CREATING A STRATEGY – INFORMATION COLLECTION
Its a tedious process but the information is required for the next steps – can’t be avoided. Not having certain pieces of information results in guessing or including expectations based on guts feeling – both can be very misleading.
Including example: mobile money in ‘un-banked’ countries
Suggestions for sources of information:
- Environment: Information about changes of economic, sociocultural, technological, political, legal or ecological natur can be followed in the news. Thanks to online translation tools, also local news could be screened. If the budget allows or detailed knowledge in a certain area is required, a specialist could be invited to the discussion.
- Market: In large organizations size, growth, trends and customer distribution are collected in-house through local staff. If not and budget permits, there are several large market research companies. You will find at least part of what you are looking for published for free (run ‘market research [your market]’ online search). Also for free: one can find out a lot when reading financial reports. Adding up the Capex spending of each company in a specific market gives a good indication of the total market, market shares and growth. Trends can be found in the text or investment sections, where the company is trying to impress shareholders.
- Competition: Objectives and strategies can be found on their webpage. Strength/ weaknesses – could be created internally if exposure to the competition exists. Maybe someone in your company used to work for one or more of the competitors in the past? Use the same classification like for the internal one. Size and profitability can be found in the financial report and market share generated versus the total market (same as above).
- Internal: That should be the easiest part.
- results:CFO organization
- current objectives and core competence: set during strategy session or if existing then intranet
- competitive advantage: sales organization
- market position: CFO data (typically Capex) versus total market
- marketing effectiveness: indicator (e.g. sales/ product/ customer) tracked by departments like marketing, sales, quality, business excellence…