Market sensing and learning strategy

By on March 31, 2012

Market sensing, according to Piercy F. N. (2008) is defined as the set of processes that help the management in understanding the external market in a better way. Piercy F. N. (2008), differentiates market sensing from conventional market research by stating that market sensing is all about processes whereas market research is concerned with technology.

Market sensing in comparison to market research

The conventional marketing research does the job of studying the attitudes of customers. Market researchers employ tools like in interviews, questionnaires, feedback forms and much more in order to achieve the same. However, the results obtained from marketing research are purely statistical and neither induced innovation nor provoked creativity. Since market research is always conducted with a set of predefined assumption in mind, it just gave the answers for the questions that the company put on the survey tool. On the other hand, market sensing breaks rules and does not employ conventional tools.

Market sensing is the best approach to gain a better understanding of the market since its ultimate goal is to study the customers’ from the customers’ point of view rather from the company’s point of view. Market sensing applies several processes to generate knowledge about customers and the outside market that organizations or individual managers can make use of in making decisions.

How to sense a market?

Piercy F. N. (2008) has identified four methods to be effective in helping organizations, accumulate better customer knowledge. They are:

  1. Conducting exclusive events for customers.
  2. Creating communities that enable customers to give their suggestions.
  3. Getting feedback from customers by meeting them in person.
  4. Showing great commitment towards fulfilling customers’ requirements.

For instance Dell Inc, one of the world’s leading computer manufacturers’ of the world, created innovate direct selling strategy and made it unique from its competitors through its market sensing capabilities (Holzner, 2006).

Learning strategy

There are several learning strategies through which the customers can be studied. Some of the strategies proposed by Piercy F. N. (2008) are face-to-face meeting with customers, storytelling, watching consumers’ behavior closely, conducting events like customer day, listening to customer’s opinion and finally addressing customer complaints. Customer value creation through market sensing techniques offers valuable information to business organization to make them successful in the competitive market environment.


  • Holzner (2006), How Dell Does It, Tata  McGraw-Hill Education , New-Delhi.
  • Piercy F. N. (2008), Market-Led Strategic Change: Transforming the Process of Going to Market,  4/e Butterworth-Heinemann, Burlington, USA.


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