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Step 3 - Assessing key actors' incentives

In order to effectively engage with the key market actors it is essential to fully understand the incentives that are driving their behaviour. This then helps you clearly communicate to them how their participation in the roadmap process will benefit them, helping them achieve their business goals, and helping you strategically tailor your messages and communications with them.

As the incentives of market actors are intangible, identifying them often requires detective work and reflection. Experience has shown that there are 4 main types of incentives for key market actors. The facilitation team can use the Template in Annex 6 to carry out a detailed assessment of these main types of incentives for each of the most important key market actors they wish to target over the rest of the roadmap steps. This includes first hand information, to hunches about them, identifying them as such, so they can be verified later.

  • Assessing interests +

    Interests are what market actors want or need to improve their business and livelihoods, from expanding their market share, to improving their processes or technologies. Successful market actors make clear decisions based on their interests and take action to meet them. These interests can be expressed formally, such as in a mission statement, or informally, can have varying time-frames (some being more immediate, whilst others are medium to long term goals), and levels of importance.

    When the specific interests of the key market actors have been identified, the facilitator needs to explain to them how the roadmap process can help them achieve their interests, particularly the medium to long-term ones. As this may be at the expense of their immediate interests, if they’re required to allocate a lot of time and effort, this needs to be communicated carefully so they’re not put off engaging.

  • Assessing motivations +

    Motivations affect whether a market actor chooses to follow a particular strategy to achieve their interests. They can be informal or implicit, if they are positive they lead the actor to engaging, and if negative detract the actor from engaging. It is important to try and understand the motivations of the key actors when trying to engage them within the roadmap process. If they’ve had a negative experience of market facilitation they will have a low motivation to engage, so great care needs to be taken to try and motivate them.
  • Assessing influences +

    Certain market actors have influence over other market actors, with other market actors engaging when these influential market actors attend, convene, chair or facilitate various processes. It is important to understand and use this influence when engaging key actors. It is equally important to tone down references to market actors who negatively influence other market actors.
  • Assessing drivers +

    Drivers are individual people, often innovation leaders, forward thinkers and decision-makers, within each organisation and company who are eager to join the process and drive change, and who should be assessed and targeted if possible.

    When assessing the incentives of the key market actors it may help to get information from some of the following sources:

    • Organisational and company websites
    • Published reports and assessments, including third party research reports
    • Speaking directly to company or organisational representatives
    • Speaking to well-connected sector experts
    • Speak to coordination bodies, professional representatives and communities of practice

    In addition to the facilitation team collecting existing data, if resources permit, it can be very useful to commission new desk-based research on these key actors.

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