Know where you and your competitors are on the market map
The Client: ForeignExchange Translations (FXT), a translation services vendor in medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
The Situation: FXT was fighting with major competitors and needed new ways to grow client base.
Silicon Strategies’ Role: Conduct primary market research to discover where FXT was in the market and how to maneuver past their competitors.
Initial Observations: The Internet has made the translation/localization industry a commodity business. FXT was uncertain of the true competitive landscape and how to change the rules of their market. FXT wanted to compete on something other than price.
The first step was to determine where FXT stood against their competitors. Silicon Strategies Marketing conducted a survey, inviting nearly 70,000 people to participate through our dedicated online survey tool. We measured FXT and four competitors on several critical positioning vectors. From this research a solid positioning map emerged that showed the severity of FXT’s place in the market –a very close three-way race.
The survey instrument was also designed to explore places where buyers of translation services were unsatisfied with available services from all vendors. This quantitative research identified several areas where gaps existed between what buyers wanted and what they could obtain. This led to the second phase of the investigation, qualitative research via deep interviews. This phase delved into market gaps and explored more precisely what people wished to achieve (their expected outcomes).
Normally we conduct qualitative research first, but FXT’s situation was unique and warranted a different approach.
The Results: The results have led FXT to some realizations about their market and how to grow:
- Their specialization in specific industries and their deep knowledge were perceived by the market as a valuable differentiators, and were expanded.
- Translating words is purely a commodity business, and tangent services will lead toward greater customer satisfaction and differentiation.
- FXT’s messaging did not match the unique value they delivered, and that FXT messaging needed changing.
- Knowing your position in the market tells you how urgent your situation is, leading to deeper understanding of how to better differentiate.
- Often the product you need to offer is not the product you currently provided. The translation market has changed thanks to the Internet, and leading companies must change their offerings.