On the surface, solving market problems versus addressing the needs of a market might sound like semantics. But the implementation of each practice in B2B organizations reveals a huge contrast between the two with a ripple effect that may be just as significant.
Common Practice: Solving Market Problems
You have a product that addresses user needs in a certain market. To grow revenue and market share of the product, you find users in other markets with similar problems, and then make incremental product improvements or changes to suit the needs of each user.
B2B Best Practice: Addressing Market Needs
You look at the market dynamics in one or more industries like healthcare, energy or retail. To grow your company’s revenue and market share in those segments, you determine the strategic and operational impact of the market dynamics to uncover needs with the greatest strategic impact. Then you determine the capabilities required across your portfolio of products to solve a series of industry-wide problems and deliver solutions with measurable strategic value to those markets.
Which Approach is Best For You?
The difference in these two approaches is the difference between making each product a market leader that addresses specific user needs versus making your organization a market leader by solving bigger and broader industry-wide needs that are on the A-list of most organizations in your target markets.
Consider the ripple effect of each approach.
Solving Market Problems
The market-problems approach forces you to spread resources thinner, compete and differentiate at a product level (feature wars) and usually means marketing and sales messages are fragmented across products and don’t tell a cohesive value story.
Addressing Market Needs
The market-needs approach allows you to concentrate resources on higher value initiatives that follow a common value theme. It also helps you differentiate with a strategic value story that’s crafted around quantifiable customer outcomes.
If your product teams are working in silos and competing for resources to solve market problems, contact us to discuss a customer outcome approach to addressing market needs with greater strategic value to accelerate your growth.
Want to learn it on your own? Enroll in Product Management University On-Demand and get everything you need to build, market and sell higher value solutions that accelerate growth.
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