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Mr. Robert Butcher, Polyshot National Sales Management Writes on Innovation for Plastics Processors and Mold Makers
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Marketing is a never ending process that determines the products or services a company offers. At the core of marketing, are the various strategies used to develop sufficient market demand for sustained revenue growth.

 
When company leadership is asked about marketing strategy, almost every conversation inevitably winds up talking about competition. We tend to measure ourselves against the competition and figure out ways to improve market position with new people, buildings, machines, etc. We figure better pricing, terms, and warranties and we spend more and more promoting and advertising the products and services that make up the focus of our strategy.
 
All of the best efforts in these areas will incrementally increase demand and revenue growth as long as the competition is content to do nothing- a prospect that rarely happens.
 
When you lower your price, the competition lowers their price. When you offer more, the competition matches your efforts. When the industry at large holds prices, features or services, new competitors emerge and sustained revenue growth becomes harder and harder to maintain.
 
So what is the answer? Company leadership would do well to concentrate market strategy on innovation rather than on competition. True innovation eliminates competition by providing exceptional utility; and this is the real driver of market demand and revenue growth.
 
 Who could argue just a few short years ago that Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson cell phones dominated the world market and could shut out all competitors? Then out of the blue, the unquestionably innovative Steve Jobs introduces the Apple i-phone.
 
Innovation drives market demand; the greater the innovation, the larger the demand, and of course, the faster the revenue growth. Company leadership makes a mistake when they focus their best efforts on manufacturing and production without searching out the needs of the market.
 
A good market strategy always looks at both identified and perceived market needs with a sharp eye on utility and innovation.
 
How do you start? Analyze what your competitors offer in their advertisements. After all, they may have market insight your team is overlooking. Find out how the market perceives and evaluates the utility of competitive products as well as your own. Determine how the general market sees the strength and weaknesses of your competition. You can accomplish this by talking with, and listening to, everyone connected with the industry.
 
When attending a show or industry gathering, make a concerted team effort to find out how different companies are providing exceptional utility with their products or services. Make sure you are canvassing people selling non-related products to the industry. This is often overlooked but can provide important insight relative to how companies expand demand through innovation.
 
Get your team to look at innovative ways to position your products so that you are providing exceptional utility in every area. Think about how your product is marketed, ordered, packaged, used, serviced, stored, and in the end, how it is discarded. Work with your leadership team to make sure the customer can find no other competitor providing the utility your company provides.
 
And always remember that demand is eroded by competition; new demand has the benefit of having no competition. Find a way to create new demand and it will drive revenue growth.
 
 While your competitors are hurrying to catch up, you can be thinking of new innovative ways to create new demand!
 
Robert Butcher, Polyshot National Sales Management
 
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