Creating a 360° Market Assessment from a Customer Centricity Perspective
Strategic Assessments to identify market dynamics timely.
Most business leaders will agree that the contextual assessment is an essential aspect of the strategic planning process which should be conducted periodically ensuring that the latest trends are identified and their implications understood for the upcoming strategic planning cycle.
However, often the situation analysis is merely done for the sake of sound business practice and not with the intention to really identify cause and effect, although history shows that missing out on current or potential opportunities and/or threats can have severe consequences for the sustainability of a company.
Hence, most companies produce at least once per year a strategic contextual assessment, the value added of which dependents on meeting several criteria which will be addressed beneath. Criteria of a value added Strategic Assessment:
- For a start, the covered subjects are chosen on their contextual value added, and not randomly to fill chapters and pages. Secondly, the information collected should be actual, accurate, and representative. Although all of this sounds very logical, often the quality of collected information is done randomly without a thought-through strategic outcome.
- The conclusions - which are often presented by means of a SWOT-I analysis - should be a logical outcome of the external and internal analysis.
- Lastly, there has to be a correlation between all information of the Situation assessment, the SWOT-I and all objectives, strategies, and functional plans that follow. From experience we know that this is easier said than done.
Business Process Benchmark to ensure operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Learning from other - preferably excellent performing - organizations is the most efficient manner to improve your organization's performance.
Benchmarking can be beneficial for any organization, yet it is fraught with many challenges. Although the business process benchmark is common topic of the external analysis, often it is conducted independently to determine the underlying factors of an organization's relative performance at a given moment in time.
External business process benchmarks are conducted either to compare an organization's competence performance against its direct competitors or against organizations across other sectors.
Generally speaking the main reason for benchmarking is to create context for decision making related to performance improvement and finding new routes, methodologies or technologies to reduce cost, or to do thing in an alternative fashion.
Typical examples of benchmark topics are:
- Brand perceptual map to determine your brand image against that of your competitors.
- Best practices of the Customer Experience Journey, including in-store, website/app performance.
- The E-commerce order conversion rate, based on all relevant leading funnel metrics.
- The relative product and/or service performance.
Competition Intensity Study
The intensity of rivalry within a business sector is of great influence on the long term financial perspective of a business and depends on fundamental drivers, such as the current competition, the availability of substitutes, or the negotiating power of buyers.
From a long-term financial sustainability perspective, it is of paramount importance to understand the long term level competition intensity of a sector or market segment. The outcome of the study might influence strategic decisions, such as: "whether or not to enter/exit a market or whether to invest in rapidly increasing your market share".
Porter's five competitive forces and the market life cycle diagram are two of the strategic analysis models we are applying to determine the current and future level of potential competition intensity and its effect on the structural profitability of an organization.
To kick off the upcoming strategic planning process, the fast majority of companies have embraced the excellent habit of conducting an annual reflection session to determine the status quo of the previously agreed strategic objectives.
Value Added of Strategic Review
The main value added of the strategic review is to understand whether the previously agreed strategic initiatives are still in line with the external developments, the organization's ability to make strides regarding previously agreed strategic initiatives, and to understand where adaptations are required during the upcoming cycle.
Regardless whether the strategic review is conducted in the form of a qualitative session, or in a metrics-based quantitative manner, as long as it is conducted in a structured manner with the active involvement and buy-in of the leadership team, it will surely benefit the quality of the upcoming strategy planning cycle.