Promotion of Existing Products to New Markets

Promotion of Existing Products to New Markets involves researching and marketing to introduce a new customer base to a current existing product or service. It is learning the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions. This could be through use of coupons, samples, and/or price promotions.

How Can Changes in Technology Influence Growth Strategy Decisions?

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No matter what industry you are in, advances in technology influence what your growth strategies should be.

Maybe you don’t view your company as directly related to technology. Perhaps you sell things like paper products, over the counter medications, or canned or bottled foods. The reality is, each year’s flu season drives increased sales for Kleenex tissues, Charmin’ toilet paper, Chap Stick lip balm, TheraFlu, Halls cough drops, Vicks Vapo Rub, Canada Dry ginger ale, Joy Mangano’s cotton and bamboo blend blankets, Hallmark get well cards, and Campbells chicken noodle soup. The flu even impacts which items are purchased from the Home Shopping Network.

If your company is involved with these and similar products, you may not be happy to learn about progress being made by Dr. Rider and his team at MIT, but you do need to know about it. An article by Scott Tarone in the September 2013 issue of TECHLIFESCINEWS shares information about DRACO, which is a double stranded RNA activated caspase oligomerizer that has been successful against 15 different viral infections including the H1N1 flu virus!

If customers tend to purchase and use your products when they are feeling well, you need to know about DRACO too. You might decide to establish higher market penetration goals.

If you don’t think that something like DRACO is relevant, maybe a better question is whether someone from your team should attend the annual CES event. Their advertisement in the Sept 2013 issue of WIRED magazine accurately describes the event as “It’s a Lab. A Social Phenomenon. A Marketplace and a Look into the Future.” This global stage for innovation will be in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 7-10 in 2014.

What your team members read is also important. If your business is influenced by techno gadgets, maybe someone in your company should be reading Liszewski’s Gizmodo blog.

Think about it. The formulation of growth strategy includes rethinking: your company’s positioning, products/services, customers & market, competition, and business model. We all need to be informed about technological advances before making these big decisions. Who is leading and coordinating the research effort for your organization?

Turn the Waves of the Economic Ocean into Success

The cover of the 09-09-13 issue of BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK proclaimed HOLY SHIP … for good reason. Drake Bennett’s article shares that Maersk Corp. has recently ordered 10 of the new Triple-E cargo ships that can haul 18,000 TEU (standard shipping containers). That is huge! It wasn’t very long ago when carrying 6,000 TEU was remarkable. One Triple-E ship is as long as the Empire State Building is high and can carry 182 million IPADs or 111 million pairs of shoes from Shanghai to Rotterdam. That 25 day trip involves 530,000 gallons of fuel. When you visit Shanghai Harbor, you cannot help but notice the three Triple-E hulls on DSME’s floating docks. At this point, a new Triple-E is entering service every 6-7 weeks.

Although a portion of the readers of my weekly blogs are in ship building, import/export, and/or transportation, I realize that not all of you are. So why should you care that Maersk ordered 10 Triple-E cargo ships?

Maersk is the world’s biggest shipper in part because its leaders apparently know how to read the rise and fall of the economy and spot windows of opportunity. The shipping industry is very cyclical. They started planning to GO HUGE 4 years ago. The 500+ page contract to order 10 Triple-Es (with an option to buy 10 more) was signed in February 2011. It takes a year to build, test, and deliver one Triple-E, so the ships are now launching during the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2013. If competitors try to copy Maersk, their timing would be way off.

This is yet another example of true wealth that can be traced back to actions taken during recessions and periods of uncertainty. 2008-2010 were some of the most stressful years for most companies. Maersk was busy getting ready to buy/fill/launch 10 HUGE Triple-Es. By the way, Maersk did not exercise its option to buy 10 more, but isn’t it impressive that they created the opportunity for themselves?

Although we are not anywhere near the scale of Maersk, we do benefit from the fact that 3 of our 5 related businesses grow more rapidly during periods of uncertainty and/or recessions. That didn’t just happen. The concept of establishing a suite of related businesses (and 2 unrelated companies) was the result of deliberate research, analysis, and negotiations. Fortunately, none of our contracts were/are 500+ pages, like Maersk’s.

What is your executive team doing to read the cycles of the global (macro) economy? your industry’s economy? your company’s micro-economy?

What risk will you be taking to turn the waves of the economic ocean into success?

Is Your Success Setting You Up for a Plateau or Continued Growth?

Margery Krevsky, the CEO of Productions Plus headquartered in Michigan, was recently a guest on my weekly on-line peer-to-peer-to-peer radio show, THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. There are so many cues to encourage Margery to coast, get cocky, and ride on her past successes.  She’s won several awards including Michigan’s “Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year” award for her industry.  Her company is the largest production and talent firm in the state and one of the best in the country.

Margery is now living “Above the Radar” (see blog # 30 – 2010). Perhaps you are too. Other people now approach her with business proposals. She is invited to speak at conferences. She could serve on just about any non-profit board she chooses (and some for-profit boards as well).  She could chair major fund raising events in a figurehead role. She might even be tempted to write a book.  Margery is clearly in the top 1% of female entrepreneurs. She’s been so successful folks are now watching what she will do next. She is expected to know A LOT.

So far, Productions Plus has experienced consistent growth. She is proud of her executive team. They’ve invested in skilled managers.  And they didn’t stop there. They wisely brought in Jim Alampi to help them implement “The Rockefeller Habits.” (Read Verne Harnish’s book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, if you don’t know what I am talking about here.)  Margery has been a long time participant in a VISTAGE group and paid the very experienced facilitator, Barbara Stanbridge, to provide extra coaching for her.

