What His Matrix of Ansoff Can Teach Us About Business Strategy


Introduction to Ansoff Matrix

Ansoff Matrix is a tool used by businesses to develop strategic plans that identify possible opportunities for growth. It helps them analyze their current market position, determine their risk level and evaluate their growth options. It also helps business leaders assess the potential of various strategies and decide what action to take.

The Ansoff Matrix can be a great tool for businesses that want to create better strategies. Let’s take a closer look and see what it can teach us about business strategy.

Overview of Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix, also known as the Product/Market Expansion Grid, is a strategic marketing tool designed to help companies decide their product and market growth strategies. It was created in 1957 by Igor Ansoff, a well-known Russian-American mathematician and business executive who studied World War II military planning. The matrix began its life as an analytical strategy tool but evolved into an important strategic planning framework for businesses operating in uncertain and diversified environments.

The Ansoff Matrix allows businesses to analyze potential growth opportunities either by introducing a new product onto their existing markets or by entering new markets with their existing products. Its four limbs represent different combinations of market and product offerings that can be adopted to achieve desired business outcomes:

  1. Market Penetration: organizations aim to increase the sales of existing products or services within existing markets;
  2. Product Development: introducing new products or services into existing markets;
  3. Market Development: organizations target new markets for their current performance portfolio; and
  4. Diversification: organizations diversify their activities by launching both new products into new market segments.

The level of risk associated with each strategy varies depending on the organization’s capabilities and competencies, the level of competition in the marketplace, customer demand etc. Therefore, the careful analysis of each limb should be conducted before any decision is made.

Benefits of Ansoff Matrix

Ansoff Matrix is a strategic tool used by corporate planners to develop and analyze growth strategies. This tool, developed by H. Igor Ansoff, outlines options to grow a business either through existing products/markets or new products/markets. It enables businesses to approach strategic decisions with a clear framework that assists leaders in evaluating the risk associated with various growth strategies. Additionally, the matrix provides an understanding of where and how the organization can compete more effectively in the marketplace.

The benefits of using the Ansoff Matrix for strategic planning include:

  • Clarifying growth opportunities – Ansoff Matrix facilitates analyzing potential opportunities by evaluating factors such as markets, products and more at different stages of maturity leading to more complete decisions on which direction to take in terms of expansion.
  • Establishing achievable goals – Through its classic framework, Ansoff’s matrix can assist businesses into setting goals strategically that are realistically attainable through achievable steps based on an accurate assessment of current condition and market situation.
  • Generating actionable insights – This matrix allows companies to identify which combination of current customers, product lines and technology will generate new opportunities as well as develop insight into short and long-term strategy for cost structure optimization.
  • Clarifying decision-making processes – Using this framework explicitly helps project teams identify location, size and risk associated with undertaking projects for profitable growth initiatives including market penetration opportunities or diversification across product lines or industry boundaries.

Market Penetration

The Ansoff Matrix is a great tool for analyzing the various strategies businesses can use to grow their companies. One popular strategy for growing a business is called market penetration. Market penetration focuses on increasing sales of existing products and services in existing markets. This section will explain how this strategy works and the benefits and drawbacks associated with it.

Definition of Market Penetration

Market penetration is a business strategy implemented by companies to increase market share of products or services through existing markets. This strategy involves selling more product or services in existing markets, using existing techniques and strategies. Market penetration strategies are often used when the company is looking for growth in size and market share, rather than profit margin.

Ansoff’s Matrix, devised in the late 1950s by Igor Ansoff, offers four distinct strategies that a business can employ when trying to reach its objectives: market penetration, product development, diversification, and combination (sometimes referred to as market development). Market penetration ambitions to increase sales of an already existing product within already existing targeted consumers.

The concept of market penetration revolves around achieving success in a single target market with methods such as repetitive customer awareness campaigns, customer loyalty initiatives and program discounts. The main idea behind this approach is that if a company has been successful at creating demand for one specific product within its customer base then it should be able to create similar demand for other products as well if those products are closely related to the first one. It is also important to note that increased marketing resources might be needed if leveraging this type of strategy in order to achieve greater levels of success and/or achieve desired goals at faster rates.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Market Penetration

Market penetration is one of the four growth strategies outlined in the Ansoff Matrix. This strategy involves increasing the market share of an existing product by selling more of it to current customers and through promotional activities. Market penetration has advantages and disadvantages which business should consider prior to selecting it as a growth strategy.


