Still the expert? Time to review your sector knowledge.

A question for business leaders and marketers:

If you provide services to a specific sector, how do you know your actual service proposition is as relevant as it once was?

Instinctively most of us are pretty confident…we do this everyday, right?

But when is the last time you ran the rule over what ‘we know’?

It’s far too easy not to go back and do the analysis – but in order for your offering to remain totally on the money you have to go back and treat what you know as presumption once again.

So how do we get there?

Restorative Research – taking a fresh look at what we know

Restorative Research is a reevaluation process based on connecting freshly with a market that you know well. The specific aim is to maximise your relevance.

It allows you to

  1. Take stock of new opportunities and threats
  2. Underline your credentials as the expert
  3. Generate new material and insights for winning new clients

But it also gives you the satisfaction of the intellectual and professional challenge. The self confidence this provides is enthusing and galvanising for the rest of your team as well as clients


Seeing this as a collaborative piece between business leaders and marketing is essential. Not only as both will rely on the outputs, but both are trained to use the techniques as part of planning and creative toolkit.

Getting organised

Create a simple template before hand with some of the basic headings that you can use to organise your thoughts. You can down load an example for free here Restorative Research Template Sectors

After going through this exercise many times, setting aside around 7 hours for a headline look is about right.

Seems a lot, but you know you will pick it up and put it down a few times. The thinking time in between is essential to give you intellectual and creative distance.

Start with the headline data

Collate as many verifiable stats as possible. These help ground your thoughts and provide a framework to build around.

For example take a look at the national picture in terms of the size and shape of the market, the total sector spend on your type of services, and what your opportunity size is.

Where you can’t get exact figures  make reasonable estimates and show your workings. These assumptions are important as they often require additional knowledge or a reasonable understanding of the market which you may not have either realised, understood, or said out loud before.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – Plus

Distilling a SWOT analysis to no more than 4 points in each category is good discipline -. it hones what you understand to be of the greatest significance and make it easy to communicate to others.

“Key observations” from the SWOT provide the real demonstration of your expertise, and where you start to formulate the tone and broad strategic themes. “What is this telling me?” is the question you are answering.

Client challenges

For you to remain relevant you need to be able to address and play your part in resolving the most significant areas of business need – not just those you think you already help with.

Mapping this out, and then mapping out how you can resolve them can be challenging but can also reveal opportunities that have been hidden from view.

What is your proposition again?

At the end of this you should be revisiting your proposition to the market and expressing it in a way that makes sense and is highly relevant and impactful NOW.

What are you trying to do, how can you frame it, and how can you express it simply and powerfully?

Next step…

Present back to your team

Updating the business on your research is an important way of underlining your credibility – it is empowering and informative, and shows clarity of thought and leadership.

Present back to your clients

Restorative Research enables you to actively demonstrate your expertise, and show clients where new opportunities lie for them.

Fuel marketing and business development

Restorative Research is the platform to launch  a well thought out and resourced campaign to your sector, with enough potential to keep you going for 12 months!

Reflect and reconnect

Do you know, and can you prove, that your service proposition and messaging to the sector is as highly relevant and potent as it once was? Do your team think so?

If not reconnect in a structured, restorative, way.


Want to know more about how to run or facilitate this kind of research? Please feel free to get in touch or comment below


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