Market development is a relatively new addition to the lexicon of marketing jargon. If you Google ‘market development consultants’ you get few results, and none in the medical sector. So what exactly is it that Acumen offers its clients?
Actually it’s pretty straightforward. We simply help clients develop growth strategies which will result in profitable business development by targeting new products or services to existing customers, existing products or services to new customers, or new products or services to new customers.
In some cases the market development process is very simple. Clients with an established product line are looking to extend their distribution channels outside their current markets. For example one client of ours had good sales growth and an established distributor network in over 40 countries, but had struggled to find an appropriate distributor in a handful of specific geographic markets. The brief was straightforward – find us a good distributor in each of those missing markets.
In other cases, for example with start-ups or small businesses who have perhaps not previously sold outside their domestic market, the development of a coherent market development strategy is the first important step. So we examine the business and its plans in detail and help the management team put together a strategic process for developing sales in the targeted segments and markets.
That process will include:
- Establishing strategic business development goals
- Identifying target markets, sectors and niches
- Assessing existing sales and marketing resources
- Agreeing key value propositions – unique sales propositions (USP’s), unique perceived benefits (UPB’s), competitors, positioning, product mix, etc.
- Developing appropriate product support and sales material
- Agreeing preferred distributor profiles
However, what we can offer clients often extends well beyond simply helping to establish or grow conventional distribution channels. It’s surprising how often we discover untapped potential within a clients existing product portfolio. Maybe that is something to do with clients being so immersed in the day-to-day business of running their companies that they don’t take time to look outside current strategic pathways. Perhaps it’s just the good old ‘wood for the trees’ scenario. But we often identify opportunities for licensing products, or setting up OEM deals, that had not previously been considered. Equally there may be ways of adding complimentary products to the client’s existing product portfolio which will quickly create additional revenue streams from existing sales channels without significantly increasing costs.
Market development covers a multitude of sins, but at the end of the day it is basically any activity which creates additional profitable sales revenue for the business.
© Acumen Strategic Marketing Ltd 2010