Successful market communication across the Chasm and in the Bowling Alley

Startups need to develop a tactical market communications plan to successfully cross the Chasm and enter the Bowling Alley

Note that the complexity of the marketing communications topic makes it too broad to cover in one article. This article of one of a series of six that covers the field of marketing communication. The full list of the titles in this series includes:

  • Marketing communication overview —outlines the basic marketing communication concepts and provides the foundation for rest of the series
  • Positioning —discusses the ins and outs and importance of claiming the most attractive position in your customer’s mind
  • Marketing message —provides the framework for planning your marketing message throughout the technology adoption lifecycle (TALC)
  • Marketing to influencers and opinion leaders —describes the process and methods to develop word of mouth marketing in the marketplace
  • Market communication in the Early Market —focuses on how (and why) you should tailor your message for technology enthusiasts and visionaries
  • Market communication across the Chasm and in the Bowling Alley—explains the tactics that will help you cross the Chasm

In the mainstream market, the target audience consists of pragmatists. When you start to build your communication efforts, remember that pragmatists are skeptical and don’t care about products or technologies; rather, they concern themselves with markets and companies.

Your message should position your whole product in relation to the particular business problems that pragmatists consider a priority in their market segment.

In addition to changing the message for your changing audience, bear in mind that pragmatists seek different types of evidence through media very different from that of the Early Market.

Pragmatists are market-oriented and are guided by market validation rather than technology validation. They obtain this information primarily from respected industry sources such as industry analysts and publications.

Market communication beyond the Bowling Alley

With success, a company will grow beyond the Bowling Alley and reach the mass market. As this point, your marketing communication efforts must become more sophisticated. Therefore, they will require increased involvement from experts such as advertising agencies, PR firms and designers.


Wiefels, P. (2002). The Chasm Companion.New York: Harper Business.