Market Force #6: “Aligned with Needs?”

How to Leverage Offer and Acceptance Dynamics

Stand Alone or Bundled?

When bringing new technology to market, success will go to those who align the marketplace forces that drive offer and acceptance. Speed growth by understanding how to make these dynamics work for you.


This is a thread about How to Leverage the Marketplace Forces that Matter Most for Business Growth. Eight crucial marketplace forces have been identified and are being explored in depth in this series.

Alignment Speeds Acceptance

Many companies bring new technology to market as a standalone single-purpose tool. This is often done by default without having given consideration to other paths open to them. Paths that could save them time, money and speed overall business growth.

Think about it as the difference between offering a single-blade penknife or the very popular Swiss Army multi-purpose tool. The question to ask is which one will your targeted customer accept? Let’s explore the choices.

Offer: Tool, Product or Service

Let’s look at how technology can be offered to the customer by using the example of database software. There are three different ways a customer can benefit from this technology – as a tool, product or service

  • Oracle offers the technology as a tool with its Oracle Database.
  • SRDS is a company that offers an online product using database technology that has been populated with media information (e.g., Digital Media.)
  • IMS offers a service that uses database technology, populated with pharmaceutical sales data, included as part of its Pharma Commercial Services.

Each of these options aligns with the needs of different customers and industries.

Database Technology

These companies have all built huge successful businesses using database technology in very different ways.

Acceptance: Standalone, Bundled or Integrated

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Success is not just about what you want to offer, but what the customer will accept.

Standalone: Companies and industries early in their lifecycles are more willing to accept standalone tools, because they are motivated to gain a competitive advantage. They are faced with the “make or buy” decision, in order to have what they need to succeed. Biocomputing is an example of an industry that is in the emerging lifecycle stage today, where standalone tool offerings would be well received.

Bundled: Companies and industries that are established have more at stake. They want products that perform reliably and work well within their existing infrastructure. They are motivated by Return on Investment (ROI), and bundled products can provide that. Financial Services is an example of an industry that is in the established lifecycle stage, where bundled offerings are expected.

Integrated: Change is much harder to accomplish with companies and industries that are mature. When they do change, it is often because regulations or obsolescence are forcing them to act. They often want complete solutions that are standards-based. Healthcare is an example of an industry with this dynamic. The current struggle for a “universal” medical records solution is one example of this dynamic at work.

Aligning with Needs

Success: Leveraging Offer & Acceptance Dynamics

When bringing new technology to market, success will go to those leveraging the marketplace forces driving offer and acceptance. Here are some current examples of these forces at work.

Social Media: This is an industry that is still in its “wild west” phase, so standalone tool opportunities abound. However, the marketplace forces that will push towards bundling and integration can already be seen on the horizon.

CRM (End User): It would be an uphill battle to offer a “standalone tool” to end-user customers in the CRM space today, because customers want bundled/integrated products. The industries using CRM solutions are primarily driven by ROI and demand interoperability.

CRM (Vendors): However, that does not mean CRM is not able to provide high-growth opportunities. Established CRM vendors are looking for additional ways to provide incremental value to the end-user customers, making vendors a good prospect for standalone tools.

Achieve Offer and Acceptance Alignment

To optimize business growth, seek offer and acceptance alignment proactively. Understand which of these paths works best for the provider and the prospect. Let the offer and acceptance marketplace forces help propel you to your destination.

What is Next?

The 8 Marketplace Forces countdown continues. The next post will be…

Market Force #7: 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.


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