  • Low capital investment: Unlike the other strategies, market penetration does not require high upfront capital investment since you are only increasing your sales either directly or through promotions.
  • Less risky: Compared to other strategies such as market development or product development, market penetration requires fewer changes in existing tactics and involves fewer risks as you are working with established processes and knowledge.
  • Ability to retain brand identity & goodwill: Market penetration allows businesses to utilize their resources effectively such as their brand identity, local acceptance & goodwill, without sacrificing quality or customer service for maximum profit margins.


  • Competition: It can be difficult for companies relying on a single product or service to increase their consumer base when faced with competitors offering similar products and services at lower prices.
  • Price sensitivity: Many customers may be price conscious when it comes to buying products; they may choose competitors who offer same products at lower prices thereby hindering your growth strategy plans.
  • High cost of advertising: Advertisements aimed at increasing sales/market share can be expensive, so companies need to have sufficient funds set aside for marketing if relying on this form of promotion as part of their market penetration strategy.

Market Development

Market development is an Ansoff growth strategy where businesses look to reach new customers by expanding their product offerings. This growth strategy is used to drive sales by leveraging existing products and services into new markets. It involves going beyond the current customer base by targeting non-users of a product, altering existing products to appeal to a new market, or introducing new products to the current market.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Ansoff Matrix can help us understand market development.

Definition of Market Development

Market development embraces the concept of pursuing new opportunities by serving either existing or fresh markets with existing products in an increasingly competitive atmosphere. It is one of the four growth strategies proposed by Igor Ansoff, a Russian-American mathematician and corporate strategy pioneer, known as the Ansoff Matrix.

The four growth strategies mentioned in Ansoff’s Matrix are:

  • Market Penetration
  • Market Development
  • Product Development
  • Diversification

Of these four strategies, market development is aimed at widening the target audience base for an existing product. This type of strategy adopts a “Think Big” approach which means exploring all potential paths to widen customer base and accordingly reap higher profits. Unlike market penetration, where emphasis is on maximizing share of current customer base by offering new variants or prices, market development involves entering newer markets.

For companies looking to embark on a market development exercise, it presents an opportunity to reevaluate their core strengths or objectives and – if leveraged properly – can bring forth hidden opportunities that may yield better results than their current offerings presence within local markets.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Market Development

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of market development can help businesses decide if it is an appropriate growth strategy for them. Market development as a strategy is defined by the Boston Consulting Group’s Growth-share matrix as increasing sales of an existing product in an existing market. It focuses on targeting new customers or geographic locations without changing the product itself.


  • One advantage of using market development as a growth strategy is that the product remains relatively unchanged, so there are lower research and development costs associated with this approach.
  • Additionally, since there is no need to re-educate customers or create a new brand, there are also lower marketing costs for companies pursuing this method.
  • Finally, because many markets share similar features and customer types, success in one medium can often lead to success in another.


  • The main drawback of employing market developments as a strategy is that products often must be tailored somewhat to appeal to differing markets – transportation barriers alone can add significant cost variations – making it difficult to maintain consistency of quality standards across different markets.
  • Further complicating things is that when trying to enter another market segment through this approach, your company may not have an inherent competitive advantage due to the presence of already established firms in such markets making it harder for companies entering these segments later on to penetrate these spaces quickly or effectively.

Product Development

The Ansoff matrix is a widely used model for business strategy which helps business owners to understand the relationship between their existing products/services, and potential new ones. Product development is a vital part of any business strategy and the Ansoff matrix can help you understand the different strategies you can use.

This section will focus on the product development aspect of the Ansoff matrix, exploring the different strategies you can use to develop your products:

Definition of Product Development

Product development is the term used to describe the overall process of researching, designing, developing and manufacturing a product for sale. Product development typically involves working with one or more organizational departments such as R&D, marketing, and operations to design and develop a product from concept through to launch.

Ansoff’s Matrix is a tool that provides a framework for analyzing risks associated with different product and market strategies.

Ansoff’s Matrix consists of four cells organized in an X-Y grid format: Market Penetration/Product Development, Market Development/Product Development, Product Development/Market Penetration, and Diversification/Product Development. The upper left cell (Market Penetration) focuses on selling existing products in an existing market; the lower right cell (Diversification) focuses on developing new products for new markets; while the two corner cells focus on promotions aimed at either introducing existing products into new markets or introducing new products into existing markets.

