In an internally focused organization, the emphasis is on product development and improvement as a source of sales growth.
The company is defined by its internal skills, and structures its internal processes and procedures to get the most out of its core set of competencies.
Major symptoms of this perspective are organizational charts with functional silos, marketing strategies that remain constant year after year, and a lack of market research as a tool for pet product development, process improvement and customer service
On the other (more successful) hand, an externally motivated company develops its marketing strategies around consumer needs, current and future market conditions, and changes in the competitive landscape.
With an eye outside the organization, management can see change coming and make strategic decisions that keep them ahead of the competition.
This type of organization is able to identify consumer needs, foresee market changes, and capitalize on business opportunities before the competition.
Focusing on the five external factors below will help your business chart the course for success.
1. The Needs of Pet Parents
When a company understands not only what they can make but also what their consumers need, they shift their internal focus from products to solutions.
With this shift, organizations can find ways to restructure their departments and teams from cumbersome, functional silos to streamlined cross-functional teams, placing a priority on collaboration, problem solving and improving the customer experience.
By redefining itself from a product maker to a solution provider, a company can open doors to innovation, see new opportunities, and create a more fluid organization that can keep pace with market trends.
2. Pet Industry Trends
Monitoring the market for changes and fluctuations in trends gives a business a grasp on how they need to alter their position or offering. Furthermore, it also provides management with ongoing awareness into what factors have the most impact on the market and helps them develop more insightful and educated forecasting.
This focus also includes knowledge around other business and market influences such as technological advances, consumer lifestyle changes, and economic fluctuations.
The goal is to become so entrenched in the marketplace and the factors that affect it that a company can identify opportunities in enough time to capitalize on them and recognize threats in enough time to dodge them.
3. Competitive Landscape
The competition within the pet industry is constantly changing with companies moving in and out, products progressing through their lifecycle, and new marketing strategies playing out across various communication platforms.
Understanding strategic moves that other pet businesses are making – or might make – can position a company well to react.
4. Market Research
An externally driven, customer focused business perspective is built on systemic market research.
It’s not something a business does only in the start-up phase or when a new product is in development; it is an ongoing investment that is made to continually monitor what’s going on outside the walls of the business.
The data gleaned should influence the marketing and communications strategies and be used to inform the product development process.
5. Dynamic Strategy
With a focus on developing solutions that consumers need, a company’s marketing strategy should continue to evolve and adapt in response to the knowledge that is gathered from the market research.
This agile strategy should work as a roadmap with its objectives, estimates and execution being measured on a regular basis.
Likewise, the SWOT analysis that outlines the company’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats should be assessed on a regular basis and incorporate any new findings from the most recent research conducted.