One year after 'the meltdown', here are 3 reasons why market intelligence (aka market research plus analysis) matters now. As companies stop thinking about the downturn and making cuts, and instead start thinking about the growth opportunities that lie ahead, they need to know:
a) how has buyer behaviour changed. Businesses and consumers (B2B and B2C buyers) have changed their shopping and spending patterns in the last year. What is the result on how customers and prospects find and make purchase decisions on your products and services?
b) how the competition has changed. In the last year, many companies have disappeared while others have been launched. Recessions prompt many people to start their own companies, which brings innovative and ambitious new entrants to every industry, and causes other companies to shut their doors. What impact does the new competitive landscape have on your products and services, and how customers view your offering vs the other guy's?
c) how the communications landscape has changed. The last year has seen literally millions of people sign up for services like Facebook and Twitter. There are dozens of new channels for talking with customers. Where do your customers and prospects go for information, and what do you need to be doing to get their attention?
As companies make their plans for 2010, these are just 3 reasons they need to be starting first with market intelligence before jumping into strategy and implementation.