Why you should kickstart Market Mapping now
Our definition of Market Mapping is the following:
Market Mapping is a method to gather and organize relevant market insight continuously. It supports your business by providing the information you need for quality decisions and building up market expertise.
That being said, it’s obvious: If you maintain Market Maps, you increase your decision quality. That’s why you should better start today than tomorrow.
However, don’t make it too complicated. For a quick start, it’s essential to get going and gain quick wins. After that, you can build on your experience and improve your Market Map.
These are the steps you can take today:
- Know your goals.
- Identify relevant market players.
- Start following their major channels.
- Identify additional information that might be relevant
- Keep collecting insight over time.
That doesn’t look too intimidating, right?!
Now, let’s dive into the details.
Step 1: Know your goals to set the right direction
If you have a clear picture of your goals, you can tailor the Market Map to support you efficiently.
There is no need to have a two-day off-site to define your strategy. But you should know the direction you’re heading. Then, you can address pain points and blind spots with your research.
But let’s look at the market players first.
Step 2: Identify relevant market players
They can belong to any of the following most common groups of market players:
Out of the groups relevant to your goals, choose the significant players and those that might help you discover the market’s diversity.
Limit yourself to five or six for now. That’s enough to get used to your new habit without going crazy.
You can still expand your Market Map as soon as you know how it works.
For all selected market players, let’s look at their communication channels.
Step 3: Start following their major channels
Most businesses use several communication channels simultaneously.
Because from now on, you will be watching them closely.
To know what’s going on in the market. At least in the segments you consider most important to you.
This way, you can make sure to receive relevant insight quickly.
But that’s not all. Because the market players’ channels might not cover all information you’re interested in. Look out for additional sources …
Step 4: Identify additional information that might be relevant
Depending on your Market Map’s purpose, you will need additional information you can’t pull from the market players’ updates.
First of all, any company dossier should include some basic information to identify the company and understand what they do. The free platform opencorporates offers some official info. Information brokers like dun&bradstreet provide some information free, but some only with a paid license. There are also public registers in some countries to retrieve basic official information about companies.
Depending on each market player’s jurisdiction, even business numbers might be published and available.
Collect a set of more static information – compared to the updates from the communication channels in step 3 – that can help you draw an image of each market player.
And once again, don’t overdo it in the first step. Better start small and expand your information over time.
However, after compiling some basic information and recent updates, you will know your market better than before.
Step 5: Keep collecting insight over time to update your Market Map
The secret to a successful Market Map is persistence.
Because over time, its information value increases.
All you have to do is: maintain the Market Map. Add relevant updates whenever they come up. Also, dare to dismiss all updates that don’t add value to your dossier. Restrict the collected information consequently. Nobody wants to get overwhelmed by information that turns out to be irrelevant after reading.
Also, we recommend scheduling to update the basic information gathered in step 4 from time to time. Minor changes might not matter. But if your insight is three years old and the market player has changed direction twice in the meantime, you better update your profiles quickly.
You’re not working on a Market Map to keep yourself busy. The information gathered is supposed to add value to your business. That’s why up-to-date information is crucial for the success of your Market Mapping efforts.
Now, share your insights to support your business and position yourself
You already finished the first version of your Market Map. Now, you can start using the insight you gained.
You can share it
- Inside your company to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- To the members of your membership site to provide up-to-date market insight.
- With your consulting clients to help them make better decisions.
- With your boss to prove your value to the company.
There are countless ways to use the insight you gain over time. Get creative and find the way that suits you best.
Remember that Market Mapping is a great tool to strengthen your business and build your personal reputation at the same time.
Because being a well-informed thought leader and subject-matter expert improves your business results and your standing. A win-win situation.
That’s why you should start gathering information today. Start with small steps and add more depth over time.
And let us know if we can help you. We would love to see you succeed.
Now it’s your turn to take the 5 steps outlined
Great. Now that you know that getting started is not a big deal, what’s holding you back?
Well then, I guess you should use the momentum and get going right away.
We’re developing a software to bring you up to speed quickly. Click the button and give it a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Know your goals
- Identify relevant market players
- Start following their major channels
- Identify additional information
- Keep collecting insight over time
If you’re working in a changing market, you should map it continuously. However, if it moves at a low pace, you can adapt your mapping speed accordingly.