What Matters Most For Business Growth
Marketplace forces create momentum powerful enough to influence buying behavior. They provide an advantage to those who understand and harness them.
What is a Marketplace Force?
Marketplace forces are activities and actions that create momentum powerful enough to influence buying behavior.
They speed you to a destination. Trends, behaviors and events are each examples of a potential marketplace force. Some examples include:
- Trend: Video Streaming (on the rise again in May 2011 as Americans streamed more than 15 billion videos, up 2% from last month’s all-time high.) Reference
- Behavior: E-Reader Ownership Doubles (to 12% in six months from 11/2010 to 5/2011) as reported by Pew Internet & American Life Project on 06/21/11 by Kristen Purcell. Reference
- Events: The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton “The sixth biggest web event since 2005,” as reported by Akamai Technologies Inc. Reference
Why Are They Important?
They can save a lot of time and money and provide an advantage to those who understand and harness their power. A marketplace force is like water currents:
- They are strong and directional
- You can learn to “ride’ them
- They speed-up reaching the destination
Have you ever experienced the force of an ocean wave or the current of a raging river? That’s what a marketplace force feels like and I have learned from experience that there are eight that matter most for business growth.
The Eight That Matter Most
Here is a list with a brief explanation of why each matters.
- Why Now?
We have all experienced it. A sales prospect says he is interested, keeps taking your calls, but doesn’t move on to purchase. What’s missing? Having a compelling Why Now? This enables a prospect to move beyond interest to action.
- Why Me?
It’s true, you only have one chance to make a first impression. If you want that first impression to create a connection that is appreciated, you do it by first communicating what is in it for the other person and not the product details.
- Why This Product?
This is number three for a reason. It follows having established a meaningful connection and getting a compelling “Why Now?” working for you. Only then do you stand to benefit by talking about the details of your product.
- What is the Behavioral Evidence?
It is important to seek behavioral evidence over attitudinal data, to avoid the “Emperor has no clothes” issue. If you say you are wearing a beautiful set of clothes, people will let you believe that. They don’t want to argue, they just won’t buy. It’s up to you to get genuine feedback.
- Positioned Clearly?
Not defining and communicating your unique position in the marketplace leaves people guessing. Good positioning is like a solid step stool that lets you stand safely above the rest.
- Aligned with Needs?
Many companies offer new technology as a tool sold on a standalone basis. However, customers often prefer bundled products and/or integrated services. Offering what the prospect will accept is key to speeding adoption.
- Practicing Systematic-Marketing™?
Product launches are often linear: first make the product, second try to sell it, third try to communicate its value, and then try to make money. If you practice Systematic-Marketing, you can fast-track this process and speed profitability.
- Realistic Marketing Math?
New products are launched using the most expensive selling resources, the sales team and founder. This creates traction, but it is not scalable. Effective marketing is what makes it all add up.
When I gave the full presentation, Leveraging the Eight Marketplace Forces that Matter Most for Business Growth, at an SRA International conference, it was a fellow panel member who told the audience that he had built and sold a very successful business by doing what I had just described, except he had to learn it by trial and error. That’s the goal — to eliminate some trial and error and speed the journey.
Since life is short and so are product introduction windows, I’m going to work through this list in a series of posts beginning from the top, because #1 is the most important marketplace force to be addressed.
My next post will be….
1. “Why Now?” How a compelling answer speeds customer acceptance.