In this growth leader article series so far, we have covered how growth is being driven by the leaders/decision-makers from the below functions:
- Research & Development
- Digital Transformation
Regarding current business strategy trends of the top successful companies, we made this statement – “at a given time there will be multiple growth efforts happening in a large enterprise, carried out by different individuals.” This conclusion was reiterated by Mckinsey in its recent article (well later after Ideapoke’s article was published) eight lessons on how to get the growth you planned.
Basis our experience working with Fortune 500, global 2000 firms across industries we realized that all the growth initiatives whether in the pipeline or in progress are fundamentally driven by two factors, Market (business) or Technology (product, service). (Please note that we will be using the words Market/Business and technology/product/service interchangeably in this article.)
We need to understand that the ultimate objective of any strategy is adding VALUE to the organization, i.e., growing business, creating more revenue, or revenue-generating opportunities. Value addition can be achieved either by introducing a new product/technology or venturing into a new market or any combination of the same. For instance, in our previous article on ‘Digital leaders’ we understood that digital adoption is majorly performed by plant & manufacturing companies to achieve operational efficiencies. Achieving better efficiencies will enable a company to decrease the price or increase the supply which in turn helps in better penetration into the current market. Similarly, any strategic objective of a company or a particular business function ultimately will be driven by a new market or new technology or a combination of both.
This article will focus on key trends, drivers, and research areas that are helping strategic decision-makers to identify growth opportunities through market and technology.
Growing more in the current market or new market entry?
Identifying new markets, picking the prospects, and finally shortlisting the most potential ones – this has been observed to be the most common strategy by technology-based companies. The majority of the legendary enterprises who have expertise in a specific technology(s) are identifying new markets where their in-house capabilities could be applicable. Instead of investing millions of dollars & time in building new technology, they prefer to enter as many as new, untouched, undiscovered markets which can be served by their current capabilities.
Business leaders kick off the search by casting a wide net, as they would at the beginning of any strategic initiative. This means taking an exhaustive inventory of all the technologies and capabilities that their suppliers provide and considering how those assets could be applied in other market segments. For instance, an equipment manufacturer may discover that the technologies it uses in its semiconductor printing can also be applied in the non-destructive surface coating of industrial glasses.
Clients from these organizations, work with us to perform detailed business use-case analysis to identify the next new, unknown markets, and then they perform detailed market opportunity analysis to shortlist the most relevant one which strategically suits them. Once they realize a relevant market, they perform gap analysis, identify the potential partnerships, collaborations needed to fill the gaps, and get ready to penetrate the market. Analyzing futuristic trends, competitor presence, macro-economic conditions are the few key steps Ideapoke helps them within defining their strategic roadmap. Industries such as Chemical, Industrial technologies, imaging technologies, semiconductor-related are found to be following this strategy.
The Changing Definition of new product development
The definition of a new product has evolved. It is just not only collecting market insights and developing the whole product from scratch, but it is more about improvising the current product. Digitalization is the key driver of this trend and is going to be the same in the coming years. Whether it’s a rubber tire used in automotive, valves used in an oil refinery or a beauty product, digitization has disrupted the definition of the product. The advent of the internet of things, cloud computing, mobile applications have forced companies to transform their regular products into digitally-enabled smart products. Players from beauty industries are investing in AI technologies that help their users to first understand their skin’s nature, then use the appropriate cream quantity. Automotive tire players are now focussing on building an integrated product with both hardware and software capabilities. In the case of the service industry like insurance, new product development is being purely driven by digital technologies. Data from wearables will be deciding the monthly premium a customer needs to pay.
This trend in product development is achieved with multiple collaborations both vertically and horizontally along the value chain. Core companies have leaped to understand these technological shifts and expand their product portfolio accordingly. Ideapoke has performed several projects involving technology landscaping, identifying potential partners, and accelerated the new product development process of leading organizations. Newmarket leaders from traditional companies work with us to understand the impact of emerging technologies particularly AI, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Advanced Sensors on their current product offerings. Further, they perform a detailed competitor analysis on how and partnering with whom other players in the market are collaborating to meet the changing customer needs.
The lens of futuristic technologies to discover the unknown
Companies diversify into new markets or develop new products basis evolving markets, changing customer needs, and advancements in technologies. Though this approach is nothing new, the only difference is that future world digital technology is the new lens to the future.
Futuristic technology concepts like human augmentation, brain-controlled interfaces (BCI), Tele-presence are already been looked upon by leading companies. Ideapoke is working with them to understand potential business opportunities, these futuristic concepts could bring to them the technology capabilities they need to build to cater to those markets. For instance, an automotive giant is looking at the possible impact of brain-machine interface technologies on its business and investing in start-ups working in EEG brainwave algorithms and neural networks. We have seen a great rise in the projects which are aimed to cater to customer needs beyond the next 20-25 years. Hundreds of partnerships, investments, collaborations are being made in the young start-ups working on futuristic technology concepts. Along with the many growth initiatives which are in the pipelines of innovative companies, these futuristic projects always have a unique place.
Ideapoke assumes the key reason for this very futuristic strategy by large enterprises is because of the increasing presence of new entrants, growing capabilities of medium enterprises which are set to fragment the market shares in the next 10-15 years. Strategy leaders of top organizations are now looking at unknown market opportunities beyond the small & medium players’ reach.
Ideapoke provides AI-powered insights to new business leaders helping them to identify emerging, unknown business opportunities. We help in driving the growth by helping decision-makers to perform strategic planning at a faster pace and enable them to capture future markets well before their competitors who work with regular 3rd party consultants.