Identifying the best opportunities to engage customers and prospects is one of the most critical challenges marketers face. But having an in-depth knowledge of your market means more than just running an Awareness & Usage study (though we do A&U studies too). Rather, a thorough exploration of marketplace dynamics helps us guide successful strategy development that maximizes reach, meets needs and ultimately has a positive impact on profits.
At MSI, our approaches to Market/Category Exploration are designed to answer several key questions:
Who are your key target audiences?
What makes them tick?
How well are they being served?
What benefits are they seeking?
How and when do we best reach them?
MSI has a number of tools and approaches to help you understand your market and set strategic direction.
Audience Segmentation – Central to our segmentation approach is our “no stone unturned” philosophy. We explore several bases (needs, motivations, behaviors, attitudes, etc.) and use multiple clustering techniques to yield the most differentiated segments that are then prioritized based on their appeal to your business. Importantly, we involve you at every step along the way in order to gain buy-in for identifying targets that make sense for your organization. In the end, you’re able to set product and communication strategies unique to your most attractive segments.
Market Structure – In addition to identifying key target audiences, it is important to know how well you and your competition are perceived to deliver on the needs of the market. Our approach to category structure analysis shows how benefit bundles (groups of consumers with unique but similar benefit needs) are being served, creating opportunities for product innovation or repositioning existing products.
Customer Journey – Needs, motivations and expectations can change depending on where a customer is in their experience with a brand. Motivations in the pre-sales phase can be very different than benefits sought in post-sale phases. Thus, assessing journey phase drivers is another important component to understanding the dynamics of your market.