It Pays to be Aware

Who has time to keep an eye on all their key competitors, customers and market trends? As a technical director in a scientific instruments company, I was amazed at how business intelligence often depended on gossip at trade shows and conventions or around the water cooler, delayed and distorted like a variation on that old children's game, the Chinese Telegraph.

“There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.”—Doug Larson

Your time is valuable, and so is your staff's, so most companies seemingly can't afford to regularly monitor the web sites of their competitors, the comments of their customers, or the trends developing in their marketplace—but can you really afford not to?

Keeping Your Eye on the Target

At Aware Research, we track web-sites, search-engine results, Twitter and Facebook streams, blog feeds and other targeted information sources for changes in content, changes in content frequency, and key terms relevant to your interests.

Advanced automation and natural language processing software enable this to be done reliably, tirelessly and cost-effectively, with results delivered daily, weekly or monthly.

With the right tools, you can know right away if a competitor adds a new product to their web site or changes published terms or prices. You can know also if customer sentiment on the web seems to be shifting up or down, and then go after the details you need.

Horizon Scanning

Just as search is not discovery, it pays to keep one eye on the target while continuing to watch around you. It's fine to keep an eye on your competitor's web site, but how to know if a new one suddenly appears?

Early warning can be essential, and sometimes the signal is in the silence. By monitoring mentions of products, companies, technologies and key terms, one can detect variations that may indicate seasonal changes or trends indicative of the death of one product or the birth of another.

“Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.”—D. M. Thomas

Being aware not only of what is, but also of the gaps, can be lucrative. As your market evolves, opportunities emerge in areas defined by changing needs and coverage, synergies among suppliers, and changes of population, income and other demographics.

By combining and extending information resources such as Census data, government economic data, listings of businesses by NAICS or SIC code along with live data on the web, you can monitor both long-term and short-term trends in your areas of interest and identify areas under-served or ripe with new opportunity.

Contact Aware Research for a free consultation and quote.