Marketing analysis is usually the first step in conducting business strategy consulting engagements. It is used to both assess the market and set the project up for success. Here are typical project components:
Market Analysis Goal
To gain insight into management’s vision for the business and brand, analyze the market, identify competitive dynamics, and lay the foundation for subsequent project steps.
Market Assessment Activities
Kickoff the project including client-delivered overview of the business and brand
Review existing research, business plans and strategy documents, as available
Conduct management interviews to address hypotheses, opportunities and challenges
Profile competitors to determine their brand positionings and strategic intent
Identity highest potential customer segments (e.g., demographically, behaviorally, attitudinally) for subsequent research
Obtain proprietary customer insights through primary research and marketing data analysis tools
Project kick-off materials, including marketing, innovation and brand strategy perspectives
Internal hypotheses, questions, opportunities and challenges to guide subsequent project steps
Three Cs market assessment, across company, customer and competitor dynamics
Conduct a Three C’s Market Analysis
A three C’s analysis—for company, customers, and competitors—is a great way to organize relevant facts. Here are details about each component:
Company analysis looks internally to understand the current state of the business and brand, across growth strategies and plans, technical capabilities, brand strength, and product assets.
Customer analysis recaps what you know, think you know, and don’t know about the buyer and buying process. Use existing research to inform hypotheses and validate them during subsequent customer interviews.
Who are our customers and prospects? How do they segment attitudinally, behaviorally, and demographically?
What’s important to them? Construct a benefit hierarchy to organize product attributes and benefits viewed through the customers’ eyes.
How do they buy? Map the entire decision journey—before, during, and after purchase. Ultimately, you’ll want to align brand touchpoints with the customer journey, so begin mapping this early.
Also, spend time analyzing relevant market trends and new technologies, now and in the future. These will help in developing solutions in later steps.
Competitor analysis informs ways to differentiate. Don’t spend too much time here. Breakthrough innovation rarely comes from analyzing competitors. Still, there’s value in setting a baseline across competitive product offerings, brand positionings, and strategic intent.