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Where to play and how to win

Written by Miguel Van Damme

Prior to going on holidays, you first choose to which destination you want to go based on several criteria. Afterwards, you will decide what to do during your stay to make the most of it. This logic can apply to a company that desires to grow. If the best option is to venture into a new market (e.g. a new country), they follow a similar path. First, they need to select the appropriate market and secondly, they need to articulate their go-to-market strategy on how to enter the market and what to do within that market.

First things first

This process starts with a market assessment of all the potential markets the company could enter. Different analyses could be done to support the market assessment such as PESTEL [1], SWOT [2] or Porter’s five forces [3]. Whatever method(s) you decide to work with, you will have to answer the following key questions:

  • What are the trends in the market? How is it evolving?

  • How competitive is the market? Who are the different players?

  • Who are the different stakeholders in the value chain?

  • What are the current price levels of the market? How have they evolved?

  • Are there any barriers to entry (political, patents, brand loyalty, etc.)?

  • What is the total size of the market?

Where to play

Answering these questions with the appropriate tools will enable to select the most attractive markets by visualizing the outcome on the graph as illustrated here below. By mapping the different markets based on their size and accessibility – low to high based on the outcome of market assessment – the largest and most accessible markets will be located on the top right of the graph. This mapping will allow you to have a clear view on your priority markets and to know where to play.

How to win