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Achieving a Strategic Advantage Over the Competition

Doing the Research

There are a variety of market research types that can be used to develop insights, and improve the business strategy. In Finances Online’s article, “How to Use Market Insights to Drive Your Business Strategy,” analyst Nestor Gilbert looks at the different types of research that can be leveraged to better prepare a business strategy:

  1. Brand Research: Brand research is a look into how people perceive your brand. It focuses on building or even redefining a company’s brand position. Depending on your goals, you can focus on monitoring brand awareness and brand perception.
  2. Competitor Research: Competitor research, or competitive analysis, is monitoring what your competitors are doing and how they are performing. The scope of this analysis is not to copy the competition. Rather, to identify their strengths and weaknesses and leverage this knowledge to update your marketing strategy and offerings.
  3. Customer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction surveys aim to measure how satisfied customers are with a product or service.
  4. Marketing Campaign Evaluation: It makes sense to want to measure whether these campaigns are working and how people perceive your brand. Does your messaging resonate with your target audience? Are you getting valuable leads? Are people now more likely to buy from you? Do more people know your brand?
  5. Customer Segmentation: This type of market research helps you identify the different types of customers among your audience. Segmentation is particularly helpful for marketing, as it enables you to know your customers better.
  6. Customer Insights: Customer insights, or consumer research, aim to understand your customers’ behavior, purchasing habits, and needs.
  7. Product Development: This type of market research takes place as a product is developed or updated and helps find ways to improve it.
  8. Usability Testing: Usability testing, or user testing, focuses on how users use your product. Doing usability testing before launching the product can help you identify and rectify bugs and flaws before the product enters the market.

Setting the Stage for Strategy

In a related All Things Insights post, “Building Strategic Insights,” we looked at how the world of data is evolving and ever-changing. A data insights strategy is built in part on the potential data that one hopes to accumulate, the insights gained from such data, and the actions that one aims to implement in the future to improve performance. This insights strategy is a plan of action for gathering and analyzing data to gain valuable customer insights.

This year’s TMRE will be held October 23-25 at the Gaylord Rockies Event & Convention Center in Denver. Presentations will include, “Actually Powerful Insights: Bridging Research and Organizational Strategy,” by Jocelin Lee, VP of Consumer Insights, Bombas. Even the most perfect piece of research sitting in a vacuum cannot make an impact. Learn how Bombas has been able to leverage insights to become truly customer-centric and inform actual company strategies.

Enhance Business Strategies Systematically

Using insights and market research to enhance business strategies involves a systematic approach to gathering, analyzing, and applying data-driven insights to inform decision-making and shape the organization’s strategic direction. Here are the key steps, courtesy of ChatGPT, to effectively utilize insights and market research to enhance business strategies:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Start by clearly defining the objectives of your business strategies. What specific goals do you want to achieve? Defining clear objectives will guide the insights and research efforts in the right direction.
  2. Conduct Comprehensive Market Research: Conduct thorough market research to understand the market landscape, customer needs, preferences, and behaviors, as well as your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. By gathering relevant market insights, you can identify opportunities and challenges that can influence your strategic decisions.
  3. Analyze Customer Insights: Utilize customer insights derived from market research and customer feedback to gain a deep understanding of your target audience. Identify pain points, unmet needs, and preferences to design customer-centric strategies.
  4. Monitor Industry Trends: Keep a close eye on industry trends and emerging technologies that could impact your business. Stay informed about changes in customer behavior, new market entrants, and disruptive innovations that may affect your competitive landscape.
  5. Evaluate Competitive Intelligence: Analyze data on your competitors’ strategies, pricing, marketing efforts, and performance. Understanding your competitive landscape helps you differentiate your offerings and identify gaps in the market.
  6. Make Data-Driven Decisions: Ensure that your business strategies are rooted in data and insights. Use data analytics tools and business intelligence platforms to extract actionable insights from the gathered data.
  7. Test and Iterate: Before implementing major strategic changes, consider testing your ideas on a smaller scale. Conduct pilot programs or A/B tests to validate assumptions and measure the impact of potential strategies.
  8. Integrate Insights into Strategy Formulation: Incorporate the findings from market research and customer insights into your strategy formulation process. Use this information to refine your value proposition, target market, distribution channels, pricing, and marketing messages.
  9. Monitor and Measure Performance: Implement a system for monitoring and measuring the performance of your strategies. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be aligned with your business objectives and regularly reviewed to ensure that your strategies are delivering the desired results.
  10. Foster a Culture of Learning: Encourage a culture of learning and curiosity within your organization. Promote the use of insights and research in decision-making processes and make it a routine part of strategy development.

The Journey to Insights

By leveraging insights and market research, businesses can make more informed and strategic decisions, leading to improved performance, increased competitiveness, and sustainable growth. As Deloitte notes in its guide to “Developing a data insights strategy”: “Every organization’s data insights journey will be unique, and every data insights strategy may look very different. If you already have a strategy in place, it may be an opportune time to take action on specific components and revisit those that might need to be nudged back on track. Whatever stage of the data insights strategy journey you’re in, follow the roadmap you designed to guide your execution process and measure your progress to ensure you’re deriving the most value possible from your data.”

Video courtesy of Harvard Business Review


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

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