Turn Your Landscape Analysis Into a Story

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In this video, Kevin teaches how to turn a business landscape analysis into a story. Watch for tips to make your next business and competitive landscape analysis more strategic and actionable.


Transcript:

You’ve finished your business or competitive landscape analysis, but you’re not quite done yet. You’ve learned how to determine key takeaways and carve your landscape analysis into something very relevant and meaningful to your audience. But there’s one more finishing step to tell the story that you want. 

How to Turn a Landscape Analysis Into a Story

I suggest that we back up to the beginning first. Before you write the final draft of the landscape, let’s do a strategic exercise—much like an exercise you might do when you’re writing a creative brief for advertising. 

Future Desired Action

Starting with the end in mind, look at your desired action. Consider the action that you want the audience to take, and the belief that needs to be created in their mind in order to garner that action. What is it that you want them to do next once they’ve read it? 

Future Single Takeaway

Now, if the audience is going to take that desired action, what’s the one single takeaway you need them to think once they leave the room? This needs to be a simple, single takeaway.

Current State Action

Next, look at the current state of your target audience or key stakeholders that are going to be in the room. What is it that they’re doing now instead of your desired action? 

Current State Mindset

Then, corresponding with that, what does your audience believe now? What is it that results in them doing the action they’re doing now, or possibly having inaction versus doing what you would like them to do?

Knowledge/Belief

Once you have where you want to take them and their starting point, you have to fill in the in-between. This is what your landscape analysis does through its headlines. The headlines create a story that moves the audience from their current state to your desired action. Start by writing your most important key conclusions. If you want someone to leave with your single takeaway, you may need them to believe these few things first. 

Now you’ve laid out the high-level strategy for your landscape analysis. You have their starting point, where you want to take them, and some of the most important things you need them to believe by the end of the presentation.

Writing Headlines

The next step is to write your headlines and create your flow. You can use this process to edit a flow or a draft you’ve already started. Or, you could create something like this at the very beginning before you draft any headlines at all. Either is fine.

What most people do is start creating slides of information and then come back later to write headlines, or sometimes the headlines will just be descriptive of what’s on the slide. If you really want to tell a story and you have this strategy in mind, you’ll want to write your headlines without content.

You can open up a document in Word or Pages and write headlines in a row like an outline. A more physical way to do it could involve getting out blank sheets of paper in a stack and writing a headline on each one, then organizing them how you want. Or you can go straight into outline mode in your favorite presentation software and write them that way. The point is to write the headlines first to drive your conclusions and story. This helps you edit everything else out and bring the most important things to the surface. 

Slide Information

The last thing to do is fill in supporting information on your slides. When you’re adding support for your slides, only include a point or two, just enough so that the audience believes the headline. Keep things simple and memorable. Once you have someone nodding in agreement to what you’re saying, you can move to the next slide. A chart-heavy, data-heavy slide that has tons of information will be far less effective than an approach that really simplifies, emphasizes a key stat and makes it more prominent. 

Conclusion

Work the strategy, write your headline flow first, and then add minimal information to support the headlines. If you do, chances are you’ll have a well-crafted landscape analysis that tells the story you want. Not just a collection of information.


TEACH YOUR BRAND TEAM HOW TO WRITE A STRATEGIC LANDSCAPE ANALYSIS

If you need help teaching your brand team how to write an effective landscape analysis for strategy and innovation, click here for more information on our in-depth training.

Or if you need direct help with a strategic or innovation challenge, click here to learn more about brand consulting opportunities.

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