Are you trying to allocate scarce resources to competing business development options?
With so many promising new technologies (e.g., electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles; carbon neutral technologies in specialty chemicals and materials; biologicals and precision agriculture in farming; robotic-assisted surgery), how should strategic marketers assess their ability to win?
Many stage gate processes focus on ensuring you have a “right to play” – the minimum requirements to pass the next gate: a viable product, a first customer, and manufacturing capability. But you don’t want to play, you want to win.
Winning, especially in markets with disrupting new technologies, is a combination of Strength of Control and Strength of Differentiation. Strength of Control comes from a supplier’s ability to control scarce raw materials, establish favorable industry specifications, design preferred formulations and partner with the best distribution channels. Strength of Differentiation comes from developing step-change performance advantages on the target market’s Critical Purchase Criteria (CPCs).
If you have neither, you may be wasting your R&D capital. If you have both, you’re ready to win.
In the following redacted example, a business had three promising new technologies but only had sufficient resources to develop and launch one.
New Technology A was attractive because of its size (it could be used in a wide range of applications) and differentiation. However, the strength of control was weak due to limited access to a critical raw material controlled by a vertically integrated competitor.
New Technology B provided moderate control, but limited differentiation compared to competitive offers that were targeting the same segment (same CPCs) and making incremental improvements.
New Technology C had strong control (the opportunity to use a proprietary distribution channel) AND strong differentiation (step change performance improvement in the target application’s Critical Purchase Criteria). Although smaller, it represented the best opportunity to win.
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