Scott_deutsch_Photo If you are one the market leaders in your space, 2009 will be a year of opportunity. If you are a market “chimp”, the year ahead promises to be a painful experience. I think that all the recent negative employment news from some of the biggest and best run companies is a clear indication that management teams are seizing on the opportunity to get lean and review their organizations. The present conditions have enabled virtually every company to cut whatever costs they may have been thinking about for a while. The key advantage a larger company has is that they still have “mass” and are able to continue to invest in the business, just not at the previous levels of investment.

Now if you were one of the market followers, or Chimps as some may call the smaller market players, these are times that have forced you to cut to the bone. Operationally, these organizations will really struggle to succeed and advance their position in the market. The differentiation between the gorilla players and chimps will create situations where the market gorilla’s actually become stronger and actually gain market share these next two years.

Take a look at the social media space and you can see for yourself the changes already happening. I bet that 40% of the more than 100 players in the space that Forrester has identified will no longer be in business by the end of 2009. And most of the remaining players will have been greatly harmed in their race to greater functionality. I bet you will actually see a price increase in social media solutions this year and not a decrease. Companies can not afford the “land grab” mentality this year. They all have more limited staffs and have to be careful to ensure that each customer is profitable. They also are burning lots of cash to keep the doors open and the lights on.

So if you are one of the dominant players in your market, 2009 although painful, will in the long run, be a year where you can gain market share with the smallest level of investment in probably two decades. Go make it happen.