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Date: 03 August 2016 | Time: 17:51

The importance of market insight

Understanding your position in the market should be the first port of call for any organisation prior to developing a marketing strategy or undertaking any marketing activity.

It’s important that you recognise where you stand in relation to your competitors, are able to clearly articulate your USP and have a good grasp of how your business is perceived both internally and externally. As a strategy-driven marketing company, we see market insight as a highly valuable and crucial stage and so we’ve collated some top tips on how best to achieve this.

Benchmark your business against competitors

Think about your top three or four competitors – what are they offering that you aren’t? How do they describe themselves? How do they interact with their customers? Once you have a clear idea of how they are positioning themselves, you should be able to differentiate your offering from theirs, which will help you with later understanding your USP.

Gauging internal and external perceptions

Undertaking a communications audit is a good means of understanding how your business is perceived both externally and internally. It’s a good idea to enlist an external company to undertake this, in order to ensure honest answers from respondents. However, you shouldn’t just select customers or employees who you know will give you sterling reviews as it’s important to get a full picture – which sometimes means good and bad perceptions.

Once you’ve gathered a good level of qualitative data, you can start to see how people describe your business internally and externally, which will help you to understand how to target your chosen markets more effectively and how to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Understand and articulate your USP

Having undertaken some key research examining perceptions and competitors, you should be in a position to articulate your USP clearly and effectively. Using some of the key words from your communications audit and competitor insight, think about how you would sell what you do in a sentence? What is it that your customers value about your business? And how would they describe what you do?

After undertaking your market insight project, you should be in a strong position to start developing an effective marketing strategy which targets your chosen audiences and positions you as a leader in the sectors you operate in.

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