Not having an organized market intelligence system within a company is a clear waste of opportunities.
by Luis González Nogales*
One of the activities that every company in general, and in particular those of private security, must carry out is the study of competition and, above all, market trends; in reference to the latter, one of the most important sources are the so-called social networks and on this topic we will focus on the following ideas.
Every company should have a dedicated system within its functions to be monitoring on a daily and permanent basis the different social networks in relation to its scope of business, whether this is physical security, alarm and monitoring systems, video surveillance or other. The wealth of information available on how different markets behave is impressive. For example, by subscribing from Facebook and entering the dozens of groups related to all sectors and giving continuity to the hundreds of comments that users make about the problems that a member of the group raises.
From this follow-up, very interesting analyses can be extracted by different segments of countries, sectors, and even brands, since there are groups with thousands of members to solve the problems and doubts of certain brands; and the highlight is that they are outside the same brands with practical solutions already tested by users and enriched in their comments.
It should be noted that practically all brands, today, have their own technical support systems, manuals, technical sheets, etc., however we are in an era where the reference of another user in relation to an installation issue, solution of a specific and sometimes rare problem, is considered with a high value, mainly in the group of technicians and installers. In this sense I must highlight the high professional level that I have found in most of the contributions and comments of the groups that I have the opportunity to follow.
At the level of professionals, there are also social networks such as LinkedIn where the topics of private security and its trends are more than interesting in terms of the presentation of different concepts and from different perspectives presented by the members and their groups, but it is particularly useful to monitor the academic offers that are presented every day and which, mostly, they are online and free of charge.
It is also important to highlight the importance of these networks for the monitoring of activities, presentations and new products or services of our competitors.
Organizing these systems in the company centrally but with the contribution of different members structured by categories, can undoubtedly mean an important differentiating value with respect to other companies, since it will be able to anticipate in updating both the offer of its products or services and in the permanent updating of its staff.
Perhaps what is still striking is to meet, for example, physical security companies in which their field supervisors do not have as a standard function to monitor any change of surveillance guards that occurs in a company in its geographical area of coverage, either as an increase, decrease or change of one company for another; and this information is not transferred to a system such as the one already mentioned.
Likewise, we can talk about the alarm systems, usually identified by the sign that are on the walls of the businesses, and in the same way we will refer to the largest projects that are tendered and the follow-up to know which company was awarded, which will allow us to have indicators of turnover and strengths and weaknesses of competing companies.
In conclusion, we can point out that not having an organized market intelligence system within the company is a clear waste of the opportunities allowed by information technology (including so-called social networks), the activity of our staff in the field and the analytical capacity of existing data. If you, a dear reader of this magazine, still do not have your own system, start it now!
* Luis González Nogales is the Executive President of INCASPRI. If you want to contact him, you can write to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org