In part III. of my blog series specific to the importance for organizations to develop, improve, and practice daily business fundamentals in order to achieve organizational success and growth, the focus will be to offer suggested steps that fall within the area of Market Analysis.
According to Bill Bradley, U.S. Senator, Basketball Hall of Famer, and Author
“Becoming number one is easier than remaining number one.”
For many companies in the B2B space that developed and commercialized a unique software product or some other type of innovative technology, success came fast by being first to market. However, over the years as more and more competitors began to enter the market offering alternatives propositions to a once very novel and special technological solution, thus causing companies in this new situation to rethink the importance of research and intelligence.
Research Should Be Part of Every Planning Initiative
Research can come in various forms and, for many, may produce a daunting impression. However, when it comes to growing a business, every company should thoroughly understand the market(s) it competes in, maintain an ongoing view of the competitive landscape and know who its customers are and what they want.
Collectively, ongoing research that yields sound and insightful customer, market and competitive insights will be paramount to putting together an effective growth plan that will mitigate risk while ensuring sustainable organizational growth and long-term success.
Understand Your Customers’ Needs and Wants
Today’s customers are mobile, well informed, have access to extensive data and information, demand choices and are clearly in the driver’s seat.
Companies spend lots of money, time and effort implementing solutions they perceive will satisfy their customers’ primary needs. Many times, the focus is placed on addressing transactional drivers like quicker speed-to-serve and convenience, both of which are very important, but in many cases are only scratching the service as to what customers truly desire from the products and services they purchase.
To better influence the purchase decision, a company should, in addition to understanding a customer’s “needs”, place more emphasis on identifying and understanding a customer’s “wants” as well.
Study your Competition – Know Their Moves and Anticipate.
In preparation for every game, Peyton Manning studied his competition obsessing over every detail revealed by spending countless hours screening game film over-and-over. The truly great sports stars know every move their opponent will throw at them and will be able to accurately read changing game situations and effectively make adjustments in order to execute successfully.
Your company can do the same by performing ongoing competitive analysis. Note, conducting this just one time a year will not produce the type of outcome most companies desire. The nature of the business and the dynamics of the competitive set certainly will have an impact on the level of commitment a company can afford and elects to implement, but experts in this discipline are avid believers that competitive analysis and market mapping initiatives must be of the nature where your company will secure a constant view of the market and competitive activities.
Companies that conduct market, product, customer and company-alignment research will be armed with the insights necessary to develop and execute actionable strategies and tactics that are critical to accelerating company growth and increase its value.
Look for my next post in this four-part series that include steps that can be taken to increase company growth and success that fall within Customer Strategy.