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The “what and why” of market analysis

By Sam Elliott | Consultant

Web-image_The-“what-and-why”-of-market-analysisMarket analysis has the potential to lead your organisation’s most beneficial strategic decisions – gathering and interpreting current, relevant and accurate market data can lead to great business decisions. Or if conducted poorly – it can force a backwards step in the organisation.

We have all heard some of the stats and figures that are presented at the bar around our usual ‘table of knowledge’ crowd. But the benefits and importance of correct, up-to-date and relevant data is significant.

As someone with a research background, I am a strong advocate of asking the right questions and getting the appropriate data before making a decision. But why is this important?

Having market data on hand and a clearer picture of what the local market looks like helps venues:

  • Establish their market position and existing market share
  • Identify historical trends in the market – expenditure, EGM numbers, adult population, and the ratios that link these data
  • Uncover and identify potential problems
  • Identify potential opportunities for the organisation to pursue

They are the benefits, but the question can be asked – what exactly is market analysis? If we look at it from its most basic definition, market analysis studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a specific market within a specific industry.

Our industry is one of the most fluctuant and regulated industries, and to maintain relevance we must be strategic in our planning and make decisions that enhance and relate to our market conditions.

Market analysis provides the most relevant, up-to-date data to assist with making the most informed decisions for the benefit of the organisation.

The research shows there are a number of benefits to conducting this type of research, which largely all relate to the concept of evidence based management. Essentially, this research will assist in making the most informed decision for your venue with most appropriate and up to date data available.

Why is it then that operators can get this so drastically wrong and not make evidence based decisions effectively? From experience and research, I believe there are four common areas where decision makers ‘miss the mark’ when conducting market analysis.

  1. The first and most common is a misunderstanding and interpretation of the data. This misunderstanding often leads to business decisions being made with incorrect information.
  2. Conduct the research, over and over again. Decisions made without this research often leads to misidentifying the market needs.
  3. Located in growth markets is a positive and exciting opportunity for our industry, but common errors occur when market growth is analysed without incorporating market share, which often leads to misinterpretations.
  4. No clear understanding of our current customer and our target customer can lead to a lost identity of an organisation, an issue that occurs far too often in our industry.

Our recommendation is that venues do their research before making big decisions. Consult a range of sources – gaming industry data, economic data, demographic and population – and then ask critical questions, challenge assumptions and interrogate the data to make the best strategic decisions. For more information and for assistance with your market research, contact Sam at sam@dws.net.au or on (03) 9428 8595.

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