The Importance of Market Research – and Understanding Your Competition
If someone were to ask you who your technology services firm’s main competitors were, you could probably rattle off the names of a few firms without giving it much thought. After all, you know which firms are considered industry leaders and which firms you tend to go up against in competitive bid situations. Don’t you?
However, our research found that this isn’t always the case for technology services firms. In fact, if you and your buyers were to sit down and write a list of your firm’s top competitors, our research showed there would likely be only a 25 percent overlap in your lists.
So, why does this disparity matter? Well, it could be an indicator that your technology firm is failing to take certain types of competitors seriously. Even though you think you know your industry inside and out, you may not be viewing your clients’ problems through the right filter. This could cause you to overlook completely different categories of solutions that your clients may be considering.
Here’s the bottom line: ignorance of true competitors is seldom going to help you compete. If you don’t know who your competitors are, you can’t differentiate yourself in a way that drives clients to make your firm their final decision.
Luckily, these disparities and uncertainties can be easily cleared up through the power of market research. Here are a few reasons why understanding your competition is invaluable.
3 Reasons Why Your Technology Firm Should Embrace Market Research
Knowing your competitors helps your firm stand apart.
The market is already highly competitive and filled with other firms that have established themselves as the “go-to” brands for certain products and services. When your firm has a stronger awareness of your competitors, you can identify gaps in the industry that could potentially become your firm’s niche. Based on what your competitors are or aren’t known for, your technology firm can build a brand that makes you the “go-to” for a particular differentiator.
Understanding your clients helps your firm attract more clients.
When you have a few truly great clients, it’s understandable that you’d want to attract more clients just like them. Conducting market research can help you understand what those great clients find particularly appealing about your firm. With this knowledge, you can more effectively seek out the type of clients you like to work with.
Understanding your clients’ challenges can help you find your differentiator.
Taking the time to fully understand your clients’ biggest and most pervasive problems is an important part of finding what sets your firm apart from the competition. While you may already offer services that can be of great benefit to potential clients, they may not even consider your firm as a solution because they are looking at their problem through a different lens. By using research to develop a more thorough understanding of your clients’ challenges, you can more accurately and effectively position your technology firm’s services as a distinctive solution.
If your firm is only aware of 25 percent of your true competitors, that means 75 percent of your competition is flying under the radar. Rather than falling into the trap of “ignorance as bliss,” focus instead on the power of knowledge. By using concrete market research to gain a better understanding of the competition in your industry and gather insight into your clients’ biggest challenges, you can build a brand that positions your firm as a true industry leader.
- Download a complimentary copy of Hinge’s Professional Services Guide to Research.
- Better understand today’s buyers with our How Buyers Buy Technology Services research report.
- Discuss the best ways to conduct a competitive analysis with other executives and marketers in our LinkedIn group, the Professional Services Executive Forum.
How Hinge Can Help
Brand research gets to the core of what will resonate with those audiences—and is an integral part of what Hinge does for clients. Learn more about our research services or contact us to learn whether research makes sense for your professional services firm.
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