STEP ONE: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
Step 1 of sustainable success always has to be extensive market research. And not just at the beginning of a project either - it should be continued throughout the lifetime of the business.
"Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals" - Ogilvy
If you have any spare thinking time, spend it FIRST on market research.
Not everyone has £££ research budgets, but you DON'T need to let this stop you. There are so many sources of information out there now to help you along the way, many for FREE.
Soon, all information will be free...
Sometimes the task of "market research" can seem like too big a challenge to know where to begin. To try to make this step in the 7-step process seem more manageable I have created a the Step 1: Market Research Canvas.
This is not intended to be an all encompassing, all-stones-uncovered approach, but more of a visual tool to enable group discussion and a starting point for the research project plan. It should help you to narrow down your research plan by identifying the key opportunity and threat areas.
The Market Research Canvas has 4 main sections: Market Overview, Competitors, Trends and SWOT Analysis. It covers market size estimates, Key Performance Indicators, revenue streams and profitability, market segmentation, barriers to entry, market specific insights, competitor market presence, competitor positioning, in-market trends, external trends, consumer expectation trends, and SWOT analysis.
Where do I find the data from?
Here are some tips for my favourite places to get access to (free) market research data.
How else can I evaluate my competitors?
SWOT analysis models are the most common and popular tool for competitor market analysis, but there are many more models which can be useful when conducting market research.
Stuck on how to uncover trends?
Consumer trends are, at their heart, an essential part of uncovering innovation opportunities. Otherwise they’re just intellectual masturbation: diverting, pleasant and entertaining, but with little real purpose"
I take no credit for this Consumer Trends canvas to help uncover trends - this comes from Trend Watching - but I also see no need in re-inventing the wheel and recreating my own version when I think their model is brilliant.
It is an easy-to-follow framework that will help you not only unpack and understand any consumer trend, but also help you apply it to launch successful consumer-facing innovations of your own.
The world is about to go "bat shit crazy" - credit Daniel Priestley
Daniel Priestley shared his enthusiastic response to the upcoming trends at a Marketing Academy bootcamp I recently attended. In his own words, the "world's about to go bat shit crazy!".
- The property market will collapse - the baby boomers are approaching retirement age when they need to liquidate all their assets (a LOT of property) which will flood the market with supply, and the new generation of millennials are just not as interested in buying anything.
- Government austerity - the model of government funding is broken. People are increasingly less bound by geography when it comes to where they live and work, and so fewer and fewer people will stay in their own country to "re-pay" their taxes owed to the health and education system. This means government austerity is here to stay.
- Tech unemployment will happen - we are not that far from the singularity. There will come a point in the next few years where many of the workforces skills can be completed better by technology.
- Digital disruption has only just begun. Major technology normally takes 20+ years until it is completely adopted i.e. the telephone, the TV, the internet. Google is only 17 years old... most of what they have to achieve is still yet to come.
- The rising 3 billion - there are still 3 billion people yet to have internet access. Imagine the scale of change this will bring.
- Entrepreneurial revolution and the democratisation of innovation - with the rise of crowdfunding and tech revolution, entrepreneurs can now achieve what companies can achieve, companies can achieve what multinationals can, and multinationals are beginning to do the job of governments.
Disruptive technology trends for 2016 - credit Brian Solis
Brian Solis shares his thoughts on the most disruptive technology and trends for 2016, including the future of social media, search, messaging apps, chinese innovation, the internet of things and wearables, millennials, mobile, cyber security, the music industry, crowdfunding, currency, mass personalisation and big data.
5 Global Megatrends - credit PwC
PwC have done a lot of work into global megatrends which comprise of: