A robust competitive strategy should reveal how your core markets are behaving, how your products need differentiating based on the competitive landscape and finally, what is driving customer demand.
For a well-rounded template, we created this new workbook you can download. It’s designed to be a tool that is a blueprint for exceling in your market: Building a competitive strategy workbook.
The complimentary workbook takes you through the questions you need to answer in three key areas:
- Market opportunity
- Competitors and Share
- Customer Dynamics
How do you answer the key questions to help you build a solid competitive strategy? What research and data can you leverage to give you the deepest insights into your buyers and markets that will enable you to take those next steps (be it either in product differentiation or new adjacencies) with confidence?
The Technology Landscape
Your competitors are equally affected by the elements of change on the technology landscape: the economy, changing social norms changing, government policies, consumer pessimism. Utilize the research available to gain an understanding of what is occurring. In late 2022, we published this blog post that dove into what we have called “the winds of change”. Read Navigating Through the Storms of Disruption, for guidance on near-term and mid-term planning.
Predictions are a vital resource for technology vendors. Not only should you gauge these predictions for your own business, but use them when mapping out the market opportunity in a competitive strategy exercise. For example, one IDC prediction states that by 2025, with 40% or more of IT spending as a service, use of short duration capex cutting tactics will be constrained, instead requiring lasting operational expenditure resets of 10% to 30% in software and resources. Alongside this prediction and statement on budget implications, IDC also recommended tactical actions for 2023 and permanent actions for 2024 and beyond.
In another article Macroeconomic Challenges for SMBs and How They Are Responding, you’ll find insight into which elements, from a long list of macroeconomic troubles, SMBs are responding to. If you are an SMB trying to understand your market and the competitive forces, you’ll find the insights from a recent study that looked at how these macroeconomic concerns vary by region, as well as how supply chain disruptions are complicating projects.
The latest research studies are a good temperature check and give you an understanding of what your competitors are dealing with as well. To dig deeper, however, will require customized research. If you lack the analytics then you can leverage the strength of IT research firms who specialize in your market. The breadth and depth of data is there and so is the expertise to be able to interpret it and develop reliable inferences and plans.
What is Impacting Customers?
It’s critical to have a deep understanding of what is driving customer demand. IDC uses several tools to understand today’s tech buyer and consumer.
- Wallet: details the technology spending of over 60,000 of the world’s largest technology buyers, enabling more targeted sales and marketing campaigns
- Consumer Pulse: surveys consumers in seven countries about their current and near-term attitudes toward the eight segments, with particular attention paid to the concept of brand trust.
- Consumer Market Model: leverages the framework to create five-year forecasts of consumer internet penetration, online activities, eCommerce, and other services spending across 51 countries.
- Future Consumer Agenda: seeks to provide a futurist’s view of significant trends and technology shifts across the consumer spectrum.
- Customized Analytics: customized research that marries existing research with primary studies. It gives you tailored data to understand what the market trends are driving the purchase decisions for your specific solution, who the buyers are in the organizations you’re targeting and the purchase drivers of those buyers.
The most successful competitive strategies combine existing research frameworks with customized insights to, once again, help you understand what’s happening for your business, specifically.
The right market intelligence mix can help you overcome product and market complexities, more accurately anticipate and outpace competitive forces by providing current market data and intelligence that feeds into your strategic planning. If you have any questions when you’re building, or updating your competitive strategy, we are here to help. Contact us today, or learn more about IDC’s Custom Analytics practice and how it can help you.