Market Strategy Development Series

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Market Strategy Development Series

Building Block 1
The Analytical Foundation

MaRS Discovery District, © December 2009
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MARKET STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT Introduction: What to expect?

In his book Outliers, Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell looks at the relationship between statistical probabilities and the chance of success in your chosen field of work or sports. His essential claim is that you need around 10,000 hours of practice to become really good in a particular field.

This workbook will not take 10,000 hours to complete, so you should not expect that you will become an expert in Market Strategy by going through the activities outlined within. Rather, the purpose of the workbook is to help you understand and focus on the key issues in the field of Market Strategy, and to introduce you to frameworks within which to think and discuss essential areas of your business. The process offered will provide sufficient grounding in the topic so that you will know what questions to ask advisors and consultants, and, in the case of consultants, how to evaluate their work.

Additionally, this workbook provides a launch point for a number of vital business decisions you will have to make to develop your start-up. As a best practice, it is critical to return to these workbooks and revisit facts and assumptions on a continuous basis. This will ensure not only that you build on your learning experience but that you adjust your assumptions to maintain the right course for your business.

Building Block 1: The Analytical Foundation

This workbook is part one of three covering market strategy. It is designed specifically for entrepreneurs in the high-tech space.

The market strategy development process consists of three major parts, or “Building
Blocks,” each adding to the foundation of the previous one:

Building Block 1: The Analytical Foundation
Building Block 2: Critical Value Factors
Building Block 3: Strategic Marketing Approach

Each of these Building Blocks addresses an essential part of your market strategy. Once you have finished all three workbooks, you will have a complete market strategy document for your company.

With this document in hand, you will be ready to begin work on tactical programs designed to implement your strategy, including sales, marketing communications, and product management.

Business Planning: If you are seeking external financing, the market strategy workbook will also help you generate most of the analytical information you need to create a business plan, a pitch deck and other required documents.

How to use these workbooks

1. Make it a team exercise—but make it quick!
Creating a market strategy can be very time-consuming, especially if you do a lot of market research upfront. But it does not have to be. We believe that much of the information you need is already known to your management team and advisors, so we recommend that you make the creation of your market strategy a team effort. However, time is of the essence for high-tech start-ups. Work through the Building Blocks thoroughly, but as efficiently as possible.

. Record and test your assumptions
As you go through the exercises in these workbooks, record all your key assumptions in the accompanying planning document so you can test them later. This will be helpful when you do your market research, which will validate (or invalidate) the key assumptions you made when creating your market strategy.

. Use the icons for help
The workbooks are structured under the assumption that this is the first time you, the reader, has undertaken a market strategy planning exercise. To help provide context for some of the ideas in these workbooks, we have clarified the ideas by defining key terms and offering real-world examples. In addition, we