What Ansoffs Growth Matrix Can Teach Us About Business Growth



Ansoff’s Growth Matrix, developed by Igor Ansoff, is a tool for strategic marketing decision making that outlines four distinct strategies for business development. It encourages businesses to think about their current product range and how to leverage this knowledge in order to pursue growth opportunities. This article will examine the theories behind each strategy and how they can help businesses to reach the next level of success.

The four strategies outlined by Ansoff’s matrix are:

  • Market Penetration looks at how companies can increase sales of their existing products with their existing target market.
  • Market Development involves introducing new markets for an existing product/service line.
  • Product Development involves creating new products or services that are intended to appeal to existing target markets, and
  • Diversification refers to developing entirely new product lines in an entirely new market.

By considering these strategies when looking at growth plans it allows companies the opportunity to evaluate potential risks while still taking advantage of present market opportunities; it also offers an alternative option when traditional marketing practices have reached their limits – something that many companies desperately need during difficult economic times.

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a tool used to analyze and assess a business’s growth potential. It helps business owners and decision makers identify opportunities for growth and select appropriate strategies to tackle them. This model is divided into four quadrants, which each focus on different strategies for growth. Let’s take a deeper look into each of these quadrants and see what Ansoff’s Growth Matrix can teach us about business growth:

  • Market Penetration
  • Product Development
  • Market Development
  • Diversification

Market Penetration

Market penetration is a strategy used by businesses to increase their market share, typically through competitive pricing, promotion, and product differentiation. Under this type of strategy, the company grows its existing markets by increasing the demand for its current products within those markets. It assumes that the company will use similar products with similar market positioning technologies and pricing to increase sales in those existing markets.

For instance, an electronics store may use market penetration as a way to gain additional business by discounting its products or continuing promotions throughout the year. Alternatively, it may also introduce a loyalty program or other incentives for customers. These strategies can help increase revenue or profit by increasing customer base for existing products in already-developed markets. It works best when there is some degree of differentiation between the company’s product offerings and those of their competitors. The idea behind this strategy is that it’s less risky than entering new markets with untested products or services because you already have an established customer base to draw from.

Market Development

Market development is a growth strategy that attempts to identify and develop potential markets for the organization’s products or services. The aim of this approach is to expand business by introducing existing products into new markets. It seeks to achieve growth in sales either by targeting new segments of existing markets which have not yet been serviced, or by entering new geographic areas that are currently untapped.

Organizations often use a variety of strategies, including expanding their global presence, accessing alternative distribution channels, forming strategic partnerships and alliances, changing pricing policies and promotional strategies and launching product line extensions to gain entry into a new market. When employing this strategy businesses typically focus on exploring opportunities amongst different user groups, target social classes and geographical locations where their product has more potential than in the existing market they serve.

Market development can be used as part of Ansoff’s Growth Matrix and is represented as one of the quadrants covering four main growth strategies – Market Penetration (sell existing product/s to current customers); Product Development (sell new product/s with current customers); Market Development (Sell current products to new customers) or Diversification (Selling both new and current product/s in altogether different markets). Identifying suitable market development opportunities requires an extensive analysis that involves extensive market research activities such as looking at demographic shifts across both domestic or international locations; identifying specific target customer groups; assessing the size, geographical scope and structure within those markets; assessing pricing competitiveness; evaluating social trends; understanding historical economic trends and researching regulatory framing within the countries under exploration.

Product Development

Product development is one of the four strategies outlined in Ivan Ansoff’s Growth Matrix. The other three strategies include market penetration, market development and diversification. Product development involves the introduction of new products into existing markets, with the goal of increasing market share. The matrix highlights the fact that there are many paths to business growth, and it helps decision makers consider their strategies carefully.

Product development, like all strategic options, has both benefits and risks associated with it. On one hand, introducing new products allows businesses to find new ways of pleasing customers, reach broader markets and potentially increase profits. On the other hand, product failure can result in financial losses, damaged customer trust and public relations damage. To add to the complexity of choosing a strategy, product development introduces unique challenges due to its focus on innovation rather than optimization or elimination of existing services or products.

When implementing a product strategy using Ansoff’s Matrix, companies must consider all aspects such as:

  • Target consumers for each type of product;
  • Customer needs for each type of product;
  • Competition in the particular market segment;
  • Positioning within the target customers;
  • Potential return on investment from introducing a new product;
  • Available resources needed for success;
  • Timeline for launch;
  • Pricing models and spending plans among others factors.

Taking all factors into consideration is absolutely necessary to maximize profits while minimizing risks associated with it.


