There are many ways to win a match. First of all, you must be well trained; then, you should deeply know your opponents (not only their weaknesses, but also and above all their strengths). Moreover, you must have a goal and a strategy. Otherwise, you are already defeated. And I guess that’s all.
But what if you didn’t know the rules of the game? What would happen, then? You may say “that’s impossible!”, and you would be right, especially since you’ve been training for a long time. But the point is that those rules are just made to play, not to win – not for you, at least.
That’s how big markets work: those who make the rules, they win the money. And these rules only reward one team, so the others must fight so hard not to get defeated. It is the consumers who make the rules, adapting them to the team they prefer.
It may seem unfair to you, doesn’t it?
That’s an odd joke I tell to my clients; it usually leaves them speechless, but it just because when I start to tell it, they happen to think about sports. When I say ‘consumers’, they freeze – still, they shouldn’t: marketing has nothing to do with sports (lucky me! I’m so damn lazy).
It seems rather a duel you fight against your opponent, but together with your allies. And if you have no allies…well, just hope that the other doesn’t have them, too.
You should find them, though. They may help you to create your own rules – and they may also approve them.
That’s the whole story I tell to people when they ask me “what do you mean by ‘market-driven approach’?”.
First of all: being driven by markets doesn’t mean being unarmed. As I said at the very beginning of this text, a strategy is always needed – and you ought have the right “guns” to to develop it.
If you wish to win the match, you must play your best. But if your opponents are very powerful, maybe your best is not enough. Unless you defeat them once and for all, they may come back and fight over and over again.
They rule, they win.
They also have lots of supporters who are unlikely to love you. What if the competition turns into a beauty contest? That’s what it is! You’re gorgeous, but those judges won’t ever fall in love with you.
You are a guest in your opponents’ field – and that’s the wrong field.
Wouldn’t it be nicer to have your own stadium to play in? Wouldn’t it be nicer to play a match you can actually win?
That’s what market-driven approach is all about. It is about founding your own city, getting your own cheerleaders, having your own party – therefore, your own profits.
Being market-driven means listening carefully to what consumers want. Analyze silently their needs, observe all their desires – and start to think about a solution. If you get it right, it will be the key to your success – the key to your brand new stadium. You’re going to be the winner and your opponents will finally lose.
Every building is based on a stone – every business is based on a product. Nowadays, that product must be innovative and it must be loved by the consumers. If it is not loved, your building will collapse. If it is not innovative, I’m afraid you will find yourself playing in the same field as always – very far from the supporters you almost got.
Your consumers’ needs are the most precious stones of yours. Let them build your business, let them be your allies instead of just your judges. Your fans are already there, you just need to recognize them.
They are building your product, your marketing activities, your distribution channels … everything! And these are the rules you’ve been looking for.