recognizing market needs

Marketing’s first role within the company is to continuously look for need. Whether the company owner, sales force, or marketing department supplies the information, the company needs to be aware of the activities and evolution of its industry and watch for needs. The difference between what people want, and what they can actually get is always changing. Companies which recognize the shifts in trends, the resulting gaps, and then move to fill those gaps have a better foundation for becoming market leaders.

How can needs and gaps be recognized? If your business sells to other businesses, then industry magazines and journals are a great source of ideas, as are industry associations. Each of these organizations is keenly interested in what’s new, what’s changing, and what is needed in the industry. Consumer-based businesses can find this same information from similar sources. Every consumer market has an industry of businesses serving it and likely has an association or a magazine about it.

More often than not though, your company will have to rely on itself to understand detailed opportunities it can take advantage of. The company must analyze what its customer base is comprised of. What is that customer base trying to achieve? What is it currently buying and why? What does it not like about what it is buying? What needs are not being met? Sometimes the company must “step back” and question what business it is really in. If the business sell novelty t-shirts, is it only in business of selling t-shirts, or is it in the business of helping people identify and express their individualism? With that perspective maybe the company can identify and fill a need it didn’t recognize before.

It can take quite a while of analyzing what your business is about, what your market is comprised of and how it is segmented, and what factors are driving buyer decisions. However, if your company can understand what its customers are trying to achieve when buying its product, then your business will begin to recognize gaps created by people’s needs and desires, and what they’re currently able to buy.