Market Intelligence can be a daunting task to start for a business—it takes a lot of time to complete all the necessary research before even getting down to the analysis and implementation. That’s why we want to break Market Intelligence down into 5 easy steps for you. By the end of reading this blog, you should be ready to implement Market Intelligence into your 2021 business plan.
Step 1: Identify Competitors in Your Industry
Identifying your competitors is an important step. Without knowing your competitors, your business wouldn’t be able to improve and adjust its campaigns to compete efficiently. You can identify competitors through market research, customer feedback, social media, keyword research, and Google search results.
Once you’ve identified your competitors, you’ll want to sort them into two categories: Direct and Indirect Competitors.
Direct Competitors are companies that sell or market similar products and services as your company. Customers will evaluate both you and your direct competitors to determine which company serves their immediate and future needs. These competitors will be identified through market research, customer feedback, review sites, and social media. Indirect Competitors are companies that may not necessarily sell the same product or services as your company but may compete with you digitally with content and keywords.
Indirect competitors compete for your customer’s attention (and budget!).
These competitors can be identified through keyword research and Google search results.
Step 2: Identify the Metrics You Want to Measure
Now it is time to identify what you want to measure. You’ll need to determine what metrics make the most sense for your business:
- Do you want to track the accuracy of your market intelligence?
- What about the impact on sales?
- Renewal rates?
Maybe you want to track engagement on the content you’ve published to compete with other content focused indirect competitors?
All of these are great metrics to track to help you understand the effectiveness of your Market Intelligence efforts, but what are the best metrics to track?
When tracking metrics, you really want to ask yourself 2 things:
- How is my business stacking up against direct and indirect competitors?
- What is my win-loss ratio to competitors?
- How are deal close cycles impacted by competitors?
- What’s happening in your renewals? Are you losing customers to competitors?
- How can my business adjust to the shifting landscape in order to stay ahead of the competition?
- What are my strategic target accounts asking for?
- What are customers saying about you? What are they saying about your competitors?
- Is your target market the same as competitors? Who is more upstream? Where do you want to focus?
These two questions will help you determine what metrics to track, and the answers will be different for each company.
If your goal is to keep up with indirect competitors through original content such as white papers and blogs, you’ll want to track engagement and keywords on those resources and use a Market Intelligence tool to track the performance compared to other outlets.
If your goal is to improve sales by 50% for the upcoming year, you’ll want to track win rates against direct competitors and use a competitive intelligence tool to analyze competitor win rates.
Step 3: Gather Data on Your Target Audience to Analyze
Gathering data on your target audience for analysis is imperative to your product or service's success. You want to gather data on your target audience to create buyer personas and understand the unique needs of those various personas. But how do you gather this data?
Well, you can gather this data through various forms of primary and secondary research, through qualitative and quantitative methods, and actively or passively.
You can read more about how to do so in this article: How Do Businesses Gather Market Intelligence Data?
Step 4: Select a Market Intelligence Platform
The penultimate step to getting started with Market Intelligence is selecting the Market Intelligence platform that is right for your business.
There are many platforms out there that all serve different purposes, and it can be difficult determining which of those platforms fills most, if not all, of your business’s Market Intelligence needs—and organizes them into one, easy-to-use platform.
Our Competitive and Market Intelligence Platform, Insightsfirst, is a premier platform that can help you avoid potential pitfalls and provide the important insights needed for successful campaigns.
Step 5: Assess, Adjust, and Repeat
The final step is an ongoing process: Assess your performance and adjust as often as you need and repeat regularly.
This is important as competition will be doing the same.
Adjusting your campaigns, strategies, and tactics in a competitive field is important when trying to stay ahead of the curve and meet the needs of your target audience.
A best practice is to do this assessment once a quarter.
Now that you know how to get started with your market intelligence, it is time to implement Market Intelligence into your 2021 Business plan and begin tracking your competitors and metrics, gathering data on your customers, and select the market intelligence platform of your choice.
Implementing these steps will help your company achieve its 2021 goals.