MTA: So what are electronics buyers investing in?
Last week Marine Technology Advisors (MTA) began publishing more results of the 2010 survey. This is the second installment: Among a long list of market characteristics MTA tested for - and will be testing again - was the current rate of installation for more than 60 technical segments. We asked survey respondents to cite their current position with these marine technologies in one of the four states diagrammed below. What we found was a electronics market with a broad range of market development maturity across more than 60 technical segments. Can buyers and suppliers enhance their relationship(s) by thinking about their solutions from this perspective? Can users and suppliers of materially different technical solutions benefit from common market development strategies? We think so...
A Worthwhile Way To Organize A Highly Fragmented Market?
Lets see if this framework is instructive. We will take a look at three sets of technical segment opportunities in the recreational marine electronics market - based on 1,000 MTA user survey returns. The technical segments presented here are a subset of the more than 60 technologies MTA tested in its last survey. These are the top ten technologies that received 30% or higher positive response rate for plans to invest in these technologies during 2011 or 2012 (alphabetical order):
2. Alternative power generation
3. Electrical subsystems
5. General purpose electronic hardware
6. Multi-function displays (MFD)
7. NME 2000
9. Third-party software packages
Pretty interesting when you think 1,000 highly qualified private vessel owners and operators invested 20 minutes of their lives to complete this survey. (They were rewarded with a contribution to two global charities.) These were the top ten most often cited planned investments for survey respondents. Obviously there are any number of logical next steps to analyze these opportunities:
- Demographics of users that cited these technologies - and demographics of those that did not - homing in on the core market
- Product selection criteria for these technologies - honing the market messages
- Vendor and source selection criteria for these technologies - channeling resources
Takeaway: Different Segments, Different Penetration/ Maturity Levels, Different Strategies
But, what about a different, perhaps equally valuable framework for considering these technologies. A framework that might aid buyers, suppliers and resellers? Lets try.
Upgrade Sockets - These are the technical segments where the highest share of respondents planning to invest already have the solution currently installed. Legacy integration - mechanical, electrical, electronic - matters. Users' visceral experience with the installed base of systems matters too.
Greenfield Sockets - These are the technical segments where the highest share of respondents planning to invest do NOT have the solution currently installed. A significant amount of market education and training may be required with these solutions. A number of likely unforeseen enabling technology upgrades matter, too.
Mixed Sockets - Technical segments with high rate of investment planned, and a high rate of mix between those with solutions already installed (Upgrade Sockets) and not installed (Greenfield Sockets). Well, as you might guess, combinations of both conditions above, existing in every imaginable mix.
Approximately 36% of survey respondents cited they would be investing in the following technologies:
1. Third-party packaged software
2. Alternative power generation subsystems
One of these markets is Greenfield with 74% of those investing for the first time. Another is Upgrade with 70% investing in installed systems. The third is a Mixed market, with a 45% upgrade/ 55% new install mix. Can you guess which is which?