Growing Your Market Share Intelligently

Joe Vertenten
November 16, 2015
Market Share How can you grow your market share? Well, the better question may be “How can you grow your customer share of wallet?”. Acquiring new customers, which seems intuitive, is actually the hardest thing to do when attempting to grow market share. It can be very expensive and time-consuming to acquire new customers, and the uncertainty of their needs and profitability to your business definitely increases the risk of losing that customer or losing money in the future even if you do acquire them. Focusing on your current customer share of wallet has several advantages:
  • Customers know you and your product/service already (trust established)
  • You already have a good idea of the customer’s needs
  • Easier to get the customer’s attention to introduce your current products/services that are new to them
  • You are already aware of their profitability to your business

Growing Beyond Customer Share of Wallet

If you already have expanded your market share via expanding your offerings to your current customers, growing your business can be accomplished via other means:
  • Organic growth via offering new products/services to current customers
  • Acquisitions—may just be customer lists of closing companies in your industry, or hiring salespersons already established in the market (customers loyal to the salesperson, not the company)
  • Marketing to a new demographic
    • Go beyond just reaching out to new customers in your current demographic
    • Determine how you can meet the needs of new demographics that won’t require significant changes to your current products/services
    • May be new offerings that are a natural extension of your current capabilities

Creating a Sense of Indispensability

A final way to drive market share is via creating a sense of indispensability to your customers. Using customer service and innovation are two methods to help do this. Customer service has become the main way many companies continue to drive down customer churn and create customer loyalty to your company/brand. Routinely meeting and hopefully exceeding customer expectations can be a true differentiator, as most companies have issues in doing this consistently. Innovation is another key factor that drives market share gains. As we’ve seen in multiple industries, using technology can be a huge benefit to driving market share. Technology can help enable the following:
  • The speed of getting your product/service to the market
  • Improving the ease of doing business with your company (transaction speed, breaking down barriers to adoption, etc.)
  • Disrupting business models (think Amazon, iOS/Android, Netflix, etc.)
Innovation doesn’t have to just be something no one has ever seen—it just needs to help transform your segment of the industry. It can be as simple as adjusting how providers connect with their customers (think Uber), or bringing something already in market to a new product category (such as narrow bezels to PC LCDs like Dell has done on their XPS product line). For every revolutionary new technology (Dyson for the vacuum cleaner, for instance), there are many, many instances where companies have been able to take innovations from elsewhere and apply it to their businesses. Sometimes they are very subtle yet enhance the customer experience (Amazon’s purchase recommendations as you search for things online comes to mind), others are immediately recognizable as game-changers (such as Google’s search engine when it was first launched). Take the time to look at your customers’ experiences with your product/service, and attempt to find ways to make that experience memorable. It could be:
  • Cutting the transaction time
  • Reducing the number of clicks to actually purchase the product/service
  • Finding new ways to present actionable information to your customers
  • Taking a process that is a chore today and making it delightful
The list can go on and on, the possibilities are almost endless. Have fun imagining the opportunities as you explore this process. Sources: Kristen Bellstrom, “What fintech companies can learn from Uber”, Fortune.com, October 12, 2015  Steve Wilkinghoff, “Focus on Customer Share not Market Share to Grow Your Business”, December 21, 2014 Andrew M. Miller, “Growing Your Market Share”, September 17, 2010 Kristen R. Price, “The Three Best Ways to Grow Market Share”, date unattributed Jon Bruner, “Every Company Is A Tech Company“, May 13, 2014  

About the Author

Joe Vertenten

Joe Vertenten has worked in the technology industry for almost 15 years.  Roles he has had include pricing/profitability management, managing demand/supply professionals, global commodity management, and business strategy.  He has very eclectic music tastes, and is an avid reader of history, historical fiction, and murder/suspense/spy novels.  He and his family live in Maine.

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