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In the 1940s it was first noted that the adoption of agricultural innovations tended to follow a normal type distribution. Rogers (1964) articulated this process and classified farmers into five groups according to their speed of adoption: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Further, Rogers noted that speed of adoption tended to be a function of wealth, age, education, risk preference, sensitivity to social pressure and organizational memberships. This adoption-diffusion model has important marketing implications. If the model holds, the optimal strategy for encouraging adoption is to develop a marketing strategy that will encourage the innovators and early adopters to being using the product, who will then influence others to imitate them, as they tend to be opinion leaders in the community. However, the adoption-diffusion model was originally developed to explain the adoption of technologies such as hybrid corn, where adoption is relatively costless. Modern technologies can be quite different, involving sizeable expenditures in equipment, infrastructure or human capital, and/or involving large additional commitments of time. In this study, the relevance of Rogers (1964) adoption diffusion model is investigated for a new modern technology “Irrigator Pro”, which is a computer based irrigation-scheduling software developed by the US Department of Agriculture. For this technology, the market segments with the greatest propensity to adopt Irrigator Pro were found to be different to those that would be predicted using the traditional adoption-diffusion model.


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