For those of us that can still remember market research in the “good old days”, the ability to gather insane amounts of intelligence from your kitchen, desk or poolside never gets old. But the biggest problem with having so much information at your finger tips has to be overwhelm. I mean, where do you begin? And how do you choose the most important bits of data or information that will help you not only cut costs on market research, but get decision-making insights as well.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably read about market research. You know that understanding your industry’s social, cultural and economic frameworks is essential to your success. And you’re aware that you need to know about your customers, the area in which you’re selling and what your competitors are doing.
Do you have a weather app on your phone? Why? DUH — so you can know what the weather will be like and be prepared with either an umbrella or sunscreen or boots and gloves — right?
The idea behind competitive intelligence isn’t so much to beat the competition, as it is to become the obvious choice for your ideal customer. And if your ideal customer is choosing a competitor and paying more for their product or service than they are for yours, then you are going to want to do some competitive research.
Personally and professionally, I’m not a big fan of FOCUSING on the competition. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know what’s going on in your industry and what your customers want that would have them consider another alternative.
Dumpster Diving – vs – Value Driving — Which would you pick? “Instead of spending all of our time and money figuring out what the competition is doing — shouldn’t we just give our customers what they want?” Yeah. That little sentence almost got me fired.