Executives need a clear understanding of their company's market position
in order to make long-term, informed business decisions such as marketing
approaches and R&D investments. Critical to this understanding is an accurate
picture of how a firm's products and technologies are viewed by customers,
potential customers and industry influencers. And, underlying this marketing
data is a comparison of how the company is doing vis a vis its competition.
Birnbach Communications offers a comprehensive, systematic competitive
assessment program that can give its clients a competitive advantage.
Birnbach's methodology in gathering and analyzing competitive intelligence
is designed to yield accurate information on competitor products, business
strategies, capabilities and vulnerabilities. In addition, our seasoned
analysts work with clients in creating organized and effective responses
to competitor activities, as well as industry trends, market shifts and
technology developments that we have identified. Just as important as
gathering critical competitive data, our approach also ensures that the
information is disseminated throughout an organization.
Intelligence can be delivered to our clients in several forms:
- Periodic industry snapshots: providing the latest
information on the client's marketplace position and how it is
being influenced by external factors such as competitor activities;
- Ongoing monitoring: serving as an early-warning program that tracks
a volatile competitive environment; or
- Comprehensive consulting: utilizing Birnbach's entire communications
strategy team to respond to and stay ahead of a client's competitors.
Our team's experience includes helping companies like IBM, MasterCard,
Corning, ON Semiconductor, Internet Security Systems (ISS), and FirePond
conduct business intelligence gathering, enabling them to respond proactively,
quickly, and effectively, to competitive challenges. Because we understand
our clients' business objectives, we design competitive assessment programs
that are customized to their requirements.
Reporters are increasingly skeptical. One way to package a compelling
story is to cultivate credible third-party experts who can offer insight,
industry context, customer references (when your own customers won't talk
to the media) and comments that confirm your positioning. "Influencers"
include industry analysts at well regarded market research firms, from
Aberdeen, Forrester, Gartner-Dataquest to Release 1.0, Technologic Partners,
and Yankee Group.
Influencers can also include some high profile industry reporters, too,
like former eWeek editor John Dodge, who has written for WSJ.com,
Boston Globe and numerous other well regarded outlets, or Wired
contributor Spencer Reiss.
Benefits: Industry analysts and opinion leaders can:
- Serve as a "reality check" for those inside the company
by providing independent thinking;
- Set companies on the right direction if the analysts think the strategy
- Provide validation outside the company, especially to the media;
- Build credibility for clients' technologies and market space
especially if customers won't talk to the media due to competitive issues;
- Manage and benchmark operations and application development;
- Offer best practices;
- Endorse clients' technologies, products and services to their clients;
- Uncover intelligence about competitors, issues and the overall industry.
An opinion-leader program should be a year-round function to keep opinion
leaders "in the know" about a company's business and products.
On behalf of our clients, we can
- Deploy our Analyst Relations Scorecard, which can identify clients'
strengths, weaknesses and opportunities;
- Identify, evaluate and prioritize appropriate industry analysts and
influencers, across a range of industries, including hardware, software,
semiconductors, telecommunications, etc.;
- Create a "watchers" list to determine friends in the community
who matter most for clients' business goals;
- Deliver a briefing document on the top analysts, providing information
on background and recent research;
- Manage sources as press references;
- Conduct analyst audits to determine key issues, industry trend data,
- Determine which analysts and influencers are quoted most often in
clients' key media;
- Develop third-party key influencer relationships;
- Arrange briefings so that clients can tell their stories to experts
who in turn will talk to the media;
- Prepare our clients for analyst briefings so our clients understand
what the analysts are interested in and how to best work with them;
- Identify ongoing opportunities to update opinion leaders on the company's
technology, vision, and ability to meet important milestones;
- Assess subscriptions to and the myriad of services offered by analyst
firms to determine value to the company;
- Monitor online sites that serve as industry portals and generate buzz
but are not run by traditional analyst firms; and
- Conduct analyst summits to brief analysts in a cost- and time-efficient
Media and Blogger Audits
- How do the media and bloggers report on your company?
there some reporters or bloggers who are always negative?
do your competitors get covered? Your industry?
regularly gets quoted as an industry expert?
Through media intelligence gathering and media audits, Birnbach Communications
can help you assess the media and bloggers, to learn about your perceived
strengths and weaknesses, and to identify strategies that support your
business objectives. By closely monitoring national media and bloggers,
identifying appropriate reporters and relevant trends among key reporters
and bloggers, we can recommend strategies that achieve your short- and
long-term business objectives. We develop a strategic and meaningful list
of recommendations (that go beyond, "you should talk to the reporters
or bloggers a bit more").
We can develop monthly, quarterly or annual reports that compare you
to your competitors, in terms of media coverage and perception.
We can conduct research to evaluate competitorsí business strengths and
weaknesses to better prepare you to launch a new product or to respond
to a competitorís new product. We can also assess the media's reaction
to issues critical to your company, whether it's a reaction to trade with
China or perception of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA)