How to strategically grow your customer base

A useful tool to consider where your business growth is going to come from is the Ansoff Matrix (see above). Developed in 1957 by Igor Ansoff. The intention of the tool was to help organisations to identify and explore opportunities for growth. It also is a reminder of the potential risks within the different strategies; with diversification being the highest risk to growth and market penetration being the least risky.

Market penetration

This is primarily a strategy to increase market share within your existing customer base. So this could be selling more of your existing products to existing customers or finding new customers in already established market places.

Market development

This involves looking for new markets to sell your existing products to. This could be new industry sectors, new geographic locations (possibly overseas) or a combination of the two.

Product development

This strategy to develop new products or services to your existing customer base can be the most lucrative in terms of the potential for business growth. You already have a relationship with your current customers and therefore you are in a better position to develop something of value for them.

Diversification

This strategy is going to stretch most organisations as both new product development and new marketing strategies are going to be required.

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