Yesterday and today: traditional vs. digital tools?
As mentioned above, the tools to implement a market intelligence strategy are very different.
Let’s go back for a moment and reconsider fundamental MI activities, such as studying competitors or potential B2B customers in an area.
Who are my competitors? What distinguishes their offerings? What are the features of my ideal B2B customers? What products do they use for their processes?
These are all questions that companies have always answered in the traditional way through business trips and trade fairs.
While this approach allows you to maintain direct contact with your market and the people within it, it also has its limitations. Which ones?
- Firstly, the high costs of participating in events, especially when they take place abroad.
- The amount of time used to prepare the participation, which usually requires the commitment of many people in the company.
- The possibility of a limited number of companies attending the event; in other words, trade fairs offer valuable networking chances, but they do not exhaust market opportunities.
For these reasons, the potential of new technologies must be combined with traditional solutions: a principle that now applies to every business process, and also to the study of the market.
The aim is to create a synergy between the physical and online dimensions, where different solutions can reinforce each other and have a positive impact on business.
Let’s try to understand better with an example linked once again to competition.
After identifying the competitors in the area of interest, you can study their commercial offering and decide to improve your positioning, attending the next trade fair after having updated your business proposal.
But how do you know exactly who your competitors are?
You can carry out market analysis using global databases, identifying the companies you are interested in by using industry codes, and then analysing the sites of those found, in order to understand their characteristics in detail.
This is a manual process usually carried out by consultancy firms, at high costs and with medium to long lead times. For these reasons, many companies may believe that market intelligence is an exclusive domain of large companies with the resources to acquire such analysis.
But this is a mistaken belief. Let’s see why.