Why would you want to define a served market?

The served market may be a part (even a single segment) of the life science research market for instance “Genomics” or “Proteomics” or “Diagnostic assay development” are, in many ways, three distinct areas. Maybe the products required overlap, as do the research practices, but the research focus is different. However, as an example, within Genomics and Proteomics the question may well be the same. To exacerbate this large companies also operate in various served markets. So when they report their results in the annual report both company A and B may well claim leadership in a particularly nebulous market.

Take for instance In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) – a market worth over $80bn!. Yet the leaders claim leadership with, in some years, with wildly different market shares claims.  Oddly both could be correct in their assertions depending on how they define the IVD market. Did company A include blood collection systems (pre-analytical)? Maybe not because they do no serve that market, thus inflating share, whereas company B may well do and have included it in their definition of IVD. improving their own share. So whilst blindingly obvious, share claim comparisons can only be made on definitions of the same market.

Yet, entrepreneurs with their business plan tucked under their arm will take the first data set they come across and that will be only market research they will do. Not a good start for measuring expectations when results don’t come.

So the message is understand what it is you’re defining and what you’re measuring!