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Experts harp on non-market strategies for business growth


Associate Partner, DETAIL, Abiodun Oyeledun (left); Senior Associate, DETAIL, Ifedayo Adeoba; Associate Partner, DETAIL, Samson Enikanoselu; Interface Manager, DETAIL,Toun Olumide; Adjunct Professor, IE Business School, Dr. Kenneth Dubin and Director, IE West Africa Region, Onyekachi Eke at the eighth DETAIL Business Series in Lagos.

Business executives, who gathered at the 8th DETAIL Business Series in Lagos, have emphasized the influence of government and society on the profitability of Nigerian businesses.

This was the subject of discussion on, “The Non-Market Environment, The Most Overlooked Challenge Facing Businesses Today.”
Keynote speaker, IE Business School, Dr. Kenneth Dubin, explained that the market environment deals with a company’s relationships with its customers, suppliers and competitors, while the non-market environment deals with a company’s relationships with government and society via elected officials, NGOs, interest groups and citizens.

“All companies are players in both the market and non-market environment. Although most companies focus on their market strategies, the continued success of a company is highly dependent on building a non-market strategy, he said at the seminar, organised by Detail Commercial Solicitors, a law firm specialised in non-court room practice.

He noted that, “a non-market strategy consists of identifying issues that greatly influence a company; interacting with the right actors involved in those issues; presenting key information to influence the direction of the issue; and building a coalition of other businesses and civic groups that share common interests in those issues.”

Dubin further emphasised that the goal of a non-market strategy was to organise a winning coalition or collective actors, who support a particular direction for an issue in society that needs to be resolved.

“While resolving such an issue would be a benefit to companies, it would also benefit society at large. For example, business executives in the non-market environment should ask questions such as: how do we reduce traffic in major cities so employees can get to work on-time and be more productive? Or, how do we improve education so that companies have a highly skilled workforce?”.

Speaking on the purpose of the event, Interface Manager at DETAIL, Ms. Toun Olumide, said competition in the traditional market environment is getting tougher.

“Companies are finding it important to go beyond market environments and into the non-market environment to gain competitive advantage and have influence in the political arena on key issues affecting their businesses.”

Olumide elaborated that, “DETAIL drives thought leadership around its corporate practice areas.”

The firm has looked at the landscape and identified that businesses should give more focus to developing strategies for its interactions with government and civic society groups.”

“Based on information discussed today, DETAIL believes that for businesses to be highly effective and enhance their competitive advantage in today’s market, it will be critical to develop and execute nonmarket strategies that compliment and reinforce a company’s existing market strategies,” Olumide added.

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