In business, organic growth "comes down to product-market fit," says longtime software industry veteran and CEO Dave Sikora.

Not a phrase you're familiar with? Let's clarify what it means before we talk about how to achieve it.

The phrase "product-market fit," defined as "being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market," was coined by Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen in a 2007 blog post.

The concept is often applied to startups and early-stage companies, but it is relevant for any company bringing new solutions to market or pursuing new markets—key areas of focus for organic growth.

How to Work the Product-Market Fit Equation

Solving the product-market fit equation requires you to know why customers would want and use your product and how you are going to attract those customers to your product. Classic Marketing—with a capital "M."

When working with that equation, Marketing needs to excel at five capabilities.

1. Understanding the Needs and Wants of the Market and Customers

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image of Laura Patterson

Laura Patterson is president and founder of VisionEdge Marketing. For 20+ years, she has been helping CEOs and marketing executives at companies such as Cisco, Elsevier, ING, Intel, Kennametal, and Southwest Airlines prove and improve the value of marketing. Her most recent book is Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization.

Twitter: @LauraVEM