Market insight: The 12 mile hike

The last few months in telco and mobile have thrown up a lot of surprises and will have forced a rethink on strategy for a good number of teams.

We all have an inkling about what our competitors are up to – you can read between the lines on announcements, piece together a pricing strategy, garner nuggets from doing mystery shopping. It’s all vital intel on what’s happening in the market and what might come next so you can be ready to react.

But at the moment when the speed of change is so fast and announcements are coming out of the blue, it’s crucial your intel is accurate. But above all used wisely.

What do I mean? It’s easy to react to what’s in front of you and feel better about the fact you are doing something. But if you don’t stop and dig into the facts then doing ‘something’ could be the worst thing to do. For example, knowing how you should read Virgin’s deal with Vodafone is critical. It lets you interpret the situation and ask questions like will pricing become aggressive now because BT will need to build a base to plug the loss, or further down the line when the Vodafone commercials unshackle Virgin?

It’s why so many of the operators have competitor intelligence teams in their strategy departments. They are worth their weight in gold – they turn the knowledge into wisdom, into insight.

It’s about joining the dots making better decisions. Think of it this way:

    • Knowledge is measuring that a desert path is 12.4 miles long.
    • Wisdom is packing enough water for the hike.
    • Insight is building a beer tent at mile 6

It’s also of course, why smaller MVNOs or IoT providers can’t operate like that. It’s just too costly to consider a dedicated team.

But I’ve come to realise that internal intelligence teams can have their flaws. It’s easy to be blinded by internal perspective, to apply your corporate values or mindset to a situation, and not see the insight for what it is.

Our competitor intelligence service gets around this. It gives fast updates on market changes, with 25 years of market experience and wisdom, and delivers the insight on what action you should take.

This allows big companies to sanity check their workings, and smaller companies get access to in depth analysis from market experts.

It’s an even more powerful tool when our market segmentation is applied to the insight. You know which customers will or won’t take a product, or will behave a certain way as a result of market change, or adjustments you want to make.

Let’s face it, there is a real difference between headline offers and what customers actually use, which is why segmentation is so important to making good decisions.

You can tailor packages to those that like the comfort of lots of data but rarely use it all, and those that will regularly smash through it and wipe out the benefit of the more cautious user. A package for each segment makes better sense. Knowing who to put into those segments makes even more sense.

Above all it’s a better set of data upon which to make strategic decisions – to do something or nothing. There is no bias.

There is a military aphorism that “time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted.” If you update this with the addition of time and money this is equally true in business. So, if you’re curious to know what your business could get from some well-structured insight then get in touch. You may find you get further along the 12 mile road than you ever thought.


Anna Parcell
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About Anna Parcell

Anna has extensive experience in building customer propositions for bluechip organisations such as BT, Vodafone and Sainsbury's. She has over 15 years of marketing experience encompassing proposition, go to market strategies, targeted marketing campaigns and customer segmentation and research.