Four out of five companies fail when entering new markets. One primary cause is the failure to execute market research properly, which leads to faulty decision making. In this article, we discuss how your organization can analyze market insights correctly to make the right decisions to support a successful market entry.

Often entering a new market represents a significant growth opportunity for a company. As the CEO setting the strategic vision deciding which markets to pursue and when is one of the most important decisions, you can make.  Despite this, far too many CEO’s fail to execute a new market entry successfully.  The annals of business history report that for every successful market entry, about four fail. And these failures are not limited to inexperienced start-ups but include many successful corporations who have no excuse given the resources at their disposal.

 

Failure is typically not because of a lack of effort.  Often new market entry is a high-profile strategic initiative that commands the attention of everyone in the organization.  Companies generally perform prerequisite market research and have collected a lot of insights.  Go here to see what your market research efforts should be focused on.

 

New Market entry failure often occurs because companies don’t have a process to analyze the data and insights they’ve captured.  They allow cognitive bias – the systematic errors in the way executives process information – to interfere with their decision-making process.  This results in a failure to fully understand the market, accounts, buyers, and competitive dynamics and how their company can apply those insights into a successful strategy.

 

Keys to Successful Market Insight Analysis

 

Here are 3 keys to establishing a process your company can use to analyze market insights that will provide your executive team the tools needed to prioritize ideas into the ones that are feasible and will provide a return on your investment.

 

  1. Create an Insights Review Process –  You’ll need to identify a prioritization standard and ensure it has been developed and applied to all insights collected.  A team of reviewers will need to be assembled from key functional groups to conduct the analysis of collected insights.  You’ll want to ensure a standard process is followed to review collected insights.  Your team will ultimately create a set of hypotheses that will be validated or invalidated when analyzing the insights.

     

  2. Build a Data Management Plan – Your team will analyze collected insights and provide an executive summary to the leadership team. There will be a clear distinction between what has been reviewed, accepted, and rejected with an audit trail.  It is just as important to know why something was rejected as it is to understand what was accepted.  The data management process must have a clear owner with responsibility for ensuring the data management plan is adhered to by all.

     

  3. Establish an Insights Action Plan – An action plan should be developed that provides clarity as to the recommended next steps after insights have been analyzed. Your team will develop reports and/or dashboards that summarize the analysis collected.  You’ll identify the recipients of the analysis and reports which should be web-based and easy to use by all.

     

Implementing these three steps into your market analysis process will ensure you’ve analyzed the data and insights properly to generate ideas that will drive market penetration.  Unfortunately, many companies lack the capacity or capability to execute this.

 

It can be advantageous to use third parties to perform this work for you.  A third-party won’t have preconceived notions or biases about the market and your companies’ products and services.  They can provide an objective view of the data and insights to ensure you get an unbiased output to use in your decision-making process.  This also ensures your team who all have full-time jobs in your company don’t get overly burdened or distracted.  They can be freed up to contribute where they can have the most impact, in the final decision making.

 

Here is a tool that can help your team ensure they are capturing the right market intelligence about your competitors before you enter a new market.

 

  1. Identify your competitive positioning with regards to price.
  2. Understand your brand’s price point against value.
  3. Visually see where you stand against your competitors and in what quadrant.

     

Ideas are only as good as their execution. Insights collected and prioritized must be converted into products and solutions that solve the real problems of the users.  Companies that put a process in place to develop innovation are the companies that are the market leaders.  Is your company a market leader?

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Foster

Tim empowers private equity firms and their portfolio companies to leverage emerging best practices across the investment life cycle. Tim works clients from early stage due diligence, 100 day plans, post close value creation and exits.

Prior to joining SBI Tim spent the past decade in Private Equity working with B2B companies across various industries.   Earlier in his career he held various account executive and sales management roles in technology and services businesses including Lanier, SAP, and GS1.    Because of this, Tim can assess a situation through the eyes of an investor and a practitioner. Tim leverages this unique combination of experience to help private equity firms and their portfolio companies outperform their peers.

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