For Marketing and Sales leaders, it’s not always obvious when there is a need for externally generated market insights to learn and grow from a challenging business situation. From a careful look at new business opportunities, to a general market outlook, there is a wide range of cases that can benefit from market intelligence. However, no matter what the situation, beginning the process of identifying the right market intelligence partner with specific, tangible end goals aids in your search. The twist is that once you’ve found that partner, you must be prepared to allow them to help redefine those goals in the spirit of collaboration.
The first phase in choosing a market intelligence firm involves some introspection to understand what you want to learn from the particular situation around which you are seeking additional customer or market insights.
Set Your Goals and Success Factors
The wide world of market research is available to you, but market intelligence must be focused and relevant. So, that all-important “why” helps to determine your goals and what your definition of success looks like in this situation. From there, a good next step is taking the time to map out goals that aren’t just attainable, but also valuable, so that you can collect the most meaningful market intelligence specific to your situation. Detailing the “why” directs you to the critical market insight the ideal market intelligence partner can deliver. It also helps you to select the right partner; ideally, you will want to work with an outside partner who engages you in the “why”, before discussing the “what”, the “how” and the “how much”.
Define What You Are Looking for in a Partner
The ideal market intelligence partner should be hands-on and expects the same from you. That ongoing collaboration is a large part of what helps produce valuable results. If communication began and ended with a kickoff meeting, you would be missing out on important details along the way that come from the back-and-forth nature of the process. Without your feedback on key findings along the way, focus and relevancy are often lost.
The second phase in choosing a market intelligence firm helps to determine the attributes of the ideal partner.
Map Onboard Process
A factor worth serious consideration in selecting a marketing intelligence partner is the ability of that partner to quickly onboard to management’s thinking and gain institutional knowledge, while being able to focus on external macro market factors. Essentially, you want a partner that can see the forest and the trees, with the ability to focus on them both simultaneously. Careful planning and orchestrating of this onboarding process provides the needed structure and sets the stage for the accountability you want.
Zero in for Maximum Benefit
Part of what makes a skilled market intelligence firm so valuable is their ability to know where the focus should be to produce the maximum benefit. But it’s a two-way street: Go into a project with broad goals and you may receive equally broad results. The more targeted you are in the first phase of defining precise goals will help you know whether you’re talking to the right marketing intelligence partner. But, you can’t arrive there all by yourself. Like any good partnership, detailed communication is key to producing valuable, meaningful market intelligence that aligns with your goals and business objectives. Be precise in your pre-planning, and be open-minded with your selected Market Intelligence partner – those are the keys to success.
Learn more about the benefits of partnering with 1ﬆ.st Resource.