Over the past 20 years, companies have strived to gain a larger market share, often differentiating based on price and service. But in recent years, changes in technology have pushed companies to stand out from the competition by developing new ways of reaching customers.
For example, a distributor without a website will have a harder time capturing as many customers as a distributor with a large, customer friendly e-commerce platform.
Another underutilized differentiator is market analytics. According to Tom Gale in Distributor's Guide to Analytics: “Companies with better visibility into their markets gain critical perspective that allows them to be proactive, rather than reactive, to competitive threats such as price wars, digital marketing channels or other forces outside their control.”
Better visibility can begin with segmenting markets based on industry classifications, such as the NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System), which assigns a discrete number to each end market in North America. Once end markets are defined, they can be compared for penetration into each market in each region of your business. For example, you might be selling a large amount into the automotive industry in Texas, but may need to focus on automotive customers in Michigan.
With this data, a landscape of your sales begins to form, giving you a better idea of where to invest resources. The next step in this process is to bring in outside metrics to benchmark your internal data. MDM Analytics is one possible source for demand data for a variety of products in North America, down to the postal code. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.