In 2005, a revolution began in business strategy making, with the launch of the book, The Blue Ocean Strategy, by Professors Rénee Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. The book put forth a novel concept – trying to carve a niche out for yourself in a crowded market isn’t always the best way to succeed in business. Success is all about looking for and identifying new opportunities. While the competition-infested market was termed red oceans, blue oceans refer to industries that don’t exist today.
So, a blue ocean is a market that is still untainted by competition. It is all about creating and capturing new market spaces, making the competition irrelevant. This means that demand is being created, rather than businesses fighting over it. In short, blue oceans could be the path to profit and growth.
The strategy can be easily understood with the example of tech giant Apple. The company has seen tremendous success in recent times, with Apple’s total revenue in 2018 standing at almost $265 billion! But that was not always the case. In fact, the company nearly went under in the 1990s. The uninspired design and lack of features meant that the Mac wasn’t doing well. In fact, after the introduction of Windows NT, Microsoft was outselling Apple by 10:1.
But then in 1997, Apple’s fortunes began to change. The company embraced technology developed by others and ventured into the largely new and untapped digital music market, launching the iPod. Apple knew where the future was and made big profits because of it. There was little competition and plenty of room for growth.
The Role of Technology in Creating Blue Oceans
In a world that is being rapidly disrupted by innovative technology solutions, the path to creating blue oceans also lies in technology. The first step to discovering where fresh opportunities and markets may lie comes from analyzing your target audience. Data is everywhere. In fact, internet users were generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day as of 2019, a figure that is only likely to rise.
Such vast quantities of data cannot be analyzed manually. It requires robust analytic software to bring out patterns in consumer behavior, needs, preferences and more. Such analytics can help businesses identify where demand is likely to lie in the future or even determine unmet needs that the consumer still might not be aware of.
So, technology can help identify new opportunities. However, success in implementing blue ocean strategies will depend on the employees. This means that a tech solution is also required to get the entire organization onboard with the blue ocean strategies. This is where a robust online corporate training platform can be of huge help.
Technology Can Ease the Move to Blue Oceans
Once these are in place, it is time to train employees and ease the process of change for the organization. This can be achieved with the help of advanced learning experience platforms. Here’s how.
- Creating a blue ocean team
Knowing the right place to start and assembling a talented blue ocean team is the first and most important step to making the shift to a blue ocean strategy. With a robust learning experience platform, creating and deploying training modules becomes easy and quick. In addition, it helps identify learning behaviors and traits of individual trainees, helping to determine who could take on leadership roles and who would need greater support to make the shift.
- Creating a common understanding of the goal
Once the team has been created, the next step is to ensure that everyone has a clear idea of the strategic landscape and the short-term and long-term goals. With tools like a learning platform, not only can employees be better engaged in the process of change, but all their questions can be answered, anytime, anywhere and as many times as they wish to. Relevant content can be recommended, with the flexibility to follow a personalized learning path.
- Providing the right tools for sales enablement
Once the target market and the business offering have been determined, the next step is to empower the sales team to best pitch the blue ocean offering. This means that they need accurate, up-to-date information on the product/services that the company intends to offer. They also need powerful communication tools to engage prospects and turn leads into buying customers. In addition, after-sales and customer support play an integral role in ensuring customer loyalty and retention. This means offering information, updates, tips and more, promptly, all of this becomes convenient to implement with online learning solutions that can be accessed on any device, from anywhere. The sales team will have information literally on their fingertips, while customers will have a chatbot to respond to them in real-time.
- Constant search for blue oceans and innovation
It is important to remember that once you do discover a new opportunity, you have the first mover advantage. However, competition will follow you sooner or later. This means that an organization that follows a blue ocean strategy needs to constantly seek out new opportunities and markets and offer innovative products and services. So, speed of launching new offerings should be matched by continued learning and growth to offer novel products/services. Once again, with a robust LXP, ensuring continuous learning, staying updated with the newest developments in the market and fostering a culture of innovation becomes easier.
If you believe in blue oceans and are committed to the growth of your organization, you need the support of a technology platform that allows you to quickly onboard your staff to any changes in business model, structure or market. An AI-driven platform like Kea could be your best friend in this situation. Contact us to know how!
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