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Case Study

Market Research — Challenging Internal Company Perceptions Against Marketplace Reality

The Problem

As part of an overall marketing campaign, an information technology vendor wanted to leverage the fact that their primary competitor was considered difficult to work with by the target audience. Before moving forward, they wanted to ensure that these messages resonated with prospects.


A competitive message audit assisted the client in determining what their competition was saying about itself, its products and its competition. A thorough analysis also details the differences between competitor's products, services and business models. These are important tools in understanding the competitive landscape, and are performed routinely by KnowledgePoint for many of their clients.
A complete competitive assessment included qualitative research to analyze if the IT provider's prospects were paying attention to their competitor's messages, "buying into" their competitor's claims, and — for those who were doing business with the competitor — their level of satisfaction.
The internal company perspective was that there was a window of opportunity provided by the fact that the competitor was viewed as difficult to do business with. After in-depth conversations with prospects, it was discovered that over the last two years, this competitor had made major shifts in its attitude and working style with customers. They were now viewed as having very strong offerings and a level of expertise that carried tremendous weight in the prospects' minds.


Had the IT provider not done its homework in understanding the target's mindset vis-à-vis the competition, it could have chosen a course of action that would have damaged its own credibility. Focus groups were able to provide objective insight because they were done without prospects knowing who the sponsor was. These insights were used to develop alternative competitive strategies based on the current market reality and understanding of the target audience's perspective.

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