What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, & Therein Lies the RISK
Eliminating risk entirely is impossible. However, you can minimize risk by carefully evaluating the market drivers that introduce uncertainty into your assessment of an opportunity for marketplace success.
New Opportunity RISKS
When dealing with market uncertainty, you need to be sure you consider all of its possible drivers. Some are more important than others. For some drivers, you may have capabilities that will lead you to competitive advantage. For others, you may not. Instead, you may need to develop strength in them, because they are what is important to your target market.
If there is one thing we know for sure, it’s that data-driven insights help teams develop and adapt their campaigns; but with so many variables to consider, how do you decide what to pay attention to?
Using the Market Uncertainty Assessment
This assessment includes pre-filled examples of the kinds of information you might experience as uncertainties for your business. The column labeled Market Drivers is where you list everything you need to know about the market that could impact your success. You can eliminate any that, for your market and opportunity, are not germane. Any others that are missing can be added.
For each driver, rate the strength of the understanding held within your organization—Level of Internal Understanding—on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = Low level of understanding and 10 = High level of understanding. Then, rate each driver’s degree of importance to the market you want to serve—External Importance—on a scale to 1 to 10, where 1 = Not important and 10 = Very important.
Any driver that is Not important, even if there is a High level of understanding, is not worth the allocation of resources for investigation, because certainty will have little or no impact on the reduction of your market risk. What is Very important with a Low level of understanding is the information you ought to prioritize in your process to address uncertainties.
You will notice there is a driver labeled Competitive Alternatives. This denotes competing products or services your target customers currently use or could use in place of the product or service you offer. It is critical to get a handle on how important those competitive alternatives are to your customers when they are considering purchasing your product or service. How well you understand the intricacies of your customers’ thoughts about those alternatives allows you to identify gaps in the competitive environment and reduce threats of competition you face as you advance to market leadership. Deep competitor understanding is needed for sound insights into the potential influence competitive alternatives can have on the market performance of your product or service. A deep understanding of the complexities of competitive alternatives also contributes to the allocation of resources you should deploy to reduce your uncertainty.
Use the market uncertainty assessment to prioritize what you need to know to build out your plan to launch into a market with significantly less risk of failure.