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Market Intelligence

Competitive Assessment
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.
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Analyst Relations
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 is off-base;
  • 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; and
  • 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, etc.;
  • 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 manner.
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Media and Blogger Audits

  • How do the media and bloggers report on your company?
  • Are there some reporters or bloggers who are always negative?
  • How do your competitors get covered? Your industry?
  • Who 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) protests.
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