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Where are you and your organisation right now with your marketing?

Organizations occupy any one of four positions of influence within their marketplace, and can move between positions:

  • organizations that lead/create their marketplace
  • organizations that are led by/respond to their marketplace
  • organizations that do both
  • organizations that do neither
  • organizations that lead/create their marketplace

Pharmaceutical companies spend years and vast sums on researching and developing new pills and potions, often for ailments we didn’t even know we could suffer from. Then they spend more money on marketing the new product without knowing for sure that it will find a marketplace…

Think also of manufacturers of high value home electronics –  TVs, dvd players, home entertainment centres and similar. They, too, spend considerable time and money in developing and marketing some new technical gizmo, in hopes that sufficient numbers of “must have the latest toy” trendies will generate enough sales to make the exercise financially worthwhile.

At this point, at the point at which they introduce the new product, they lead/create the marketplace… because there was no marketplace, no customers, for their new product before they introduced it. They created the marketplace. And as a result (to begin with, at least) they have a monopoly in the marketplace.

Meanwhile, their competitors wait and see if there are sufficient numbers of customers for the new product. And if there are, they rush to bring out their own very similar rival product. Which makes them…

  • organizations that are led by/respond to their marketplace:

The organization that originally led/created the marketplace loses its monopoly as competitors bring out their own very similar product. Indeed, the marketplace becomes crowded. So, competitors seek to differentiate their rival product with some addition or feature that distinguishes it from the rest and gives it an edge in the marketplace.

When they introduce their rival product with its addition or feature, which no-one else has, customers of the original product may switch to the new improved product and/or the new product might attract a whole bunch of brand new customers… a new marketplace.

Meaning that organizations that were led by their marketplace and introduced a new product as a result… now become…

  • organizations that lead/create their marketplace:

The cycle is repeated over and over again in all kinds of product/service sectors, and the companies involved become, therefore…

  • organizations that do both

… until the next time they introduce a product/enhancement/improvement that puts them back in to a position where they lead/create their marketplace. Organisations that do both are not to be confused with…

  • organizations that do neither:

Many organizations, many enterprises, neither lead nor follow the marketplace. They provide a product/service with a ready-made marketplace… products/services that we all use just about every day, and where product innovations are few and far between so no one service/product or its provider has an edge on its competitor, and so they neither lead nor follow the marketplace. For example; Carpets and Home furnishings, Washing powder and Cleaning fluids, Crockery and kitchen appliances, Pens and pencils and Stationery, Clothes pegs, Light bulbs, Batteries, Petrol, Shoes, Hardware, Luggage, and similar.

The number of people in the market for carpets, or washing powder or crockery does not grow suddenly or substantially. There will always be roughly the same number of people who buy carpets… who wash their clothes …who eat off plates … and so on. In this kind of marketplace, you’ll find there are usually several competitors offering virtually the same products/services to the same marketplace. The marketplace is largely static.

Where your organization (or its product/service) is positioned right now in its marketplace, will dictate … limit?… what you are able to market and how, when and to whom.


Nice post! – Bronwyn Reid, Founder and Director at Mining for Business

Tagged with: sales & marketing

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