As the world continues to move faster, businesses struggle to keep pace with consumer needs, and to keep pace with emerging competitors. Identifying these competitors as they emerge, at the inflection point, is a must – and we are going to show you how to do it!
According to the US Census Bureau, business creation hit an all-time high in 2020 with more than 4.4M businesses created, an almost 25% increase from 2019 – and the trend continued through 2021. These new businesses offered opportunities and challenges for business development. And the corresponding uptick in chatter and engagement online about emerging business opportunities bears this out, as we can see below.
How can brands track thousands of new businesses being started, receiving investment, or gaining traction? Unfortunately, the small size of most business development teams using manual methods to track companies means they cannot effectively scale to identify top targets.
And even if worked to the bone to capture a few solid leads, the information captured is unreliable as it is affected by researcher bias – something that is unavoidable with a human at the wheel. Next-generation AI removes all chance of bias, ensuring companies capture what is actually on the horizon, not what a researcher assumes based on preconceived ideas around a topic.
Regardless of bias, moving consistently at top speed and relying on manual existing processes means you’ll likely miss those targets. And when you do, you leave an opening for savvy competitors to outmaneuver you
So, with even more entrants likely to enter the market, identifying these emerging contenders as early – and as accurately – as possible is important. And the best way to do this is by taking advantage of AI-powered consumer and market intelligence tools that can level up your research efforts.
With it, businesses can start wide, with an overarching view of the landscape that must be continuously monitoring – one that combines all available sources of insight to create a single source of truth to guide your efforts. Depending on company needs, this can happen within NetBase Quid®, or can be exported via our Intelligence Connector to a business’s own Business Intelligence system or dashboard. We’ll share the path to both.
Continuously Identifying Top Business Development Targets
The discovery process is fairly straightforward, but it happens at a rapid pace when powered by AI. It starts by identifying the list of companies to explore. You can bring your list of companies or leverage the NetBase Quid® platform to identify the right companies to explore further.
Once the list is identified, you determine which datasets to examine. The NetBase Quid® platform leverages the industry’s most extensive datasets, capturing unstructured and structured data from across the social web, including social media sites, blogs, forums, review sites, comment data and visual imagery, and also news and media data, as well as company, investment and patent sources.
Many companies also upload internal data to analyze or combine with this external consumer and market data. This could include ecommerce intel, customer care call and chat logs, sales representatives’ CRM intel and case notes, support tickets, various information tracked in Excel sheets and any number of propriety insights a company may rely on currently for making strategic business decisions
From there, companies have a plethora of choices. They can select which metrics to track to monitor identified start-ups in their category, and they can create dashboards that monitor the overall landscape to capture new entrants as they emerge. They might set alerts for upticks or otherwise notable shifts in sentiment and passion, or terms and hashtags that often accompany a given topic:
Dashboards can be populated with that intel and more, including investments, funding or revenue, or they can even create custom metrics to capture specific partnership activities:
And all of this intel can be delivered directly to a company’s BI system.
Data-Driven Research Delivered Directly to Your BI System
Sharing this insight with a company’s Bi system is a seamless process, with tailored dashboarding developed in collaboration with the NetBase Quid® team. The data is ranked and prioritized, creating a living and breathing list of not only emerging competitors but also potential business development opportunities. Armed with this intel, leading brands direct their business development teams to focus due diligence on the top targets identified this way, as it outperforms any models created by manually sifting through thousands of potential prospects.
And the process is continuous. The dashboard is updated in real-time, always giving you up-to-the-minute views. Teams have access to the same weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly benchmarking intel, saving analysts endless hours of drudgery and allowing them to focus where their expertise truly shines – in the analysis and strategic planning based on this accurate and transparent intel. The time to actionable insight moves from weeks to minutes, and companies can pivot rapidly, adjusting the list of targets or companies to add or remove as needed.
The visualizations show how various conversations interconnect, and this helps companies identify outliers where white space opportunities live. In fact, we have a filter that isolates precisely those clusters from an overarching search:
A quick example helps put this all in context: A Fortune 100 tech company sought to identify new business development opportunities, and using the framework detailed above, their business development team spotted two new acquisition targets within four months. Thanks to having confidence in their data, they rapidly moved it up the line to the CEO for consideration as the team moved on to due diligence and other strategic tasks to prepare for its potential acquisition. This is the kind of decisive movement that most companies seek to execute, but fall short as they lack the tools to continuously rank and prioritize with unquestionable accuracy.
For this company and other NetBase Quid® customers, regularly monitoring competitors and emerging market contenders on meaningful metrics is something they’ve built into their teams’ daily processes. And if your business wants to level up and feed your BI system fully AI-powered intel with best-in-class accuracy, be sure to reach out for a demo. Our insight allows industry leaders to continuously track companies, up to tens of thousands, in real-time so their development teams can quickly scale to spot emerging opportunities – and you can too!