With increasing demand for superior performance and even fiercer levels of competition in the market; customers are well and truly in the power seat.
So, how do your ensure that customers choose your product or service over a competitors? The answer lies in ensuring that your market and the customers within it form the starting point of any business strategy developed by your organisation. This is known as a market-driven strategy, which will help you to truly impact customer value. Below, we’ve summarised four characteristics of an effective market-driven strategy.
If your organisation is market-oriented, it means that the customer is the focal point of your entire operation and you are committed to the continuous creation of customer value. Becoming market-oriented requires the involvement and support of your entire workforce, extending well beyond the marketing function. Data is also a necessity, as you must constantly monitor rapidly changing customers wants and needs, and deliver innovative products or services that meet these directly.
Focus On The Customer First
The concept of focussing on the customer isn’t new, but now there is a strong drive worldwide by organisation’s to be more customer-oriented. This requires first finding out what values buyers want to help you satisfy their purchasing objectives.
Gather Intelligence On Your Competitors
If you fail to identify and respond to competitive threats then your organisation might be left dealing with the consequences. After identifying your competitors, it’s important to determine whether customers view them as alternate satisfiers of their wants and needs.
Kodak is a prime example of an organisation that did not respond effectively to competitive threats. In 1976, Kodak had 85% market share in cameras and 90% market share in film. However, by the 2012, it was filing for bankruptcy. The Senior Management Team failed to define its competitive area correctly and didn’t pay enough attention to the rise of digital photography. Even though Kodak released a number of digital cameras, it didn’t give this new product enough attention and subsequently lost market share to firms such as Canon, Nikon and Sony.
Break Down The Walls
Organisations that are market-oriented manage to successfully break down the walls between business functions, such as marketing, sales, and research and development. The delivery of superior customer value can only be achieved when all business functions work in harmony together. For example, marketing needs to speak to sales in order to ensure that any new product innovations will meet customer needs and wants on the frontline.