Using real examples from our work, each episode of One Good Idea provides a smart business tip to help you grow.  This episode is based on work with a customer who developed a software product that is now part of a well-established highly competitive market that wants to grow.

This company is definitely living in the red ocean. And while growth is top of mind, sadly there began to see a decline in product renewals and adoption. So, its understandable they wanted to talk about what to do with the future of their product and innovation and really see where the customer fit in their product roadmap.

The company had done a sufficient job of staying on top of product features and functionality requests by their customers, but not really building something that would necessarily put them in a position of innovation. As with many organizations in this situation, if you’re not growing and innovating at the rate the market is going, then that means that you are declining.

Keep Tabs on Your Competitors, Customer Needs and Market Trends

The company was facing an adapt-or-die situation. They really needed take a step back and do some recon. The needed to understand where the market was going.  They needed to look at their competitors and see what they are really doing. And they needed to understand potential customers and their needs.

This might seem hard, but with today’s power of the internet, there’s a lot of information right you fingertips.  Such as making a trip to competitors’ sites and reviewing their content, such as blogs, social media, press releases, and product announcements.

The same is true for identifying what is happening within the market in terms of features and functionality, often being written or talked about by industry thought leaders.  In this particular scenario, new technology such as AI and new functionality such as integration into other applications were emerging.

Growth Takes Staying Curious

When it comes to growth and innovation, stay curious and don’t assuming you know everything. Be open to asking questions. For example, in this particular situation, the company was seeing the emergence of new and competing technologies.  They needed to ask questions one good idea lightbulbsuch as:

  • Will this emerging technology impact the market?
  • If so, in what time frame?
  • What are the implications to our solution?
  • If we don’t embrace this technology what market’s will that allow us to serve?
  • Which markets will we lose?

And they needed to connect with customers and find out their perspective on this particular trend. It’s imperative to keep your customers in mind with everything you do.

And that leaves us with at least One Good Idea for this episode. The future always comes and with it often new opportunities for your business and your offer. What do you need to do to ensure your growth when the future comes? Stay curious. Keep your periscope up. Constantly monitor at least these three things:

  1. What’s going on with your customers
  2. How your customers are or aren’t using your solution and why
  3. What your competitors are doing

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