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Yesterday, we shared how Shirley Brzeski from ClearChoice Careers Ltd. uses Ariba Discovery for market research. Today we'll share two more strategies!

 

Strategy #2: Get new ideas for niche markets. Though all postings you receive may not align exactly with what you sell, you can monitor those requests to assess whether you’re offering the optimal product/service mix, and even mine them for ideas about new niche markets you might serve. “I can tell at a glance when a posting is not a match for us, but by reading it I can also see what people are looking for,” Shirley says. “If buyers keep requesting something we don’t deliver, we use that to question whether our approach is the best one or if we should adjust some elements.” For example, after receiving postings requesting sign language interpreters, ClearChoice explored the possibility of adding that category of workers to its service mix, though closer study showed demand wasn’t high enough to warrant the change. “Getting an idea of what the project amounts are also helps you decide whether a new initiative is worthwhile,” Shirley points out.

 

Strategy #3: Check out the competition. More than 808,000 sellers across myriad industries participate in Ariba Discovery, so odds are high that your competitors number among them. The good news? You can easily “switch hats” to parse information about other sellers and get a sense of what they’re doing. Simply go to discovery.ariba.com and click the “I’m Buying” tab on the home page, then select categories you serve under “Preview Suppliers” (or click “All Categories” to see a complete list). From there you can review available sellers by commodity, industry, sales territory, customer ratings, annual revenue, special certifications, and more. You can also conduct advanced searches using detailed criteria such as keyword, sales territory, company name, and special certifications to see other sellers’ qualifications, and even look at their public profiles to find out how they present themselves (and perhaps glean innovative ideas to adapt for your business).

 

In tomorrow's blog, we'll share our last strategies

If you can't wait until tomorrow, visit our Supply Lines group to read the full article.