Market Engineering

The man behind the desk in the blue suit looked at me cynically. “So you are the one who is finally growing our business? With these words dripping with distrust, I was welcomed by the production manager. The company where I started that day had tried everything in the past years to achieve commercial success. Unfortunately, the promised new customers remained away. Several commercial managers had cut their teeth on this but all the marketing and sales plans had fallen through in the past few years. They had never been able to fulfill their fine promises. All the more annoying was that in the meantime their competitors had experienced solid growth. What I found was a vast graveyard of all kinds of well-intentioned initiatives and that all energy and drive had disappeared from the organization. How can you still achieve impressive growth from this apparently hopeless position?

A successful growth approach starts with entering potential new markets. A new market provides much more growth potential because otherwise organizations would have long since been able to extract growth from their existing markets. Market engineering is the tool of choice for growth. With this approach, you focus on various markets and not your product. To do so, you have to make a radical break with your current proposition (Target Group, Product and Distribution). You will have to embrace the realization that things really have to be different. Deviate from what your competitors are offering. For the coming success you will really have to think and act asymmetrically. This approach is about completely reconstructing your desired market, staying away from the choices that are apparently prevalent in your current market. 

The 8 steps of Market Engineering:

  1. Mapping of customer groups
  2. What problems do these customer groups experience?
  3. What should you offer to solve their problems?
  4. What is their habitat, where can you reach the target group?
  5. ALWAYS use new distribution channels
  6. What are the new competitors in this market?
  7. Build a proposition for the most promising customer group(s) and associated distribution channels
  8. Create a credible, coherent and consistent story, claim your place!

Market Engineering never starts with advertising or other communication tools because a new corporate identity, colors, logos really do not bring in new customers, stronger they lead your organization away from the growth objectives.   

Download this free tools for growth: Business Model Canvas, Jobs to be Done (JTBD) Canvas and Sales Sprint Canvas.

Ruud Olijve

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