Each of these perspectives carries its own risks and rewards and can provide insight into which strategies will yield the most successful outcomes. Generally, businesses have found that investing resources in market penetration yields more predictable returns than investing in market development; whereas product diversification carries higher levels of risk but also has vast potential for reward. Product developers must carefully assess the risk vs reward before pursuing any strategy outlined by Ansoff’s Matrix in order to establish sound business strategy plans.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Product Development

Product development is a business strategy which focuses on marketing existing products to new customers, or creating new products that have never existed before. It is an important decision-making process for any successful business, as it can help companies differentiate their offerings and stay ahead of competitors.

However, product development carries some potential risks, so it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages associated with this strategy before attempting to implement it.


  1. Product Innovation – Product development allows businesses to innovate and design new products that are tailored to meet customer needs in unique ways. This gives companies a competitive edge in today’s market by helping them stand out from competitors.
  2. Revenue Growth – By creating new products and updating existing ones, businesses are able to attract new customers and drive revenue growth through increased sales and market share.
  3. Brand Recognition – Developing new products can help a company build its brand identity through awareness and recognition in the current market. Additionally, this strategy often encourages customer loyalty among existing patrons as well as bring in new consumers who may have not heard of the brand previously.


  1. High Costs – Product development requires considerable resources such as time, money and personnel expenses which can be difficult for some organizations to invest in given their tight budgets or limited staff size limitations.
  2. Uncertain Returns – Introducing a brand-new product into the marketplace can be risky since there’s no guarantee of whether or not customers will respond favorably or negatively toward the product itself thus resulting on uncertain returns on investments within product development endeavors go down the drain if expectations are not met within desired time frames.
  3. Slow Development Times – Depending on how complex a project may be completion times can take several months if not longer when developing innovative projects which may end up leading to further costs associated with prolonging projects due unforeseen delays in productivity patterns from personnel other outside factors that come into play during developments renditions.


The Ansoff Matrix is a strategic planning tool which is used to help businesses think about their growth strategies. Within this framework, diversification is seen as a key factor for growth, and this is where the Ansoff Matrix can be very useful. With this tool, you can identify any potential risks involved and make sure that you are making the right decisions when it comes to business strategy.

Let’s look at how the Ansoff Matrix can help you with diversification:

Definition of Diversification

Diversification is a strategy used by businesses to enter new product lines or markets, in order to spread risk and increase profits. Diversification is a key element of Ansoff’s Matrix, which is a tool commonly used by professionals in the field of strategy and marketing. It outlines four approaches that a business can use to grow their business – market penetration, product development, market development and diversification.

Diversification involves entering into new markets with new products, whether they are related or unrelated to the company’s current offerings. This method has the potential to create growth opportunities that would not exist if the company stayed within its current market and products. However, it also requires a significant amount of investment in terms of money and resources as well as research into the new markets and products.

Research must be done in order to identify any potential sources of returns on investments such as synergy benefits between different products or processes. Additionally, it is important to understand how existing competencies relate to new markets or products so that companies can exploit them for their own benefit where possible. Diversifying too broadly can have an adverse effect on a business if the added investments are not justified by increased revenues or improved capabilities.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Diversification

Diversification is a common business strategy which involves expanding the operations of the company in multiple directions. Depending on the objectives, diversification can offer significant advantages such as increased market share and providing stability for businesses to withstand economic downturns. It can also help companies gain access to new segment consumer base and explore untapped potential markets.

On the other hand, diversification can present significant challenges and is not without its risks. For instance, diversifying companies may require expanding your team size or bringing in different skill sets which could be costly and time-consuming if done incorrectly. Additionally, it may be hard to stay focused on developing expertise of a particular product when you are spread across several different services or products. Therefore, it is important to consider all these factors before launching any new line of business activities.


The Ansoff matrix is an important tool for business strategists, providing a framework to assess strategic options in uncertain times. It encourages companies to think carefully about the risks associated with different growth strategies and guides decision-making so that the company can focus on developing successful long-term strategies.

Many businesses have found success in using the matrix to evaluate potential opportunities for growth and identify potential areas of focus or danger. By using ansoff matrix analysis, companies can gain valuable insight into where they should target their resources and how they should adjust their strategy in order to achieve their goals.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that while the Ansoff matrix is a useful tool, it should be considered with caution. The nature of any given market or industry may require an application of a different strategic approach and there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to developing corporate strategies. Ultimately, strategic decisions must be made on a case by case basis, taking into consideration many factors including the current market conditions and the company’s specific objectives.