The final strategy of Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is the diversification strategy. This strategy involves developing new product-market combinations, usually through the introduction of new products into new markets. In this approach, organizations venture beyond existing markets and product ranges, thereby reducing dependence on existing products and technologies.

Diversification is a riskier form of growth than market penetration or market development as it is more challenging to put in place because organizations are venturing into new areas without knowing whether there will be an appetite for their product and services. For example, launching an entirely new product such as an online membership providing access to exclusive content. This can be daunting for many businesses because the potential for failure (or success) is higher due to the novelty factor of their offering.

For any organization that is considering diversification as part of its growth plans, it should have:

  • Strong ability to compete in unknown environments
  • Able to develop marketing mix strategies that can engage potential customers with its brand
  • Ideally leverage a meaningful competitive advantage (e.g., unique technology)
  • In-depth knowledge about its target object customers in order to identify any opportunities for differentiation from competitive offerings on the market today.

Benefits of Ansoff’s Growth Matrix

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a powerful tool that can help organizations analyze and understand their current business situation and strategically plan for future growth. This matrix focuses on four growth strategies which are market penetration, product development, market development, and diversification. Through its use, organizations can get a better idea of their current business strategy and the potential for growth.

In this article, we will look at the different benefits of using Ansoff’s Growth Matrix:

Identifying Growth Opportunities

The Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a useful tool for identifying opportunity areas for business growth. It is a simple, yet effective tool that helps business owners to identify and analyze the potential risks associated with any proposed growth plan.

The matrix consists of four main elements, which provide different ways to assess and pursue growth opportunities: Market Penetration, Market Development, Product Development, and Diversification.

  • Market Penetration means increasing market share of existing product(s) in the same market. This can be achieved through initiatives such as price reductions or other strategies that can stimulate sales.
  • Market Development means selling current products in new markets or geographies (local, national or international). This also includes introducing new products into existing markets and regions.
  • Product Development involves creating products related to existing offerings (either through product improvement or simply making new products) or introducing completely new products.
  • Diversification involves expanding the offering by either entering completely new markets with completely new products or a combination of product development and focusing on different customer target groups than existing market segments/products.

The Ansoff Growth Matrix offers an easy-to-understand way to identify where an organization should focus its efforts when looking at growth opportunities. By taking into consideration current product-market combinations as well as potential risks associated with expansion plans, this tool provides organizations with the ability to plan their growth strategy in a structured way.

Identifying Risk

In business, risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to risks that have the potential to impact a company’s operations and profitability. This is an important part of corporate strategy, as it helps to ensure that an organization can identify potential opportunities while also avoiding financial losses.

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a tool used by business strategists to help identify and understand the four distinct areas of risk they may face: market penetration strategies, market development strategies, product development strategies, and diversification strategies. Using this model can help both established companies and start-ups discover potential ways for increasing their market share or expanding into new markets.

  • Market Penetration Strategies involve looking for ways to expand an existing product or service in the current market. These strategies may include changing prices or launching campaigns designed to increase customer loyalty.
  • Market Development Strategies focus on introducing new products or services into existing markets in order to increase sales revenue or create new customers. It can involve doing research into potential customer groups in order to understand what products or services they want or need.
  • Product Development Strategies involve creating modified or additional products for existing markets in order maximize profits from current customers and secure new ones. New products could be based on customer feedback as well as integrating new technologies into the company’s offerings.
  • Diversification Strategies involve the introduction of entirely new products into entirely new markets in order to secure further growth opportunities – including purchasing another business completely unrelated to their own! It carries a high element of risk but may offer unique rewards if successful. Generally speaking these are used when no other option seems available within existing markets and products.

The purpose behind Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is not only understanding how each risk level works but also exploring options that are suitable given industry conditions at any given time period rather than solely relying on intuition-based decision-making processes when coming up with business growth initiatives. If a company takes calculated risks through applied frameworks such as this one then it will be more likely for them achieve success those who don’t implement similar structures into their processes beforehand.

Understanding Market Dynamics

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a strategic tool used to analyze and plan for a company’s growth by assessing potential products, markets, market penetration, product development, and diversification. By understanding the dynamics of potential products in combination with existing or newly identified markets and exploiting any synergies between them, companies can develop an effective business strategy for growth.

The four main components of Ansoff’s Growth Matrix involve:

  1. Market Penetration: Increasing sales for an existing product or service in the same market by using promotional strategies, market segmentation and pricing.
  2. Product Development: Introducing new features to existing product offerings or developing entirely new products to expand the current range appeals to consumer demand and meets their needs.
  3. Market Development: Exploring demand outside the current target market segments through promotional campaigns, targeting new demographics relevant to the offering, or expanding distribution channels into untapped regions expands opportunities for greater revenue growth.
  4. Diversification: Entering different segments with different products that could leverage core competencies and technologies allows firms to grow further as they explore new markets and deliver innovative offerings as well as potentially reduce their exposure to risk when compared with investing in a single product or one market only.

