Marketing: Finding and Riding a Growth Wave

The simplest and most reliable marketing strategy you can adapt for your business or product is to go where the growth is. Find it and ride the growth wave — an opportunity to sell something with increasing demand — for as long as you can. Doing so is important because growing and prospering when selling into a growing market is much easier than when facing stagnant or shrinking demand.

But what if you have a flat or shrinking market? When faced with a declining market, do the following to adjust to the growth rate:

  • Reduce retail stores and other major investments to avoid losses.

  • Eliminate low-margin products from your line so you can survive in a slow market.

  • Look for other places to sell your product or find another product line to sell that offers more growth potential.

Don’t waste your time trying to grow and prosper in an unhealthy market. By keeping a regular eye on market growth rates and focusing on selling into growth markets, you simultaneously ensure that you can grow your sales and increase the ease of operating at a profit.

Slow-growth and no-growth markets are brutally competitive. To win sales in either case, you often have to slash prices, ruining your profit margins. That’s why smart marketers make a strategic point of focusing on growth markets. They also keep careful track of the growth rate in their market so as to be alert to a slowdown that may indicate a need to move on again.

To identify the best market for your future growth, ask yourself where growth is. Some types of customers may be increasing in number while others are declining (for instance, the United States has a lot of consumers in their 20s, so some marketers are shifting away from older consumers and targeting the newer ones).

Furthermore, certain types of businesses are expanding (such as healthcare businesses), so a business-to-business marketer can grow by providing specific products or services to them. Also, geographic areas vary in their economic health and strength, so if you’re willing to relocate or expand into new markets, you can target cities or states with relatively strong economies.

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