you speak? What is the context of your talk/
presentation? The answers to these questions will help you determine which of the
following you may want to address: market
trends, a company’s competitors, innovations in the industry, or general inspiration.
Understanding market trends will prepare
you, strategically and tactically, to capitalize on market opportunities and establish
growth engines. These opportunities or
challenges can be in new or existing geogra-phies, product/service categories, consumer/
customer segments, or sales and marketing
channels. Trends can be quantitative (
pertaining to scope, growth, segmentation, and
other statistics) or qualitative (behaviors,
adoption, growth engines, or preferences).
Understanding a company’s competitive
environment will shed light on threats and
opportunities. While you probably won’t
carry out an entire SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in
your presentation, you can understand your
clients’ worries by surveying their competitors. A competitor can be a company, a
product, a method, an industry, or a technology. Once you’ve identified a competitor
(see sidebar at right), read company reports
to identify threats, innovations, and market
trend discussions. Add search terms such
as “launch,” “innovation,” or “introduced”
to quickly find info and pictures for your
is the founder and CEO
of Schieber Research,
LLC, with offices in New
York and Tel Aviv. For the
past 18 years, Hamutal
has consulted hundreds
of clients on trends,
innovation, and competitive
strategy and served as a VP for a competitive
intelligence firm and an investment company.
Open statistical sources such as
The Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development
statistics website: stats.oecd.org
The USA Census Bureau:
The Bureau of Economic Analysis:
GOOGLE SEARCH WORDS
Incorporate terms such as “CAGR”
(compound annual growth rate),
“million OR billion” (to allow for
both alternatives to come up in the
results), or “market share.”
When relevant, include sales
monitoring company names, such as
Nielsen, Euromonitor, Kantar, or IRI.
Use Google Images (images.
google.com) to find graphs or tables
to quickly see the type of information
Search for industry associations
and organizations, which many times
offer information on the industry.
Use the keywords with the operator
(or search parameter) “site:org” on
Google to find organizations.
TIPS WHEN SEARCHING FOR
Identifying the underlying reasons
and growth drivers for trends is
trickier. It requires a methodical
analysis of the market, macro
trends, and competitive strategies.
Therefore, you should opt for
insightful secondary sources.
Add to the keywords the operator
“filetype:pdf” to find white papers
and reports, as this is usually
the type of file in which they are
Incorporate terms that may appear
in the results of any content mentioning the results of a survey, such
as the phrase: “of consumers” or “of
buyers” (which we expect to see in
a sentence such as “ 35 percent of
Search for government resources
with the operator “site:gov”
TIPS FOR SEARCHING FOR MARKET SIZE,
GROWTH, AND SEGMENTATION
Use the Pew Research Center’s
Use Google Trends (trends.google.
com) to understand consumers’ state
TIPS FOR BUILDING A
Start building your competitors
list using the simple query “vs” on
Google.com. Enter the name of the
company/product or other component, enter the abbreviation “vs,”
and see what Google’s Big Data
brings up, according to previous
Once you’ve identified two or three
competitors, create a query containing all of those names to reach a list
that may include more names.
Use competitor databases such as
D&B Hoovers ( hoovers.com). Or use
“people also searched for” functions on sources such as LinkedIn
( linkedin.com) through the detected
company’s page or Google (on the
main page). For public companies,
search Yahoo Finance (finance.
yahoo.com), Google Finance (google.
com/finance), or Nasdaq.com and
choose the “competitors” tab.
Search for competing patents on
Google Patents ( patents.google.com)
and see who the assignee for the
For digital commerce-related companies, use a website ranking tool
such as Alexa ( alexa.com/topsites) or
Similar Web ( similarweb.com).