Are You an Early Adopter of Technology or a Laggard?

By Kelsey Rosauer on July 6, 2017 in Technology

Are You an Early Adopter of Technology or a Laggard?

How quickly do you adopt new technology?

In a survey conducted by Agency Revolution, 96% of insurance agencies said they were worried that “the world is changing faster than their agency”. Technology is without a doubt the way for agencies to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of insurance. It isn’t the only way, but it plays a major role. However, insurance agencies haven’t historically been the quickest to adopt new technology, though many are now increasing their budgets for technology.

Each agency is made up of several individuals, each who adopt to technology differently and at their own pace. However, individuals of each generation tend to belong to a similar technology adoption group. So, what kind of technology adopter are you?

The 5 Types of Technology Adopters

There are 5 types of technology adopters. Study.com describes them using a fictional product, the “Anti-Gravity Belt” as an example:

  • Innovators - Venturesome; although they make up a very small part of the total market, innovators play a very important role. They are interested in anything new, and are quick to adopt new and innovative products. Innovators knew about the Anti-Gravity Belt months before it was introduced and paid a high price to be among the first to have this new product.
  • Early adopters - Young and restless; early adopters are opinion leaders. They pay attention to what the innovators have discovered and find a practical use for the innovation. They then communicate to their followers the usefulness of the new product. They play a very important role by influencing the attitude and changing the behavior of the later adopters. An early adopter who is a house painter learned about the Anti-Gravity Belt from an innovator and bought one to help him paint ceilings. He told all his colleagues how much easier and faster he could paint high places with his new Anti-Gravity Belt.
  • Early majority - Value shoppers; the early majority carefully observe the early adopters, but wait to adopt innovative products until they are sure they will get value from them. The early majority will only adopt a new product if they are sure the new product will provide usefulness to their lives - and not be a waste of their time and money. Two years after the Anti-Gravity Belt is invented, a member of the early majority hears about the new product from the guy painting his house. Still, the early majority waits until he has also seen advertising and read an article in the paper about the benefits of the Anti-Gravity Belt before he adopts the product.
  • Late majority - Skeptics; the late majority wait until an innovation has been accepted by a majority of consumers and the price has dropped to adopt the new product. The late majority typically adopt innovative products because they feel as if everyone else is doing it. Five years after the Anti-Gravity Belt is invented, a member of the late majority buys an Anti-Gravity Belt because his son tells him he wants one so that he can play basketball with all his friends who already have one.
  • Laggards - Traditionalists; laggards are the very last group to adopt a new product. Laggards are content with what they have, and they adopt new products unenthusiastically and only because they feel as if they have to. Ten years after the Anti-Gravity Belt is invented, the government mandates that anyone who climbs a ladder must wear an Anti-Gravity Belt. Because they have been forced to do so, laggards will then adopt the new product.

Which one sounds like you?

I took a quiz to find out to see if I’m an “early adopter”, and the quiz confirmed what I already knew: I am an early adopter. This doesn’t surprise me at all; most young people are early adopters according to Pew Research.

But the average age of insurance agents is over 50—is this you? If so, what are you doing to make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest technology in your industry?

If you aren’t an early adopter, don’t get down on yourself. Many argue there are actually downsides to being an early adopter, like disappointment when a hyped up product isn’t what you expect. But, you also can’t sit on the fence forever when it comes to using technology that will better your business; otherwise, your agency will fall further behind its competitors.

You see, however you adopt technology as an individual definitely plays a role in how you’ll pick new tech for your agency, but buying technology solutions for an entire business is much different than making a personal tech purchase. It usually requires more research and testing of different solutions to make a final decision. And this all takes time; the sooner you begin your search, the sooner your business can begin realizing the benefits.

The key is to identify what needs the most improvement in your agency, and focus there. Is your customer service lacking? Is disorganization of client and prospect data driving you crazy? Are you spending way too much time processing commissions?

If you answered yes to any of these, it’s likely that you need a better way to manage your book-of-business. Whether you’re wanting to automate some client communications or save time processing and tracking commissions, it all begins with your data.

AgencyBloc is an agency management system that helps life and health insurance agencies grow their business with an industry-specific CRM, commissions processing, and integrated business and marketing automation.

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Kelsey Rosauer
Kelsey Rosauer

Kelsey is the Marketing Brand Specialist at AgencyBloc. She plans and creates educational resources to help our customers organize, automate & grow their insurance agency. Favorite quote: "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." —Charles R. Swindoll  More articles

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