Market Research, Analysis, & Mapping
Many reports get written by analyst firms that cover markets and forecasts which are extremely valuable. However, there is a deeper research layer under these types of reports that can be done to fully understand how a product or service fits into the larger ecosystem, the category it aligns with, the value of the market and enabling or complimentary technologies. This type of market mapping, value chain analysis and understanding of trends, barriers and more can identify new strategies and opportunities.
Whether direct or indirect, knowing competitors, and how they position themselves in the market, is critical to creating true differentiators. A competitive analysis goes deeper than features, which product managers often know already. Understanding channel strategies, partnerships, business models along with go-to-market strategies used by competitors, adds new insight into how to position a company for success.
Domain Expert & Customer Validations
Do you need to better understand a particular market segment and its requirements or learn how current customers feel about an offering? Data are available through talking directly with thought leaders, prospects and customers to get focused feedback. Get detailed results through finding Domain Experts or through a Voice of the Customer Validation exercise that can provide insight for better, faster business decisions.
Once a market is well-mapped and competition is reviewed, growth options start to surface. Patterns emerge for what works or doesn’t work in a market, or for new products or services that could be added to create a whole product offering. Often, business model updates can be made that drive additional revenue or market messages reinforced to match industry leaders. Each mandate and market varies in the shape it takes for final growth option discoveries.
Gap Analysis & Recommendations
The goal of good research is to walk away with actions and ideas that can lead to positive change. The research also provides a reality check and validations for current and future decisions. A gap analysis points out areas that could be enhanced, or looked at, for growth and recommendations provide a springboard for internal brainstorming and strategic sessions.
Strategy & Tools
Exercises around positioning using Chasm Institute principles and Blue Ocean Strategy concepts offer insight into picking target markets based on facts. Research can follow that validates the market opportunity. Messages can then be developed like elevator pitches and company / product definitions that align with market expectations.
Market Development Strategy
After products are well-defined and target markets clearly outlined, the work begins on how to develop a market to gain traction. This can mean many different things – a few examples are: recognition by analysts in the right categories, write-ups by the right media outlets and generally figuring out where you need to place yourself to meet prospects for the highest exposure. This strategy development should come from both internal staff and through external research in talking with industry experts, customers and by watching where competitors go. Once documented, a plan can be created to implement a market development strategy with company budget and growth goals.
Are you considering a brand facelift or enhancement? Get recommendations and designs based on evaluation of industry expectations, competitor images and your company goals to uncover a new look and feel that fits your future strategy. First impressions leave a lasting impression. Services include: company and product naming, message and tagline development and corporate image creation.
Product Marketing & Tools
Product marketing is about bridging the gap between product development, marketing and sales to ensure features, benefits and differentiators are communicated consistently and simply enough to demonstrate value to prospects and customers. We know by now that brochures don’t sell products: people do (or the web in some cases). The best product with the greatest laundry list of features does not always win. This is why product marketing is important in a successful product design, launch and evolution. I look at how advanced a market is in its adoption of a technology or products and what the market requirements are to help determine what types of tools, messaging and documentation are required.