When you listen to enough executives of midsized companies, you can tell which company will continue to grow and which is more likely to soon be stuck …even without looking at their financials!  I’ve been interviewing Presidents/CEOs of midsized companies ($20-200 Mil/yr) for my weekly on line peer-to-peer-to-peer radio show for 6 years. Plus all of my service businesses (strategic planning, search, growth financing, etc) help midsized companies keep growing. I’ve heard hundreds of pitches for growth financing.

If you were in Margery’s shoes (and perhaps you are) would you coast? Take a break? Leave things alone for a while? Act like you know everything? Or would you raise the bar on your company’s approach to strategic planning? Look for new ways to energize managers? Update your vision? Learn about succession? Create a much larger business?

Here’s to the Margery Krevsky s of this world … who keep learning!

Pegging

Have you concluded that you really should expand the definition of (what you call) “your market”?

Instead of diving in to try to reach millions of people you don’t know, try a technique called PEGGING to expand your reach based on your customers’ preferences.

  1. Identify the primary trait(s) your customers have in common.  To help you see how this works, let’s follow an example. Imagine that your customers are all Catholic.
  2. Look for secondary demographic traits of subgroups within your market.  Are some single mothers? Are some grandparents? Are some high school students?
  3. Choose one subgroup with 2 shared traits. (e.g. Catholic single moms). Survey. Listen. Observe.  What do they read? Which websites do they visit? Which blogs do they read? Who do they listen to? What do they buy? Where do they shop? Which associations do they join?
  4. Then obtain access to those websites, subscriptions to those magazines, membership in those associations, use of related lists, etc.
  5. Send outbound marketing messages through those websites, magazines, associations, stores, lists, etc. to reach out to a broader group of single moms beyond those you have had as customers in the past. Include a secondary message that would particularly appeal to the Catholics among them.  You’ll attract even more Catholic single moms and have expanded your marketing methodologies.
  6. Now select a second subgroup from within your existing market (customers) that differs from the first subgroup.  Catholic grandfathers perhaps.  Again, reach out to that subgroup of existing customers.  Don’t just sell them more products.  Learn who they listen to. Find out what they read. See which memberships they value. Observe which websites they visit.
  7. Now repeat the process. Do a marketing outreach through those websites, magazines, associations, lists, etc. (with a Catholic sub message) to sell products to a broader group of grandfathers, including those who are Catholic.  Make sure to choose a range of characteristics (age, career, geographic location, income level).
  8. For many companies, 3 or 4 subgroups capture the range of people within their customer base.  You will undoubtedly end up with dramatically different websites, blogs, stores, publications, associations, and list…AND that’s the idea.  After a few rounds of research and marketing outreach, you will have an expanded data base of prospects and some new effective marketing mediums.
  9. This technique can help community banks attract more small business customers away from the large impersonal financial institutions that precipitated the recession of 2008/2009.

Stop Waiting for Teleseminars – Learn from Your Peers While on the Treadmill

Here’s a suggestion for busy Presidents/CEOs of midsized businesses (especially $20 – $200 Mil/yr) who

  • feel that your time is STILL your scarcest resource
  • recognize the need to feed your mind, learn, stretch, grow
  • find relevant teleseminars but then can’t participate because they run at the same time you are involved in important meetings
  • know you need to exercise but are going to the gym less often
  • have been tempted to attend an Inc. Conference on Growth…

Why not download free online radio shows onto your iPod to take to the gym? Take shows featuring interviews with your peers on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing privately held companies who are sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. 

Most of you, the readers of my blog and Twitter tweets, know that I have been hosting a peer-to-peer-to-peer online radio show The Growth Strategist™ for 5 years now. We rotate through various geographic locations, industries, and growth strategies.  One week, my show might feature an interview with the President of a Singapore-based retail company that has grown through franchising. The next show may be with the CEO of a Kansas City-based manufacturer sharing success tips about how they’ve grown through acquisitions.

Many of the guests on my show are on the Inc. 500 (or at least the Inc. 5000) list of the fastest growing privately held companies. They are bright, ambitious, somewhat intense, fabulous leaders….just like you. The show is #2 in its category and attracts over 180,000 listeners.

I have LOVED hosting the show.  How can the discussion of growth strategies between people who actually live the journey EVER be boring?!

I open each show with some tips on the growth strategy-of-the-week gleaned from my 30+ years of experience as a growth strategist helping midsized companies earn and keep their spot on the Inc. 500 while increasing their profitability. Many of you know that I have also won over two dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth across 3 recessions of my own midsized businesses. So I share examples from my own journey as well.

It’s been 5 years so my website, www.TheGrowthStrategist.com, and the station’s website (www.business.voiceamerica.com) now have over 200 downloadable shows (podcasts if you prefer) available for you to download onto your mp3 players and take to the gym.  Our research shows that most listeners do that or they listen to the show between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am as they do their last round of email “after the spouse and the kids have gone to sleep for the night”. The only reason you would break from an important meeting to listen to the live broadcasts each Tuesday at 11:00 am EST would be if you wanted to ask a question.  Most listeners send emails with questions to me and my guests following the shows. It’s NOT like traditional radio broadcasts where listening at the exact time of the live broadcast represents your only opportunity.

Why wait for teleseminars when you can download 5, 6, …sometimes as many as 10… timely peer level radio shows focused on a growth strategy you are using or have been considering, including

  • specialization
  • diversification
  • acquisitions and mergers
  • franchising and licensing
  • new products/new markets
  • joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • equity deals and IPOs
  • several others….

I did a series of shows earlier this year about ‘HOW TO CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL” and another on “THE CHANGING IMPACT OF REAL ESTATE ON STRATEGIC GROWTH DECISIONS”.

You can suggest topics, offer to be a guest, or recommend someone else you think might be an interesting guest.  The toll free number is 1-888-Aldonna and the email is Aldonna@AMBLER.com.

Growth Strategy Tip

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