When Were You Thinking of Revitalizing Your Services Portfolio? The Market Is Thinking "Now"!
(Originally published in the March/April 2006 issue of AFSMI's Sbusiness.)
By William K. Pollock
After a while, even the most innovative service lines begin to lose some of their luster and appeal, ultimately being perceived by the marketplace more as commodity-like offerings, rather than as representing a unique or differentiated portfolio. In many cases, what was initially offered to the market as an innovative service, often without any direct competition, can soon become just another service commodity among scores of increasingly competitive offerings.
Regardless of your organization's market share or position, it is important to gauge exactly where your service portfolios stands at any given point in time with respect to the perceptions - and expectations - of your targeted market base. In most cases, it is the new, innovative, upstart companies that are typically conducting the bulk of the market research and competitive intelligence prior to launching their new products and services - and not necessarily the companies that are still selling their older, more mature, commodity-like offerings.
However, there may still be a great deal of life left in the more mature business lines that comprise the majority of your company's product or services portfolio. Even better, these lines tend to already be "tried and true" with respect to market acceptance, and may only need a gentle marketing or promotional "push" every once in awhile to stimulate additional market interest and sales. Even NASA uses a "mid-course correction" every now and then to ensure that the Space Shuttle gets to the proper destination.
There are many ways in which a business can determine exactly how much "kick" its services offerings still have in them - or, conversely, whether it is time to "kick" some of them out of the portfolio altogether, and replace them with newer, more innovative and competitive lines. The path we recommend to evaluate the overall health of your present portfolio of services is to conduct a strategic business assessment that focuses on:
William K. Pollock is president of Strategies For GrowthSM (SFGSM), the Westtown, Pennsylvania-based services consulting firm specializing in strategic business planning, services marketing, CRM consulting, market/survey research, and customer satisfaction measurement and tracking programs. Bill may be reached at 610-399-9717 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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