Monitoring your industry is just as important as monitoring your brand in order to ensure stability and growth over time.
You’d be surprised just how quickly your environment can change when not paying attention and only focusing on your end of things. By the time you’re aware, the wind blows in a new direction it could very well be too late for your brand to stay relevant and avoid potential loss in revenue and sales numbers.
Why follow the industry news on a daily basis?
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Even small, local businesses are influenced by trends and customer attitudes forming on a global level. With over-developed logistics in a good portion of the world and Internet access, businesses can extend their service and product availability far beyond their initial reach.
At the very least, startups are managing to grow incredibly fast in recent years, so it makes sense to pay attention to who is entering the race. More importantly, you…
Pockets of opportunity always present themselves to those who know where to look and can act quickly. Through social media listening and trend monitoring, brands become aware of consumer demands and preferences as they evolve.
Early detection of emerging trends is especially crucial when planning on developing new product concepts or updating one already existing on the market. Such flexibility to position your branding opens you to new target audiences and extends the shelf life of not just your products, but brand relevance. Adaptability is what saves businesses. Just look at the cautionary tale of Blockbuster.
Market stability is more or less a thing of the past, but that comes with the territory of operating at a time of unprecedented innovation and change. For a good, long while ‘disrupt’ was on the lips of every self-proclaimed entrepreneur and though few startups actually achieved this status the way Revolut or Uber did, market disruption happens frequently.
With this comes considerable organizational risk. If there’s turbulence in your sector ahead, the close monitoring of market trends will stabilize you through the worst of it. Knowing the situation as it unfolds prepares you to best handle uncertainty and adjust your goals and strategies. You do not want to be caught off unawares.
Where to discover content and trends?
The Internet. Just google it. Obvious answers to an obvious question considering we spend hours upon hours plugged online, but that’s hardly helpful once you move into the specifics.
Google for all its ubiquity runs across some issues, especially when it comes to predicting what results you expect to encounter. So while Google is essential, you also have to think about specific sources for your research:
Need we say more. News sites and trade publications are the primary source for anything that’s well… newsworthy. Revolutionary technology. Huge scandals. Groundbreaking product launches. It’s all going to be heavily publicized sooner rather than later and given the tireless cycle of news generation, you’re all set to receive headlines on an hourly basis.
Check industry research by private companies or government
Online reports targeting your industry are a wealth of information on what’s the current state of affairs, current challenges, solutions and a possible future. What’s more valuable is the quantitative data in these reports. It’s not just private companies such as Mintel, Frost & Sullivan, Euromonitor that perform this function. You also have government reports. All invaluable resources.
It can be pricey to gain direct access to such research, but there are ways to go about this that are a lot less costly depending on where you’re based. In the UK, it’s the British Library that gives you access to this treasure trove through its Business & IP Centre and all it takes is a Reader Pass. This might not be the situation for you, but certainly worth the additional research.
RSS feed reader
RSS feed readers have proven themselves as modern helpers for businesses in optimizing the daily workflow and organizing reading thanks to large databases of indexed sites and handy Chrome extensions for easy subscriptions.
Where the current generation of RSS feed readers excel is in the process of discovery. Inoreader, as a prime example, has a well-developed discovery mode. From feeds organized in relevant topics to user-generated feed collections, you come face to face with expertly curated content.
In addition, you can turn to the wealth of indexed sites to perform in-depth searches. You’re cutting through all the white noise and straight to the most useful, targeted content.
Social media influencers
Each industry has its thought leaders. The personalities, which guide conversations and stir up the professional community through their materials or social media posts. Identifying who has their fingertips on the pulse of your industry is crucial to staying connected to your market and target audience. Are these people experts in their own field? Then they become a valuable source for the latest research and innovations, which carry the potential to shift consumer behaviour.
Social media influencers are often coded as the voice of the people. You can see end-users through big personalities and learn what matters to your target audience if you’re following a B2C model. Naturally, you’re going to eventually find your brand ambassadors and open channels to your ideal customer.
Regardless of industry affiliations, a sign of a successful brand is individuality and daring to stray from trodden ground. Winners innovate and disrupt calcified business models. It’s fine to stay out of what’s expected, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what your competitors are doing.
Competitor research goes beyond brand monitoring and campaign analysis. You also learn a lot about how they position themselves in the market and their behaviour. Are there emerging trends you can pinpoint? Observe your competitors to see whether they’re syncing their behaviour. This is easily done following their social media channels for changes in their messaging and offers as well as their website and customer reviews.
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