Russian American, Igor Ansoff, came up with a strategic planning tool called the Ansoff Matrix. It provides a framework to help marketers devise strategies for future growth. This doesn't just help marketers but also executives and other professionals who want to understand potential risk.
I know, not a very "sexy" looking framework, but it gets the job done. This is also sometimes called the "Product / Market Expansion Grid". Lets look at each quadrant:
- Market Penetration is the name give to a growth strategy where the business focuses on selling existing products into existing markets. Less risky.
- Create a new marketing strategy to encourage more people to choose your product or service.
- Introduce a loyalty scheme.
- Launch price or other special offers.
- Research your products to see which should get further investment, which should be optimized and which should be discontinued.
- Know what your competitors are doing.
- Market Development is a growth strategy where the business seeks to sell its existing products into new markets.
- Target different geographical markets at home or abroad. Or different target audiences.
- Research and try out different sales channels.
- Really understand how to position your product.
- Product Development the strategy where a business aims to introduce new products into existing markets. Slightly risky.
- Change your offering but repacking an existing product or extending your service offering.
- Develop a related product or service.
- Diversification is the name given to the growth strategy where a business markets new products in new markets. Most risky.
- Research, research, research. Understand your competitors, consumer needs and the market.
The Ansoff Matrix is usually used at the beginning of expanding your business. This gives you a good starting point in your future brainstorming sessions.