Regardless if you are an individual entrepreneur, a co-founder in a start-up company, a co-owner, an operations manager of an SME or a C-level executive, you have faced the need to conduct a comprehensive market analysis.
The only differing matter was the level of formality and complexity of the market analysis project. For some companies this is the bread and butter of their operations. For example, start-ups are so immersed in fighting their position on the market, and given that usually they have few people on board that own and shuffle all ideas and knowledge. In their situation a structured approach of market research would be less likely.
In more established business – which contains more defined rules and split of works – work functions may be established across few departments. Different users may have exposure to a more limited set of data or insights. Such environment would naturally push towards more structured and organised work of collecting and collating market research information.
The ultimate output in all the companies will anyhow be the same. It is a feeling that we know the market game, our play in it, our strengths and weaknesses. It also is a knowledge how to reach the next competitive steps of our competitors and surely can evaluate our success rate and understand the potential for new business going forward.
Market analysis that brings a new perspective
Market analysis is a very important function, we know that. And we know that entrepreneurs, business owners and business executives often feel that they know the market best. They claim that they do not work ‘on’ the business, but ‘in’ the business and have accumulated years’ worth of market knowledge and insights. Usage of external support in the domain of ‘soft’ functions is even considered waste of money. Sometimes it makes the people who are involved in the marketing or sales functions lazy in case they show need for external support.
But, let us see what reality says. Our experience shows that external support within market analysis and research was often very welcome by such companies. Not because there was lack of knowledge or time on client’s side, but lack of perspective. Perspective is often the overlooked and ignored ingredient where companies happen to fail.
Why is perspective so important? It defines the next competitive move. The marketing manager may be so focused on the competition that he or she could easily overlook a critical trend that picks up in a market related to theirs, where a simple product extension may bear big benefits. Businesses that feel to have stronghold in a given market, may get disrupted easily – we have all heard of Teslas, Netflixes, Amazons and so on. Feeling the pulse of the market and understanding the risk of disruption and timing your activities is critical. In such way, companies can build lasting value for their customers.
Market research that brings actionable plans
Our experience also speaks of strong relationship between time-to-market and success, even in mature and ‘boring’ industries. For example, our customer was not sure if the outsourcing concept would fly in a very traditional food production industry. The supply function was considered of critical importance. Moreover, companies that were not able to be integrated upstream were prone to risk and failure.
The market research, which was new to the client, proved otherwise. It proved that once those companies are able to identify a provider that is reliable and can supply a superior value, they would be keen for a bold step forward and even consider scrapping their in-house raw materials processing function. A simple research task gave the opportunity to scrap conventions and create the unimaginable – change the supply chain in a very mature industry, which ultimately protected economic value for the firm.
Market research is definitely not a rocket science. However, it is important to give those rocket scientists good evidence on how to calculate the travel trajectory, as they also want to avoid bumps on the road and reach destination in fastest possible way.
Consulting that gives valuable solutions
Let us get in touch and hear your business issues. Often, we may advise that you really do not need external support. We may just exchange few insights and maybe over friendly cup of coffee be able to create some value for each other. Sometimes, we may walk out with a new assignment where we create bolder additional value for you. And in some cases (most exciting!) we may embark even on creating a completely new business unit or even separate legal entity that will embark on challenges in a new and growing industry / segment that builds on a strong market momentum.
The roads of market research are very unpredictable, but exciting. We would be excited if we can take some of those journeys together.