Understanding the market for which your technology solution is designed is important to your business strategy. If not for a well-defined opportunity, how do you go to market with the right solution, messaging, use cases and a targeted sales offer? So what market are you in?
Oddly, many software vendors struggle to answer this fundamental question. Analysts often hear, “Our proprietary technology is revolutionizing the industry,” or “We don’t see anyone else competing in our space.” Does this sound familiar to you?
AIM FOR A TARGET
Analysts spend a lot of time defining categories for the purpose of finding market size and opportunity, building forecasts, acknowledging vendor share and recognizing leading vendors.
Segment definitions will vary between analysts and evolve over time but the largest IT categories are universal; Digital Transformation, Edge and 5G, Cloud Computing, Security, Data and Analytics, Mobile Solutions, IoT, AI and Automation are on the long list of IT sectors that shape the market. Technology sectors also run horizontally through vertical segments to further cultivate opportunity in industries like Telecommunications, Banking, Retail, Healthcare, etc.
The more precise you are in defining your opportunity, the more successful you will be in delivering a solution that fills a buyer’s needs AND in convincing analysts you are for real. This is where you want to be – distinguishable on your merits but within a definable market space for comparison, positioning and leadership outcomes. When you cannot define your market or your market definition is too big, too small or your solution too unspecific, Analysts will see you as a party of one. An analyst I work with once said “a market defined by one vendor and a single solution is not a market.”
NOT HAVING COMPETITION IS NOT AN OPTION
Competition is necessary to prove market leadership. Forbes finds 5 reasons why competition is good for your business. As technology segments ebb and flow to reflect ongoing industry disruption and emerging technology trends it becomes difficult to identify where solutions map to the market landscape – and who are your competitors. So, while innovative solutions can have tremendous growth and market making potential, without a healthy dose of competition, a unique market opportunity can fade as others shape and define the space.
Here are some questions the Analysts will lead you to consider:
- What is the core value my solution is delivering and who needs it?
- Is my value proposition differentiated and do the case studies show ROI?
- Do I know who my competitors are and what are they doing?
If you are interested in knowing more about how to work with an analyst to improve product and market alignment, understand market categorization and your specific market opportunity, I’d love to hear from you.