Our global marketplace undulates under a vast array of influences. It’s not enough to produce a killer product, and hope sales pour in. An accurate market understanding is necessary to inform every aspect of your brand, from innovation to marketing.
To get the most traction for your brand’s efforts, you need a diligent look into competitive, consumer and market intelligence. Market understanding helps you navigate the complexities of doing business by diving into consumer data, industry concerns, global narratives, and your competition.
Data is king in market intelligence. That being the case, we’ll share how to build better market understanding – with a focus on:
- The importance of accurate market understanding
- Use cases for better market understanding
Brands are investing in their business intelligence strategies at a hurried pace. Here are a few statistics we uncovered that speak to the gold rush for market understanding:
- Decision-making is 5x faster for businesses that leverage data analytics to inform their market understanding.
- Three of the top business intelligence trends include visualized data, data management, and self-service market intelligence.
- 80% of consumers believe customer experience is equally as important as the products a brand sells
Now, let’s hit the road to better market understanding!
The Importance of Accurate Market Understanding
You can have all the data in the world, but without the ability to slice it for deep insights will leave your market understanding hamstrung. So, suppose you’re seeking a better understanding of your consumer’s customer experience from a social listening dataset. In that case, you need to cut away every brand mention that doesn’t speak to that situation. And often, there are tons of mentions that can ruin the accuracy of your intel if it’s not cut away.
From the get-go, your social listening and data analytics tools should provide you with robust filtering tools so that you can isolate any angle within a dataset. That ensures you are left with only the data contributing to market understanding, whatever your use case.
Additionally, Boolean search functionality should be a high priority in the data analytics tools you choose. You’ll inevitably run into situations where similarly named brands, or word meanings unrelated to your topic will make their way into your market research. The ability to employ Boolean search operators gives you the flexibility to hone in on your subject and nothing else.
In a nutshell, your market understanding efforts are best served by data analytics tools that allow you to cast a wide net and drill down to a granular level.
Use Cases for Better Market Understanding
The more data sets you can get your hands on, the better. Social listening tools provide critical intel into the voice of the customer, share of voice, competitive intelligence, brand health, emerging trends, and much more.
Additionally, media analytics opens the window into the news media, company data such as corporate financials, and patent data, so your market understanding is robustly informed.
Your tools should also help you cut across internal data siloes by allowing you to import your company datasets. Upload everything you can think of from call transcripts, reviews, customer service chat logs, etc. That way, you have everything at your disposal to assess your brand and its market environment.
Let’s look at a few use cases where data analytics tools can be used to boost your market understanding.
1. Trend Analytics
Social and news media monitoring allows you to track industry conversations over time. That way, you get comfortable with the conversational volume, sentiment, and prevalent sub-topics. Since you are accustomed to the ‘normal’ aspects of the topics, it becomes easier to spot anomalies and emerging trends.
Trend analytics can be used in the general sense for topics such as sustainability, climate change, diversity, and the like. That way, your market intelligence is always up to date on how consumers and the news media feels about a subject.
Or you can use trend analytics to discover and monitor trending conversations in a particular audience. If you need to target your products and messaging to Gen Z, a trend analysis is a great place to start.
Likewise, trend analytics works on an industry scale as well. For instance, here are some of the top trending conversations in the food and beverage industry being discussed on social media. Knowing your standard lets you see emerging discussions in real-time, so your strategies are built on the latest intel.
As you can see, there’s an underlying health aspect to these conversations. You don’t even need to go further than this to know your messaging should highlight your products’ health aspects to stay in tune with the industry narrative.
2. Uncovering White Space Opportunities
Industry trend analytics used in conjunction with competitive intelligence is the dynamic duo for uncovering white space opportunities for your brand. Whether new technologies are opening doors in your industry or an unforeseen pandemic comes along, a holistic viewpoint of your competitors and the industry narrative will give you the market understanding you need to adjust.
Finding white space opportunities is all about growing your share of voice before the other guys know what’s going on. Most of the time, there’s a timeliness factor, so building your market understanding of an industry’s inner workings is the key to moving quickly.
3. Brand Health & Crisis Management
If you only ever use your data analytics tools for one thing, then protecting your brand health should be it. Your tools should enable you to perform a social media audit to establish your key metrics across social media and the news media.
This provides measurements for things like mentions, article count, top authors, net sentiment, impressions, etc., so you know where your brand stands. From the social media perspective, what you’ll want to end up with is something that looks like this one-month viewpoint:
It’s essential to get both social and traditional media stats, so you have both sides of the coin to inform your market understanding. Measuring these metrics continually allows you the added benefit of spotting a crisis as it emerges since it’ll send your metrics outside of your standard parameters.
4. Understanding KOL & Influencer Landscape
Key opinion leaders and influencers have a profound impact on shifting market narratives and consumer opinion. Additionally, their influence can be found in traditional news and on social media. Therefore, keeping up to date with their talking points within your industry will only strengthen your market understanding.
5. Product Intelligence
Product intelligence is useful to assess your product’s viability in the market. Additionally, market understanding informs innovation opportunities based on consumer intelligence and competitive intelligence, so you know what you’re up against.
For instance, you may have the tastiest chicken sandwich this side of heaven. But if you’re not adjusting your marketing to hit changing consumer opinions and emerging trends, then you may find yourself at the bottom of the heap with a quickness.
6. Competitive Intelligence
While you don’t have legal access to a competitor’s internal data, social listening and media analytics tools provide more than enough intel to boost your market understanding. All of these use cases we’ve discussed thus far can be tweaked to provide competitive intelligence.
Just as you run a social media audit on your brand, you can do one on your competitors as well, so you know how they are positioned relative to your metrics. You can also monitor their influencers to determine what is working well for them and what isn’t. Of course, all of this is further informed by the market understanding you develop on emerging trends and industry narratives.
7. Voice of the Customer
At face value, consumer behavior is generally as predictable as paint splatter. However, social listening and media analytics allow you to drill down into their conversations so you are aware of what they love and the pain points they face.
That way, you can filter down into your custom audience and address every step of the customer journey and the customer experience. That alerts you to areas you need to work on internally – and relative to your competition’s strengths and shortcomings. Ultimately, a better market understanding of your consumers is all about uncovering unmet needs.
Transparency in your data sets means you can extract intelligence down to a granular level. The more data you can throw at your tools can only enhance your market understanding. It’s the difference between a survey of 12 people and 12 million.
So whatever area of your business could benefit from a boost in market understanding, NetBase Quid has a solution to fit your organization. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how world-class artificial intelligence is a game-changer for your market research.