“We’re flat, we’re stuck, we’re conflicted, and we need some help."
Through more than a hundred consulting engagements we’ve learned one basic truth about this situation: flat or falling growth is self-inflicted. Stevie Wonder can see this one coming.
Underlying problem 1: Internal attentiveness.
Underlying problem 2: Tactical emphasis.
How does this happen? Again, pretty straightforward: tactics and internal stuff is tangible, measurable, and concrete. Strategy and external dynamics are ambiguous, unstructured and nebulous.
Operational improvements get real results….for everyone. Operational Excellence went from a movement that drove monumental efficiency improvements to a tablestake. Now everyone has to do it. The dreaded "me-too" benchmarking. Tactics can be measured and evaluated and…imitated pretty quickly. Again, it feels like running to stand still.
Good Strategy has Rigor.
“When you believe in things that you don't understand,
and then you suffer, Superstition ain't the way.”
- Stevie Wonder
Hope is not strategy. Vision is not strategy. Goals and objectives are not strategy. Good strategy is harmony. It balances the creative and unique, with rigor and quantification.
To get yourself unstuck, start with sizing YOUR market, growth rates, segments, sizes, and shares. Let’s stay external-minded; the market needs to be defined to include all substitutable competitive choices your customer currently considers. Not just what you bring to the table, but the entire Bellagio Buffett.
OK Doug, but how?
Knocking-out a solid market sizing analysis is a team effort. Don’t try it alone or at home. Hold each other accountable and remain externally-minded. Bring sales and finance perspectives into a marketing realm. Think through real segments and substitutes. Delve thoroughly into possible customers, not just your own. Deploy a cohesive team of 3 or 4, in an iterative process, a healthy dose of calibration and an external mindset and you’ll begin to ward off those old superstitions.
Next post: Getting started with market sizing.
Delvantage is a b2b business growth application designed for companies in slow growth environments to take more than their fair market share. Delvantage helps go-to-market teams use a combination of management judgement, and empirical market share and customer preference data to identify and quantify the most effective share growth segments and strategies. The rigorous but fun process brings teams together with a common methodology and data-informed approach to prove your plan to the most skeptical audiences.