Market Share: Looking for the Green Shoots in your Marketing Share Plan

August 5th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

Since the beginning of the year the term “Green Shoots” has been used by the media to describe any sign of growth, recovery, or renewal in the economy. The analogy of Green Shoots refers to the growth of plants from the seeds planted at the beginning of economic recovery; examples of Green Shoot growth are:

– Retail sales grew by 6.3 per cent in April
– Long-haul flight bookings were up 2 per cent in the past two weeks
– New property buyer enquiries rose for a sixth consecutive month

Economists measure every detail of the economy and spend significant time and resources interpreting the data. If the examples above are measured individually they have little or no impact on the economy, but if you group the results you start to get a clearer picture that the economy is on a path to recovery. There remains a tremendous challenge of how fast the economy will recover and to what extent, but the green shoots can be an early indicator that the economic plan is starting to work.

The economic principle of green shoots needs to be applied to sales and marketing plans that are designed to capture market share. Too many companies expect immediate market share return on their invested marketing and sales dollars; and if they do not see a hockey stick curve market share growth they the forget to pay attention to the green shoot indicators. In my last blog, I talked about companies like Microsoft and AMD pursuing a 30% market share in the search engine and chip manufacturing sector and if you look at the history of these companies and the products they sell you see a long term commitment to capture market share.

Microsoft Search Engine
– 1998 MSN Search was launched
– Launched their technology preview of their search engine around July 1st of 2004
– On September 11, 2006, Microsoft announced they were launching their Live Search product.
– On June 1, 2009, Microsoft launched Bing

AMD History
– 1969 AMD incorporates with $100,000; establishes headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.
– 1985 AMD is listed in Fortune 500 for the first time.
– 1993 AMD Am486® microprocessor family debuts.
– 2009 AMD completes the shipment of its 500 millionth x86 processor since the company’s founding in 1969.

In both cases AMD and Microsoft have not achieved the 30% market share, but they continue to invest billions in the pursuit of achieving that objective. The revenue curve for both companies may have looked like a hockey stick curve at times, but the market share curve has been very gradual over a long period. When preparing a plan to grow market share measure the green shoots of success and it will be the cumulative of the green shoots that will result in acquiring market share.

Topics: Sales Consulting