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The Competitive Dilemma, How to Maintain Your Competitive Edge

by Scot Kim  |  October 22, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

Markets are transitioning so rapidly that the competitive landscape is becoming crowded with competitors you may never even considered.  I recall having a conversation with one executive to watch out for a company that is making some significant investments in adjacent markets.  The answer that I got from the executive was quite startling.  He said, “We are not competiting the same markets, we do not even see each other at all.”  Well, that may be true for today but tomorrow will be a different story.  Case in point, I am sure the grocery retail outlets never thought that Amazon would disrupt their market.  Or Uber or Lyft would disrupt the taxi services.  Do not be myopic when it comes to understanding the competitive landscape of your market.  Did you know that 59% of product managers expect that they will be competing in different markets in the next 3 years?  So what should companies do to avoid being disrupted and begin the slow death march to obsolescence?

The answer is, get serious about expanding your product/services aggressively into emerging markets.  Remember to protect your core market but look into getting into market adjacencies before the competition does.  This can be done through acquisitions, partnering or organically building a product/solution in-house.  Whichever is best for your company to differentiate.  One of the most common competitive intelligence tools to use is the 2×2 four matrix competitive watch-list.  This will help identify where the competitive pressures are coming from and look out for potential companies that could encroach into your space.

By having a 360 degree crow’s nest view of the competitive landscape and aggressively getting into other adjacent markets before your competition does, will keep your company in an offensive posture.

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Tags: competitive-intelligence  competitors-watch-list  

Scot Kim
Senior Research Director
1 years at Gartner
25 years IT Industry

Scot Kim is a member of the Technology and Service Provider research organization. Mr. Kim provides research and advisory services to clients that are in need of performing competitive analysis for all departments like product management, engineering, product marketing, solutions marketing, and sales. Read Full Bio

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