Are you looking to help your company take action on market changes? Over the past few weeks, I’ve fielded questions about trend-spotting, forecasting, and scenario planning; it seems that Market Insights functions are coming out of this winter’s polar vortex with a renewed mission to make the most of this year, setting up their organizations for future growth.
One of the easiest ways to get business partners to agree on the importance of long-term market changes is to package together megatrends that are relevant for the business. We’ve seen great practices from Alticor, who used a network of supplier listening posts to generate tailored market observations, and Levi Strauss, who led customized workshops to help business partners internalize insights gleaned from emerging trends. (CEB Market Insights members, read all the details on the practices from Alticor and Levi’s, and check out trends from our sister program CEB Iconoculture)
While megatrends are a great way to start the conversation with business partners about long-term market changes, they don’t provide confidence in the timing and impact or context for choosing among potential business responses. In other words, megatrends provide interesting thought-starters, but they don’t provide all of the information the business needs to confidently take action on market changes.
To provide the confidence and context that business partners require to take action, progressive Insights functions take an opportunities-based approach:
- Broaden market focus: expand your organization’s market focus to account for relevant changes without “boiling the ocean.” CEB Market Insights members, see how The Home Depot, Frito Lay, and Sony expanded their market focus by expanding or redefining its target segments.
- Anticipate market outcomes: provide a measure of the likely timing and impact of market changes (free from internal bias). One automotive company used a simple scenario-ranking grid that prioritizes the right focus for action by identifying the most certain changes to environmental and business capabilities over relevant time frames, using informed consumer quotes.
- Vet opportunities: fast-cycle market opportunities to ensure timely action. Corning used rigorous hypothesis-based opportunity qualification helps the organization assess the strategic relevance of “white space” business opportunities quickly.
Are you seeing an increased interest in your organization for forward-looking insights and recommendations? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.