Everywhere in the UK news at the moment, I read about the potential economic impact of Brexit. Both campaigning parties appear to be presenting contradictory forecasts of the cost/benefits of leaving the EU, which makes them very difficult to trust because of the obvious biases that are present. Each forecast will be based on a number of underlying assumptions, selected according to the political view of the forecaster.
This gave me an insight into the challenge that many of my clients face too – ’who can I trust to provide impartial evidence that I can use to underpin my investment decisions?’
It’s difficult to be unbiased about your own company
It’s hard to be objective about products and a company that you are deeply involved in. This becomes even more challenging when you need to put forward business cases for investment in a product that you manage, or a division that you are in charge of. Even if it’s not intentional, the data and sources you use will be chosen to support your argument.
This is why it is easier for leadership teams who are reviewing a number of investment options to reach a decision when they are presented with independent data.
Consultants provide independence and objectivity
When I presented at the a Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals event last month, we discussed the difficulty of steering your organisation through a changing technological landscape and how many giants such as Blockbuster, Kodak and Nortel Network failed to make a successful transition. One thing that came out strongly was how hard it is to challenge your organisation from the inside – as the saying goes “No prophet is accepted in his own country”.
As a consultant, this is one of the reason clients come to us. Clients’ value having an external expert, because they know our job is to bring objectivity and to give them an independent opinion. We can question the ‘status quo’ and bring a fresh perspective without having to avoid internal politics. One area that this is particularly relevant is when conducting external market assessments.
Independent market forecasting with external experts
I have personally provided clients with over 50 bespoke market forecast models to provide this sort of rigorous market assessment. In my experience, the external independence companies like mine provide, ensures that the market size is trusted more by other parties in-house and gains their buy-in. It also increases confidence that the findings are market reflective and forms an invaluable reference point when making internal investment decisions.
I’d love to know what your experience is. It’s a discussion worth having.
About the author:
Jonathan Davenport is Head of Market Analysis and has particular experience of using market and competitor analysis to support strategy development. He works for Milner Strategic Marketing, a business consultancy that helps companies grow their value by delivering a range of services from strategic management consultancy through to specific marketing programmes