Lasting Innovation to Maintain a Competitive Edge

Since no competitive advantage lasts forever, your business must incessantly innovate to sustain growth and financial performance, while simultaneously striving for continuous improvement.

One strategy that propels all three of the aforementioned goals is “market orientation.” This business model puts the customer center stage, focusing on delivering products designed according to customer desires, needs, and requirements. Management guru Peter Drucker noted that a market oriented firm sees itself from the point of view of the final result: the customer’s perspective.

Because market orientation places such a fundamental focus on innovation to meet the current and future needs of the customer, it can be one of the most potent solutions to help overcome stagnation and create product advantage. Though shifting your company to marketing orientation will initiate a cultural change, the ensuing results will ultimately benefit your customers and your bottom line.

The three main drivers in market orientation strategy are as follows:

  1. Top management emphasis: realizing that where the decision makers go, so goes the company.
  2. Interdepartmental communication: sharing information and expertise between all employees.
  3. Implementation of market-based training and reward programs: ensuring commitment throughout the company.

The shift to market orientation should not be an isolated decision made by only a few decision makers; it is a decision that all managers must agree to take on. Given that market orientation puts everything in the perspective of the one factor that no business can fully control – the customer – company-wide acceptance and adaptation is necessary in order to be successful. As with many business initiatives, managers should be the guiding light of this cultural shift, keeping employees at all levels informed and driving the organization toward even greater success.

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