"Baking up the marketing budgets, managing the approvals, and still not the strategies are fruiting up the hopes? Mapping out the consumer and its journey; chasing the nitty-gritty of what can be impactful and what cannot. Still struggling and hustling. This is what a corporate daily is like. What your brand needs to understand is the defined and shock-proof strategy that is well A/B tested before executing in real-time. It saves up much and gives a model that is perceived by the consumers with valuable and tangible feedback."
A brand might be going by the rules and still don’t realize what they are doing wrong or what needs improvement. All brands want to stack against their competition but don't know how to do it right or do it at all. Hence, the savior importance-performance analysis comes to the rescue.
It is a process where a brand looks at its product or service and understands how it's performing and what aspects need to change or need to be improved. Because one can't just look at one metric and assume that everything is fine—you have to look at all of your metrics, to understand how they're changing over time, what might be the cause, and even if the change is even good.
Now, capitalizing on a brand's unique advantages over its competition is not new. But, with an increase in market saturation, in-depth analysis of how customers perceive competing brands has become important. It has given rise to complex models of attitude towards different brands.
So, how can an optimal marketing strategy be formed using limited resources able to capitalize on opportunities and resolve weaknesses? But first, let's look at what it is, how it works, and then how it shapes brands for the better.
Business spends a hell lot of time and resources on decision-making, and optimizing processes while meeting strict deadlines but end up failing at it all. Either they take too long to make decisions or are in a hurry which ends up hurting business in the long run.
The bring the chaos of human error into equilibrium, the decision-making process is broken into tiny actions that not only provide a clear picture of where the brand is but where it has to go. Slow and steady win the race seems to perfectly summarize the whole concept behind the importance-performance analysis, also known as IPA.
All this is done so that the company can interpret the performance of the company by its target audience and then take the right action. This approach can also tell which areas are consuming more resources and yet not giving optimal results, how to allocate resources better and what could be done to put end to leaky buckets.
THE SIMULTANEOUS IMPORTANCE-PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
A simultaneous importance-performance analysis (SIPA)is used to ascertain the competitive differences between companies and their competitors based on service attributes. It helps analyze how each factor contributes to the overall success of the company. Whether the company is doing good or not regarding performance, also depends upon competition. But, the manager cannot take every other factor otherwise, the analysis would lose meaning and won't be able to provide anything decisive.
Hence, it is done by picking up an attribute and assigning a value of importance. It could be high value, medium value, or low value. Then the performance of the competition under that very attribute is assigned from poor to good. A brand does all this so that it can find out the health of the brand, the perception of the brand in the competitive landscape, and finally analyze where the company stands.
HERE’S HOW IT LOOKS LIKE IN PRACTICE
Let's understand this by an example, demonstrating the usefulness of Simultaneous Importance-Performance Analysis using the retail industry as an example. Let's say, a brand that sells sports shoes with a store approaches a retail agency. The brand wants to know what's wrong with its design or whether is it appropriate or not. What is it that is causing the sales to decline?
They have tried everything from giving away discounts, to introducing new products, but these elements are not as effective and are not up to satisfaction. To make things precise, competitor-specific comparisons, the agency conducts research and investigates the brand's competitors. They find a few criteria along the way which can help with the brand evaluation. Also, realized two competitive brands are affecting its sales.
While this is in the process other data has been collected to understand what other factors at play that are affecting the store can deeply impact its sales. And when everything is done, the data is analyzed and then compared with its competitors. The agency looked at the areas that needed work, and improvement. But at the same time, the in-store traffic analysis showed that their window display is better than their competition.
Say, the brand has a problem with its floor planning and wayfinding design, and inventory. Now that the brand has found some constructive data on what needs to be looked at. They can make appropriate changes. As the brand now has some definitive data on what needs to be prioritized. They can further innovate the window display and work on other factors.
But before implementing this approach, a few things need to be attended to. Like any other approach, it has its drawbacks but could be turned into opportunities when applied smartly. The roadmap to it looks something like this: Start with research and ask important and right questions so that the outcome is suitable.
Furthermore, analyze the right competition. Remember not every competitor is a competitor. If the brand considers every company in their industry irrespective of scope, it will make the evaluation redundant.
When you are strategic with the approach, the data would be of manageable quantity and will be highly beneficial. For it to work properly, it is important to understand that this tool is exclusively intended to guide strategic decisions for brands that compete for a targeted audience.