Growth is difficult, and the landscape is littered with failed attempts. There are many growth opportunities a company can pursue, with some being more successful than others. All of them need to be carefully evaluated before a strategy is created and pursued. A critical component of that evaluation is determining the attractiveness of a market.
Why do companies need to assess a market as part of evaluating a growth opportunity? The main problems we take up for clients that come to us with a market assessment need are:
- Expansion into new geographies
- Acquisitions in new markets
- Understanding competitive landscapes
- Spotting innovation opportunities
- Targeting a new customer segment
Expanding into new geographies can be a great source of new growth. But each country has its own unique situations that must be considered. Is the market large enough to be attractive? What are the main channels to reach customers? Are there protectionist laws in place? Does the country have a corruption problem? What new competitors will you face?
Making an acquisition in a new market is another avenue to growth. But first you need to figure you if the market is an attractive one to enter. How big is it? Is the market growing? What is the forecast? Is there an 800 lb. gorilla you will have to steal market share from? These and other questions must be answered to determine if a market is attractive enough to enter via acquisition.
Perhaps you’ve recently entered a market and now you need to get your competitive strategy worked out. Who are the main competitors you need to worry about? How did the leaders achieve and maintain their leading positions? What trends are impacting the market and how are the competitors acting (or reacting) to those impacts? How are customers reacting to those trends or creating new trends?
Spotting innovation opportunities requires investigating customers, trends, competitors, and other areas. Understanding what is happening in the market where you are trying to innovate is another area to consider. What are the trends influencing the market? How are competitors leveraging those trends? What new products are being launched and how are those trying to connect to trends? Are certain segments of the market growing faster than others?
Lastly, pushing a capability out to grow into new customer segments also requires an understanding of the market. Let’s say you developed a great solution for a particular customer, but you then realize people in markets you don’t serve today could benefit from it as well. You need to understand what those markets look like. Are they attractive to enter? What customers will benefit from your solution? Does your solution have a competitive advantage over existing solutions?
All these situations demand a solid understanding of a market, and our clients come to us every day asking us to educate them so they can make informed, fact-based decisions. Go to our website to learn more about Market Assessments from ENGINE’s Accelerated Intelligence service. Already have a strong understanding of a market but need other help? ENGINE can do deep dives on competitors to inform the development of your competitive strategy. Need to determine if your brand or solution can extend into a new market? ENGINE can show you how your brand stacks up to competitors, if you have the right to play, and if your solution has a competitive advantage. Trying to figure out how to acquire customers in a new market? ENGINE’s creative, digital ad placement, and customer experience solutions will give you the tools to acquire and keep new customers. Learn more at www.enginegroup.com.
About the Author
Brian Reuter is Senior Vice President of Engine’s Accelerated Intelligence Service and Expert Engine. At Engine, Brian specializes in evaluating new opportunities for Engine Insights and Engine Insights clients. Starting as a Research Analyst, Brian worked his way up to Vice President and currently is leading Engine Insights’ Accelerated Intelligence practice. Brian manages a team that effectively leverages published information and expert insight to enable clients to make fact based decisions on innovation opportunities, competitive environments, new markets, trends, and customer insights. Brian is known for client-focused business development, marketing, and research design. He has developed and implanted overall business unit strategies for sales process improvement, marketing, client experience improvement, staff skills development, process and productivity improvement, and adjacent market growth. Brian was promoted to his first director-level position for continual initiative in expanding his assigned role of researcher to full project development and management. That type of motivation, paired with creative process improvement, has defined his entire career.
If you’d like to talk to Brian about how you can integrate trends into your strategy, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.