4 Ways to Use the Tactical Innovator’s Market Map
Tactical innovators assess their environment through the lens of a Market Map and listen to needs through the voice of the customer, enabling a proactive response to any market change. I would argue that for every type of business, there are at least two paths to growth: (1) compete more effectively within existing segments or (2) identify new, high value segments where you can be successful. Here are four ways a Market Map will support either approach to increase revenue.
1. The Market Map Drives Market Sizing and Segmentation
As you know from my most recent post Market Maps = Better Product Decisions, the Market Map provides a structural view of the markets in which your products and services compete. This handy framework forces a logical assessment of the market informed by the various angles on which you compete. This, in turn, drives detailed customer segmentation for each of those angles and once compiled, results in a market taxonomy that lends itself perfectly as the structure for bottoms-up market sizing.
2. The Market Map and Product Roadmap Go Hand-in-Hand
With a Market Map it’s easy to see where your competitors are concentrated and what solutions hold their focus. Through this lens, gaps in your product portfolio will quickly become apparent. A Market Map can serve as an excellent vehicle to either validate or help you fine-tune your product development roadmap. In other words, the Market Map helps you be confident that you have made the correct decisions about where to invest so that you can compete successfully in an existing segment or expand into new segments.
3. The Market Map is Your Guide to Competitors’ Moves
The Market Map provides a framework to gather and organize data to drive tactical decisions in response to actions taken by your competitors. But do you truly understand the “why” behind these moves? For example, if a competitor acquires another company in your space, can you easily determine what they may have gained from the new product set or technology platform? Was the move motivated by the need to expand into a new part of the value-chain? The Market Map will shed light on these questions and help you come up with the right response to any move a competitor takes.
4. The Market Map Uncovers Partners or Acquisition Targets
Building new products from scratch may not be the best path to rapid growth in today’s fast-paced business environment. If acquisition or partnership is the answer, a well-constructed Market Map can narrow your search and highlight the best companies to consider. In this case, one of our manufacturing clients was interested in a new opportunity segment and realized the best path to market entry was indeed an acquisition. Together, we developed a Market Map that provided an informed, customized acquisition-screening filter to identify companies to investigate further.
Now that we’ve covered just four of the practical applications of the Market Map, stay tuned for future posts that pair this useful framework with the Voice of the Customer.