Achieving Sustainable Growth Through Adjacent Markets: Putting It All Together

In the fourth post of our blog post series, ENGINE’s Brian Reuter and Linda Shea addressed “Relatedness to Your Core,” based on a webinar that ENGINE Insights recently hosted, “Achieving Sustainable Growth Through Adjacent Markets.”

In our fifth and last post in this series, Brian & Linda will take you through the last part of this webinar, “Putting It All Together.”

Brian Reuter:

So let’s just run through everything really, really quickly to refresh your memory about what we talked about today in terms of how to evaluate the attractiveness of these opportunities. Linda, can you give us that high level overview again?

Linda Shea:

Sure. We’ve talked about these three criteria and just a couple of highlights when we think about each of them. From a market attractiveness standpoint, it’s pretty simple. The questions are, is it big enough? Is the space growing now and is it forecasted to grow? Within the criteria of customer appeal and acceptance, certainly you want to make sure you understand who that target is. Particularly don’t assume it’s at your existing customers that they will accept your brand for your new solution.

So not only understanding the target, but understanding how well the offer or solution is received. Its acceptance level, the interest level, the buy intentions, and certainly permission to play in the space and to do so relative to the competition. Then last but not least, relatedness to the cores, it’s pretty simple. You can create a list of similarities and a list of differences relative to your core business.

If you walk away from creating those two lists, and you have more similarities, you’ve got a shorter term, probably higher probability, with greater chance for success opportunity in front of you. If your list of differences is longer, you probably have something that’s going to be a bit more challenging. May not exactly fit in the category of an adjacency, might look like something that is really more of a new market for your business and it might be something that perhaps someone else in your organization, maybe those that look at new ventures, or the types of individuals or the teams that really should investigate and determine whether or not it’s a good move forward. So hopefully that gives you some quick highlights. Brian, I know you’re going to wrap it up.

Brian Reuter:

Yeah, so let’s just kind of put it all in perspective now. So once you’ve completed your analysis of the opportunity the way we just described today, you’re ready to make a call on it. So what I’m getting at there is you don’t have to necessarily do everything. You don’t have to do all three steps that we talked about, evaluate the market attractiveness, customer appeal and the relatedness to your core.

If you’ve looked at the market attractiveness and determined, hey, this market just isn’t big enough or it’s not growing enough or it’s not profitable enough, kill it, move on to the next thing. There’s no, that you have to do every single thing that we described here, but these are the criteria that needs to be understood. So if the market looks attractive, then definitely dig into the customer aspect, et cetera.

The key to this thing is to develop a rigorous repeatable process with defined criteria. So you need to sit down with your team and determine what are the criteria we can all agree upon that make a market attractive or that make an opportunity attractive, and always gather that same information every time you’re looking at an opportunity. That way, it takes a lot of the emotion out of the process. It’ll take the strong personalities that just want to push for something they just happened to like.

If you have that criteria there, you can all agree on it, then you’ve got a fact based decision process. Then also define the process that you’re going to use, who’s going to be involved internally? Where are we going to get our data from? Who’s going to gather the information, who’s going to make decisions, that sort of thing, get that process defined. It’s important to stick to that as you go through it as I said before, so that you are able to compare apples with apples, oranges with oranges, as things go on.

If you don’t, if you kind of do a mishmash sort of from the hip kind of approach, you’re going to fall back into making decisions by gut or by people from personalities and that sort of thing. Like any other business process that you have, you should regularly examine and say, is this the best way? After we’ve done this a few times have we found improvements we can make to make it faster or to make it a more precise evaluation? Is there new or different data sources we can tap into?

Always look for ways to improve the process. The more times you go through it, the better at it that you’re going to get. So that kind of puts things into perspective overall, and to kind of bring it home and talk about the things you need to do to get the whole process of working together within.

Thanks for joining us today for this discussion about adjacent markets. If you have any questions, please contact Linda or I. If you’d like to have Linda or I or both of us conduct this webinar for a group internally at your company, we’d love to come in. We can customize the discussion around your individual business and needs. Thanks for joining us today for the webinar and I hope everybody has a great week.

Linda Shea:Thank you.

If you’re interested in listening to the full webinar recording, you can find it here.

Want to learn more about how you can achieve sustainable growth through adjacent markets? Contact us now!

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