Global competitors never stop their Strategic Planning and Competitive Monitoring
In any recession, companies may be tempted to believe that their competitors have “shut down” their Market Research and Competitive Intelligence budgets. While corporate budgets are cut, there are ways that companies can continue their competitive monitoring during the year and the next few years of recession until economic recovery.
The Need for Continuous Competitive Intelligence Monitoring
While the world economy may further contract, it is important to note that some multinational firms will continue to grow and thrive at the expense of others, who will stay even or fail during these hard economic times.
Not all industries and companies are created equal – Nor do they compete on a level playing ground – particularly during a recession. During good economic times, companies can compete on a “level playing ground” as they have access to capital, the equity markets and they are well-staffed. However, during a period of a credit crisis, limited liquidity, downsizing and foreseeable economic uncertainty, the consequences of stopping a CI global monitoring process could have the potential result of reduced market share and limited market opportunities over the long term.
Affordable CI Monitoring Programs during Recessions
The following are affordable CI monitoring programs that companies can reasonably consider in a period of economic downturn.
1. Low cost CI monitoring programs and monthly retainer programs
Companies can commission through a research supplier cost-effective, monthly tracking programs which utilize a research methodology of both secondary research augmented with primary research from targeted Key Opinion Leaders in the countries.
2. Targeted Competitor Profiles in Select Regions or Countries
Companies can commission targeted competitor profiles in select regions or countries to monitor competitors’ new product development activity, expansion plans, their merger and acquisition activity and their strategic initiatives.
3. Market Opportunity Analysis by Product Sector and by Geographical Region
Many strong companies see the value in continuing to develop their short term and longterm strategy in spite of the economic downturn.
Some cost-effective research methods:
- Instead of commissioning several countries or regions, do homework first and target specific regions or countries for the “low hanging fruit”
- Target the exportation of your most robust products and services, pare down the global expansion of “all products and services”
- Monitor the price points and the changing exchange rates by country to optimize export and global sales opportunities
What Not to Do During in a Recession
1. Shelving markets and regions because they have a short term burst in their bubble
An example of this is market expansion plans in the Middle East and North Africa Region. During the “black gold” rush of the past few years to the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries, companies were expanding at a high growth rate to “get in the game.” Now since the price of oil is down from their historical levels, several firms have stopped their Middle East expansion efforts.
But this region will likely continue to grow in terms of its demographics over the longterm. With high population growth, young populations and large family sizes, this region will likely grow in the future in terms of household consumer products, transportation, retail, financial services and healthcare services.
2. Remember to do your homework – as your competitors’ will continue to do their homework
This is an important message. Don’t neglect your homework or research as your global competition may still continue to research foreign market opportunities and will seize market opportunities. While your domestic competitors may pull the plug on their market research or global market intelligence budgets, the domestic competitors in these countries or adjacent countries in the region may likely be continuing their robust competitive efforts.
3. Collect very affordable Market Intelligence from your field offices Domestically and Globally
A cost-effective and high value way to gather local domestic and global market and competitive intelligence is to “tap” your local field and sales offices. They offer on-the-ground intelligence and insight and can be tremendously useful in strategic decisions.
In summary, global multinational firms that continue their CI and MI monitoring efforts during a economic downturn are prone to reap the efforts when the economy begins to point north again.