Market Uncertainty Assessment Guide

On the road to market success, do you know the potholes that can wreck your journey? Do you know how to recognize what will be an inconsequential bump that won’t take you off road? Either way, those possibilities represent risks to arriving at your destination.

Luckily, they can be mapped, evaluated, and addressed before you venture into the market, so the ride is less rocky. Mitigating those risks before the journey makes market entry less uncertain. Every business decision comes with risks. They can cause you to fail or have no impact at all on your success. Do you know which ones to mitigate and which to ignore?

Entirely eliminating all risk is impossible. However, you can minimize and manage risk with careful evaluation of the market drivers that introduce uncertainty into your assessment of an opportunity for market success. 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. And for others, you may not. Instead, you may need to develop strength in them, because they are what is important to your target market. Strength in what matters to the market you want to serve is what reduces market risk – a key dimension of market leadership.

If there is one thing we know for sure, it’s that data-driven insights help teams improve and modify their performance, but with so many variables to consider, how do you decide what to pay attention to?

The linked assessment will help you organize, prioritize, and then evaluate those uncertainties that can affect your business performance if not addressed. There are multiple options to make use of this assessment and your approach will depend on both how much market information you already have and/or the makeup of your team. 

There are different approaches you can take to make use of this. You may already have an approach you have used in the past to make decisions about how to move forward. But best results are achieved in a facilitated collaboration with your team.

Market Uncertainty Driver Descriptions

Market Needs

What is the market dissatisfaction that is strong enough to motivate interest/acceptance/search for a solution? By “market,” we mean any group of direct or indirect users who are downstream of your organization and are the potential customers for your value proposition. Needs are defined by what potential customers must procure from preferred suppliers. Uncertainty factors which may impact evaluation of your offering by the market include

• Your value proposition’s or product’s fit with their needs/requirements
• How their needs are changing or expected to change over time and why
• Relative importance of your performance and support capability compared to what their needs/requirements
• Stability of the customers in the market and their customers’ processes

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Demand & Growth

What is the likely demand for products and services that address the needs/requirements of the market you want to serve over time since your offering will not be delivered immediately? Includes projected demand and change in demand overtime:

  • • Customers’ projected requirements over time
    • Customers’ competitive situation
    • Downstream demand stability and growth
    • Competitive alternative technologies
    • Stability of the customers’ and their customers’ other demand requirements
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Competitive Alternatives

(In-kind and not-in-kind) – What kind of competitive response should you expect, from whom, and why? Includes all options your customer or their customers have to meet their needs:

• Competitive intensity in your in-kind and not-in-kind product domains based on SWOT analysis generated from the perspective of the market or customers to be served
• Complementary potential of new solutions to customer’s needs
• Not-in-kind alternatives that can address their needs and their potentials
• Includes potential for new entrants’ that could be global players

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Value Chain Operating Dynamics

What is the value exchanged between each organization up and downstream and who has the power? Refer to your current value chain analysis or Porter Five Forces Model and PEST analysis (political, economic, social and technological) assessments.

• Results analysis of value chain power dynamics
• Competitive entrant potential
• New technology potential
• Competitive intensity assessment
• Downstream uncertainties

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Market Receptivity

What is the market awareness of the need and urgency for a solution and when? Especially important when considering new product/process introduction of new technologies. Refer to your current value chain analysis or Porter Five Forces Model and PEST analysis (political, economic, social and technological) assessments.

• Factors that would enable change
• Factors that would inhibit change
• Speed of acceptance
• Requirements to gain consideration.
• Nature of the market/industry

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Channel Support

Where can you find commitments to validate your value proposition, your competitive advantage, and/or the sustainability of your solution? Use results of value chain analysis, but add external resources related to your offering, such as:

• Companion or adjacent products required by the customer
• Technology sources operating adjacent to yours.
• Past technical papers

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Regulatory Issues

What regulatory issues can challenge your success? Governmental regulations pertaining to your competitive domain. Includes all issues that can impact the likelihood of your success:

• Your customers
• Upstream and downstream players
• Consumer

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