No crystal ball? Market orientation can fix it.

Image source: Tim Graf, Unsplash

Looking back on 2022, it is fair to say that a lot has happened. You could even say that, in many respects, a little too much has happened… In our article, we nevertheless only take a brief look back and instead look forward in detail. It’s about priorities, market orientation, professionalization and – ultimately – growth.

 

In our first newsletter of 2022, we had presented to you the “Top 10 Success Factors for Growth” – with the factors sustainability, focus, professionalization, market orientation, HR, commodity management, service excellence, agility, digitization and M&A activities. A lot of material for the beginning of the year. And then, as we all know, the year 2022 brought us some other highly acute topics.

We do not need to list the massive changes again at this point. Each of us has experienced how fast the world turns and how strongly some changes have a lasting impact on all of our lives and behavior.

 

Set priorities

Sayings like “Do one thing without leaving the other behind” don’t help at this point. They don’t even sound good – and they had a very short half-life, especially last year. Because even if you should keep an eye on all factors, you had to and still have to set priorities, especially in times of scarce resources and the urgent need for change.

 

The essential questions

In emergency situations, there are the five W-questions for calling 112. Analogously – and not only for emergencies – there are central W-questions for our professional or entrepreneurial activities. They help us to achieve the best possible professional orientation

  • Where? The question of market alignment and market orientation. This question is central because its answer helps with the answers to the other W questions. That is why we deal with this aspect in detail below.
  • Who? Which customer? Which employee? Who is the right one?
  • What? What added value? Which product? Which service? Which solution? What should be offered, new or further developed?
  • How many?

 

Where?! Market alignment and market orientation

In entrepreneurship, the where-question is the question of market orientation. It can be directed backwards and forwards.

  • Where as a retrospective: In retrospect, the answer to the where question for many companies shows the result of years of development, some of which was planned and some of which was opportunistic. An important insight of the retrospective should be the answer to the question why we work in the markets we work in today.
  • Where (to) as an outlook: In these disruptive times, however, the question of where the company should develop is much more important than looking back.
    • In which area would you like to work professionally in the future? Which area, which topic, which market?
    • Which markets will be your playground of the future? Are they markets in which you are already operating today, or will your markets change in such a way that you will have to reorient yourself?

The answers to these questions can be found – as long as the famous crystal ball does not yet exist – in the best possible market picture, which is characterized by an understanding of trends and knowledge of key influencing factors. Because the best possible and comprehensive market knowledge helps you to focus on just a few markets. It helps you to position and professionalize yourself and your team in the best possible way. Specifically:

  • The clearer and more conscious your market orientation is, the more effectively and efficiently you can use your available resources – and achieve the best possible goals as a product of budget, time and quality. In this way, you can differentiate yourself from the market and the competition.
  • A clear market focus will help you professionalize your team (more on this below).
  • Market orientation helps you address the needs and changes of a manageable group of customers.
  • Market orientation helps you with sales farming, i.e. cultivating the right customers and expanding the right contacts as well as optimizing products and services. This will enable you to create and expand added value in the future.
  • Market orientation helps you to approach sales hunting, the acquisition of new customers, in a focused approach.
  • Market orientation helps you to better understand the market and identify possible benchmarks as well as general market requirements. Here, too, further development of existing value and the creation of new added value beckons.
  • In sum, the clear market orientation enables professionalization and proactive further development of your company.

 

More than a digression: empowering employees

The benefits of clearly professionalizing and empowering each individual employee can hardly be overestimated. It leads to a professionalization of the entire company.  With professionalization, a journey begins that has an influence on all essential success factors.

 

In a nutshell

At B+P, the Packaging Market is our home. This is where we are at home and where our exclusive focus lies – with a view to the entire value chain from raw material to packaging, applications to recycling and recyclate. This is an important basis of our strength.

One important learning from our work is: companies that want to sell their products “to everyone,” so to speak, always face the problem that “everyone” is hard to define. You can’t call everyone or reach them with marketing messages. And you can’t offer the perfect product for everyone and turn your portfolio into an endless vendor’s tray.

Therefore, our appeal: Make sure that you align yourself and your company to specific markets. This will create a basis for professionalism. You can orient all other success factors specifically to the market. And you can maximally effectively and efficiently align and further develop your company and your professionalism.

If you want to proactively shape your future, we’ll be happy to stand by your side. Let’s talk and make your market orientation of today and tomorrow the topic.


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    Your contact person

    Jens Hagmann

    hagmann@bp-consultants.de