This is a group of folks you really should get to know. Canada's 3.8 million early adopters* are the sort of people who line up to buy the latest iPad and scoop their friends to try that terrific new bistro. That makes them an enticing target market for anyone selling a new product. Even better, not only are early adopters receptive to new offerings, they like to spread the word about their discoveries.

You might assume that early adopters consist of young singles who flock to whatever's new and hot. In fact, they're most highly concentrated among married people aged 35 to 54. Early adopters skew somewhat upscale: their average household income of $95,000 is 11% higher than that for all households. (Except as noted, all data are from Environics Analytics.) Most strikingly, immigrants, visible minorities (foreign- or Canadian-born) and urban Quebecers are much more likely than Canadians as a whole to be early adopters.

To advertise to these lovers of the new, choose your media carefully. Data from PMB PRIZMC2Link show that early adopters are average consumers of newspapers, and light to medium consumers of radio and TV. But this highly urban group is 32% above average in public-transit usage, and so likelier to see transit ads.

Early adopters also are wired and influential. They're 23% more likely than the average Canadian to be heavy Internet users, and they're big users of social media sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare. And they like to spread the word about new stuff, being 13% more likely to rate or review products online every day-just the spark needed to ignite a new product.

* They agree with these statements in Environics Research's Social values survey: "I like to be immediately informed of new products and services so that I can use them" and "It's important to me to try new products, new places for vacation or new foods, just for the pleasure of the novelty."

Produced by PROFIT in partnership with Environics Analytics. Infographic by Glenn Taylor.

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