The Magic of Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation with Examples

It’s always a good idea to reinforce the basics. The best of the best, in every craft, maintain a focus on fundamentals. Consider that the great Tiger Woods continues to perfect his golf swing, even as he approaches the end of his career. For innovation, few concepts are as fundamental as market segmentation. In this ... Read More

Awkward Reality #290

Be a “chess master” business leader: Think 5 moves ahead.

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Do you want to think only about your next move, or think five moves ahead? Here’s a 5th order plan to maximize shareholder wealth: 1st Order: Develop superior customer insight capabilities. 2nd Order: Understand market needs better than competitors. 3rd Order: Develop high-value products focused only on these needs. 4th Order: Sustain superior growth from these products. 5th Order: Impress shareholders with your proven growth track.

More in article, Stop Stifling B2B Organic Growth with 2nd Order Effects

Awkward Reality #289

Any business leader can become a builder… if they apply themselves.

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Every business leader becomes known for something. You might be a remodeler, always “fixing the place up.” Improving productivity or quality is helpful, but nothing new is created. Others are decorators, trying to boost “curb appeal” every quarter. Yet others are realtors, focused on M&A, not organic growth. Your company was founded by builders. Be the builder focused on delivering value to customers, so your business grows… and your employees enjoy stable, rewarding careers.

More in video, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth series, Video Lesson #2

Awkward Reality #288

Great B2B innovation requires 2 forms of evidence.

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Exhibit A is an attractive market and Exhibit B is a documented need within this market. Most companies do OK with Exhibit A… identifying a market segment that is winnable and worth winning. But most are terrible at Exhibit B. This is being sure of which customer outcomes (desired end-results) companies will be rewarded for satisfying with a new product. Increasingly, companies are using Market Satisfaction Gaps to do this. (See 12 case stories)

More in white paper, Market Satisfaction Gaps

Awkward Reality #287

Have you separated your earned growth from your unearned growth?

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There are two types of unearned growth: 1) Inherited Growth comes from great products your employees created long ago, and 2) Market Growth is driven by your customers’ growth. You influence neither today. Earned Growth occurs when you surpass competitors in meeting customer needs. Normal accounting doesn’t separate earned from unearned, but you should. You may be living on borrowed time, when you should be the master of your own destiny.

More in article, B2B Organic Growth: Moving to earned growth

Awkward Reality #286

Consider rat tails and the danger of ignoring second-order effects.

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In the early 1900’s the French colonial government tried to decrease the Hanoi rat population by rewarding bounties on each rat tail turned in. The second-order effects were 1) lots of tail-less rats roaming the streets, and 2) rat-breeding farms for tail harvesting. When your business leaders slash R&D spending, invoke travel bans, cut marketing staff, and delay hiring… what second-order effects will come as a result? Perhaps slower future growth? Rats.

More in article, Stop Stifling B2B Organic Growth with 2nd Order Effects

It’s Time for New Innovation Metrics

Why-you-need-new-innovation-metrics

You’ve heard, “measure twice, cut once,” right? When it comes to market-facing innovation, most companies only measure after they’ve cut. They use the vitality index—a fine innovation metric developed by 3M in 1988 that’s simple to understand: percentage of gross revenue generated from products launched in the past three (or five) years. But if this ... Read More

Awkward Reality #285

Here’s how to weaponize customer insight for competitive advantage.

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Here is our #1 recommendation for innovation success: Don’t start development stage work without quantitative evidence of customer needs. You can use Preference interviews followed by Market Satisfaction Gaps… or some other unfiltered, unbiased evidence. Two tips: 1) Don’t do this for very small projects, just those requiring 1+ person-year of development. 2) Don’t do this for technology development. Just product development, where you’ve targeted a specific market segment.

More in article, Market Satisfaction Gaps… your key to B2B organic growth

Awkward Reality #284

Consider 3 “landmine principles” in your high-stakes projects.

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A landmine is something that could blow up your high-stakes project. Consider 3 points: 1) Landmines pose a greater threat in unfamiliar terrain, so be extra careful outside your core. 2) We don’t like to think about unhappy thoughts–like landmines–so be diligent in investigating assumptions that could become landmines. 3) No one steps on a landmine they can see. So the team’s first job is to make all assumptions visible… and then determine which might be a landmine.

To see how this is done, view the video at Project De-risking with Minesweeper