, the more successful we will be.

The HBS interview notes: “The key lesson for managers is to be aware of the social context, or environment, of their organizations and to understand what aspects of that context interact with the specific requirements of a given technology.“

More from the interview: “For example, if it is clear that a new technology transfers more responsibility from the leader of a team to the team's members, it is important to think about how that requirement meshes with the social context of the firm. This assessment of fit will help a manager determine whether the technology is incompatible with the social context of the organization and, as a result, should not be adopted. If the technology is compatible, it may be the case that it is appropriate only for particular groups or individuals within the firm. If a manager decides to adopt a new technology for only part of the organization, he or she will need to remain aware of how that decision may affect the relationship between formal or informal social groups within the firm."

The key in such situations is for high tech marketers is to use their knowledge of a prospect’s particular social context to prevent turf battles from hindering the adoption of technologies that would otherwise improve productivity.”

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