Knowing Where the Shoe Pinches

Profitable Marketing Mapping

Assessing your market situation
You're probably familiar with it: the unpleasant sensation of not having an adequate assessment of a market situation to know exactly what action to take and what the outcome will be.

This is where a market map can help you. It's a simple, yet highly effective way to review your market.

Overcoming the 4 hurdles
One of the great strengths of market mapping is the method's logical and discerning approach. This is because it bases its analysis on the notion that, as a seller, you have to overcome four hurdles to get an order.

You'll probably know these all too well:

1) Your customer must know about your company
Naturally, if a customer doesn't know about your company, you will not be taken into consideration as a supplier. Many falsely assume that everybody knows their company, but that is often not the case -- particularly on export markets where awareness about your company may be much lower than you would think.
2) Your customer must be able to use your products
Frequently, customers have a requirements list used for choosing a product. If you don't live up to these specs, you might as well kiss the order goodbye. At times, this list of requirements may be more of a want-list than absolute requirements. It's important to know which factors are obligatory as opposed to "nice to have".
3) Your customer must be able to use you as a supplier
It's not enough to meet your customer's product requirements. You must also be a viable supplier, eg by being able to deliver within a certain time frame, having local support capabilities, etc.
4) You must be competitive
Once you pass the first three hurdles, your competitiveness is the final obstacle for getting the order. Price may be an important factor, but other issues can be crucial as well -- you don't always get the order by simply having the lowest price.

You can then quantify these four hurdles with simple percentage figures

Awareness level (what percentage of your market knows about your company)
Product suitability (what percentage of your market can use your product)
Supplier applicability (what percentage of your market can use you as a supplier)
Competitiveness (number of orders relative to proposals/offers).

By using these key ratios, you can readily generate a market map

Pulling the most effective levers
Once you've set up the market map, you have a snapshot of your current status. By pulling various levers, you can instantly see the effects:

As you can see, by just increasing awareness (from 30% to 35%), we could increase sales from £18.1 to £21.1. In addition, if we applied measures to also increase supplier fit (from 45% to 50%) and our competitiveness (from 67% to 75%), we could raise our market share to 6.6% and corresponding sales of £26.3.

This way, you can simulate various campaign scenarios, whether they be awareness campaigns or service capability enhancements - and their effect on sales.

Involving subsidiaries and channel partners
The principles behind the market map are also highly useful for facilitating plans and budgets for subsidiaries, distributors, or channel partners.

Too often, sales forecasts are merely guesstimates of expected sales and there's no structured reasoning behind the figures.

If you ask your partners to account for the four "market shares" (awareness, product fit, supplier fit, competitiveness), you create increased consciousness about the underlying reasons for sales figures.

More importantly, it becomes easier to see what it's going to take to increase sales and what "levers" are worth pulling. This, in turn, provides a sound breeding ground for some very fruitful debates.

We'll get you the figures
The market map is a very powerful tool, yet unknown by many. One of the key reasons for its relatively limited use is the perception that you can't get specific figures for the market shares.

We've done something about that: we'll get you the first three ratios (awareness, product fit and supplier fit) with our Clarity Cross-border Market Mapô. You already have the final figure (competitiveness).

So, we have made it easy for you to get the remaining numbers. This way, you can identify exactly how to improve your market position and increase sales.

Get more info...

If you want more information about how you can apply the Clarity Cross-border Market Map, or if you have any questions or comments, call us now at 0870 745 6899, email, or use the form.

Go to overview of Clarity Techniques

Go to LEC Cases in point

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