Driving strategy using the Marimekko chart


Marketing-Strategy

As a marketer for an OTC company, I am dealing with market information every day. To determine where we need to go with our business and what strategy we should follow we ask ourselves numerous questions; How big is the market? Is the market growing? How is the market segmented? Which segments are interesting? How are we performing today? What are the relevant distribution channels? And so on.. I believe that market analysis is key to be able to provide an answer to these questions, to determine whether there is a need for your idea and what the correct strategic approach would be. A fault made by many marketers is that they base decisions upon ‘gut feeling’ and personal perspective. Maybe in the ’80s this was how things were done, but nowadays we have access to so much data and information, that there is no excuse for not conducting analyses.

So getting the data is not an issue anymore. What is very important now is that you are able to identify the data that is relevant for you. And, when you have all the data you need, that you find a way to illustrate it in a clear and structured way. There are hundreds of possible charts that you can use but what is the right chart for the job?

I will share with you one of my favorite charts, that has proven to be very useful for some of my business decisions – the Marimekko chart.Mekko chart

The Marimekko chart is a two dimensional chart that combines the information of a pie chart and a stacked bar chart in one stacked area graph. The Marimekko chart is excellent for strategy, market, competitor or product performance analysis/review.

Mekko-building tools are offered by various companies like Mekko Graphs and Think-cell, but the graph can also be built in Excel.

To illustrate how a Marimekko graph can be useful, I will give a fictive example of a start-up company that uses the Marimekko chart to make strategic decisions.

A start-up home decoration company wishes to examine the home decoration industry to determine what markets would be most interesting to operate in, with the biggest chance of growth. They examined many markets including textiles & rugs, art & picture frames, garden accessories & lightning

They created a Marimekko chart, or market map.

mekko decoration

What can they learn? The largest segments are textiles & rugs and lightning, they represent more than half of the market. The textiles & rugs segment is dominated by company A, so entering this market will very difficult. The lightning industry however is more fragmented, so they might have a better chance here.

In this case, the Marimekko chart provides clear information to this start-up company about what segments are the most attractive.

The Marimekko graph has already been very useful for me, particularly in making decisions for new product development. Of what types of charts & illustrations are you a firm believer?

By: Melanie Pieters, 420914MP

References:

http://www.business-advantage.com/market_analysis.php

http://tellingthestory.typepad.com/telling_the_story/marimekko/

http://www.planigent.com/html/markanal.html

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