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Letting markets slip away.

Fight back. Don't be a trend victim. Institute research shows that many businesses and industries are often far too quick to abandon market sectors in the face of socioeconomic and political changes.

Rather than forfeit markets, you can shore them up by recognizing their new influences and developing proactive marketing, sales and new product strategies to exploit them.

You may believe, for instance, that a certain market is saturated. But in reality the market is simply saturated with the same type of products or services.

... The difference between letting a market go and claiming or reclaiming it is the difference between believing "market forces" are in control and believing you are.

Entire industries are turning away from markets rather than seeking to restructure and reshape them.

A prime example is the newspaper industry. Rather than rebuild a shrinking reader base by providing the highest-quality information about significant current events and then promoting the incredible ROI from reading a newspaper, the industry is focusing on such issues as newspaper design and telecommunications competition.

... Another example of premature evacuation is in the railroad industry. While railroads in Europe and Japan have repositioned themselves to satisfy changing customer needs, railroads in the United States have generally been allowed to wither.

Only now is the industry beginning to take control: It is joining with the government in proposing the development of high-speed rail in several corridors of the country.

In addition, Conrail has reversed a decade of decline by reinventing itself in the face of a freight-market transformation. It has accomplished this in part by thinking and acting like a nimble trucking company and (with serendipitous help from overcrowded highways) often beating truckers at their own game!

Other examples of untimely market relinquishment include industries such as baking, canning and sewing, which hastily labeled themselves anachronisms.

... Indeed, in industry after industry, otherwise-smart businesspeople are throwing up their hands and letting markets slip away instead of working to redirect and re-educate the changing customer.

The industries will have their greatest chances of success when the businesses in the industry come together to establish long-term programs to develop growth. This can be accomplished best when companies recognize that the success of their individual businesses is often a function of the unity of the industry.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Financial Executives International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:The Future
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:378
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