Have you paid attention to news about your industry lately? Or what about any new initiatives your competitors have launched?
Well, if you’re in a leadership role and automatically think finding those answers is not part of your job description, you’re wrong. Whether or not you are directly involved in marketing, you must stay current on the relevant market forces along with understanding your organization’s strategies for positioning itself among its competitors. In other words, you need to gain some market insight.
Some researchers claim that the highest performing companies are the ones that are able to identify and leverage market insight, which can serve as the foundation for the creation of new business.
Think about it, today’s business world is more competitive than ever, and companies are placing increasing demands on its leaders. In order to handle these demands, leaders must adapt and change quickly.
When you understand the local, national, and international context of your industry, you can use this knowledge to plan for the future needs of customers, employees, and investors. But you can’t just rely on your analysis alone; you need to put your direct observations to good use.
To be a leading competitor; your company must have a forward-thinking environment that encourages innovation. The most successful leaders are the ones that value original thinking and creative problem solving.
When you can show to your direct reports that you are open to new ideas and opportunities, it will create a domino effect of sorts, as it will encourage others to brainstorm and think creatively with you. As a result, your company can bring new concepts for products or services into the marketplace and improve your organization’s competitive position.
But first you need to gain some market insight. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
Keep current on industry trends by reading national and industry blogs.
Explore materials about business outside your industry – books, magazines, or seminars. See if you can make connections to your industry.
Actively review trade and business journals, annual reports, and marketing research on each of your competitors to stay abreast of their business.
Identify assumptions that underlie the current business model in your industry and figure out how the model would change – or is changing – should those assumptions change.
Read industry and technical publications looking for changes or trends that indicate new opportunities to meet customer needs.