// Insights

Finding Growth Opportunities with Market Landscape Monitoring

Jordan Katz

The proliferation of data across the web has created a mountain of opportunity. But most organizations struggle to harness and leverage it.

It can be difficult to know where to start. This data is scattered all over the place. There’s a high degree of variance in its depth, veracity and structure. Much of it, while “public”, is buried behind databases that must be queried with specific inputs to produce anything meaningful. It can also be difficult to verify the trustworthiness of the source.

In short, developing the capability to find, structure, and make sense of the piles of available data typically requires a full time team of analysts.

These challenges are what made Speciate and its Market Landscape Monitoring solution so compelling to Manifold. So compelling that we acquired the business.

The Market Landscape has been invaluable for our clients and our fund companies in identifying novel uses of existing products, weaknesses in competitive positioning, and opportunities for new solutions to drive growth.

What is a Market Landscape?

The Market Landscape taps into over 15,000 data sources and billions of unstructured data points. Examples include:

  • Review sites like Yelp
  • Articles from media outlets
  • Scholarly journals
  • 10ks and annual reports
  • Patent filings
  • Investment data
  • And much more

Working with advisory clients, private equity funds, investment firms, or our fund companies, we create a “data ontology”, typically composed of technologies, companies, or topics to focus our energies on. Combing those data sources we find every available reference of terms within that ontology, surfacing additional terms to augment the ontology that appear to have high degrees of relevance.

The data is cleaned and normalized, and then organized into logical topical groups. Common ones include trending topics, opportunities and risks, investment areas, etc.

These landscapes help you answer question like:

  • What trends are prevalent and accelerating?
  • What is becoming more important, and dominating in the market?
  • What are the network connections that matter?
  • What is being viewed positively and negatively by your audience?

Behind each are representative text samples from the data set, as well as full source document drill-downs for organizations looking to go deeper.

The output is a series of analyses published through an intuitive proprietary UI, coupled with insights on the data, that can be navigated manually or with the help of a Speciate analyst.

Landscapes can also be done on a recurring basis, layering in rate of change data to see which topics are accelerating or decelerating in frequency.

How do Companies Use Market Landscape Monitoring?

The most common way this information is leveraged is in the context of growth strategy. Coupled with other tools and techniques, the landscape is a valuable input for identifying potential opportunities to explore and validate in one’s growth portfolio. Previous examples have included:

  • Discovering novel customer uses of an active ingredient a product’s formulation, resulting in the creation of a new brand.
  • Assess where competitive solutions are weak in areas of importance to customers to inform potential positioning changes.
  • Surfacing white space opportunities for financial services products not currently offered by existing providers.

But there are numerous other ways landscapes can be used. Some examples from previous engagements include:

  • Assessing the potential impacts and implications of COVID-19 on a client’s business and industry.
  • Accessing how an organization’s market positioning fares relative to competitors for terms that matter to the business.
  • Assessing the actual prevalence and sentiment of various emerging technologies (versus taking Gartner’s word for it).

And, of course, our venture and studio teams leverage Market Landscapes to find white space opportunities, informing deal flow and internal ideation.

Supercharge your Business Intelligence

With Speciate's Market Landscape, a process that easily would require 2 or more full time analysts several months is now able to be done in a matter of weeks, extracting better insights in the process.

It allows clients to monitor and measure the relative importance of trending topics in their domain. It helps determine whether those topics are increasing or decreasing in importance. It allows them to find and capitalize on opportunities hidden in plain sight.

And unlike most off the shelf tools that end up being more limited or frustrating than their worth, Manifold consultants are involved every step of the way to help tailor the landscape to the needs of the client.

We’d love to show you how the Market Landscape works and walk you through an example. To learn more, don’t hesitate to send me a note or contact us.