Examples of Ansoff’s Growth Matrix

Ansoff’s Growth Matrix is a strategic tool used to identify potential growth opportunities for a business. It divides growth into four categories: Market Penetration, Product Development, Market Development, and Diversification.

Each of these four categories has its own examples that can serve as an example for businesses aiming to grow. Let’s explore these examples in more depth:

Market Penetration

Market penetration refers to a business strategy in which a firm seeks to increase its share of the existing market. It involves increasing demand for the company’s current products, usually through aggressively promoting them or decreasing prices. Market penetration is one of four strategies outlined by Igor Ansoff’s Growth Matrix, developed in the mid-1950s.

There are several ways in which a company can penetrate an existing market including:

  • Advertising and promotion: Increasing advertising and promotion activities for current products, often aimed at expanding reach and attracting new customers.
  • Price adjustments: Decreasing prices or increasing discounts to make products more attractive to price-conscious consumers who may be considering similar offerings from competitors.
  • New packaging: Introducing new packaging or product features that may entice both existing customers and potential buyers to purchase more frequently or in larger amounts.
  • Product line expansion: Adding new complementary products (e.g., retail stores expanding their selection) or increasing the range of options within product lines (e.g., offering different sizes).

Market Development

Market development is one of the four growth strategies outlined in Ansoff’s Growth Matrix. This strategy involves selling your existing products to new markets. This could mean introducing your product to domestic or international territories, introducing a new customer segment or distribution channel, or offering a new pricing model.

The main aim of market development is to increase the sales and revenues generated without having to change your products too much – so this may require some marketing research and customer behaviour analysis. Depending on the target market you’re looking to reach, you might also need to consider advertising in different languages and establishing relationships with local contacts who can help you confidently launch into the alternative markets.

Some key considerations when launching a market development strategy include understanding:

  • whether there is potential demand for your product;
  • what existing competitors are present in the new target markets;
  • what type of promotions would be beneficial for customers;
  • any regulations and restrictions related to sales activities in alternative countries; and
  • how quickly you can establish visibility with minimal investments.

Product Development

Product development is one of the strategies outlined in Ansoff’s Growth Matrix. It involves existing products being modified or enriched in some way to expand the current market and boost sales. This strategy is used when a company wants to stay within their current market and cater to its present customers.

Product development can involve:

  • Adopting a new technology
  • Producing a new version of an existing product
  • Changing product features or packaging to meet customer needs
  • Additional services such as guarantees, credit arrangements, repair contracts and warranties

A key consideration for product development is whether existing customers will embrace these changes. Focusing on an existing product does not mean that a business should become stale and stagnant; it’s important for companies to focus on innovation, keeping up with trends, improving products and services, being responsive to feedback from customers and understanding how their needs are changing over time. Companies should always strive to improve upon their performance through product improvement rather than expecting unexpected market growth from unchanged products and services.


Diversification is the riskiest of Ansoff’s growth strategies and entails adding new products in new markets to the existing product/market mix. At this stage, a business can introduce existing products into a new market or develop new products for an existing market. Each option carries its own challenges and risks from marketing to producing goods, but if executed successfully can lead to substantial growth.

Existing Products in New Markets
By taking an existing product and introducing it into new markets, businesses can reach a wider consumer base and access larger pools of potential customers. When entering a foreign market it is vital to research the local customs and trends as these will largely influence consumer decision-making; ignoring these may mean that your goods are not seen favorably or received well by prospective customers.

New Products in Existing Markets
Introducing new goods into existing markets gives companies an opportunity to expand their customer base as well as tap into lucrative areas of demand with minimal outlay; however, successfully executing this strategy requires significant investment in marketing and product development teams so that consumers recognize the value of the introduction over competitors’ offerings. Additionally, providing resources such as instructional videos, troubleshooting documents or other self-help materials reduce any uncertainty consumers have about using or engaging with the product, thus increasing consumption of the good.


In summary, Ansoff’s Growth Matrix provides an effective framework for understanding the various strategies a company can pursue in order to grow. By carefully considering each strategy’s associated risks and benefits, a business can decide which one is most suitable for their individual context.

It is important to remember that each of the strategies has its advantages and disadvantages, which must be carefully weighed when making strategic decisions. For example, market penetration offers a relatively low risk approach but has limited potential for growth compared to other strategies such as market development and diversification. Ultimately, it is important to choose the best strategy for the company’s goals, taking into account all relevant factors.