CASE STUDY

How to Size a Market Using Publicly Available Information

ABSTRACT

Companies of all sizes and within all industries face a common strategic challenge of understanding their markets and competition better. Leaders at a credit card information system provider wanted to explore growth opportunities within their existing client base. A dearth of existing market studies complicated the problem. Solving it required combining and validating data from an array of public sources.

 

Clearly Define Your Business Objectives

Leaders at a US-based credit card information system provider wanted to explore growth opportunities within their client base. They were operating in a narrow section of the overall operational complex; expanding into other areas required a verifiable estimate of the size and growth rate of their target markets. Pre-existing studies offered limited insight to this market, requiring a composite estimation approach using publicly available information.

 

Acquire & Synthesize Relevant Data

Their client’s credit card operations infrastructure subdivided into two parts:

• Software application-based steps
• Manual steps executed by employees, contractors, or outsourced service providers

Revenues for these steps were not readily available, requiring an estimation incorporating multiple data points for major competitors in each category (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 – Publicly available data sources used for market sizing analysis

Market-sizing estimations couldn’t be performed equally for these two steps from the same publicly available information sources. Software application-based steps required a different approach than manual steps. In some cases, annual reports, GDP, and other public sources were enough to estimate overall market share. Other instances required calculating average cost to firms per FTE within certain functions of a credit card operations infrastructure, such as customer service, payment processing, risk management, collection vendors etc. These findings were extrapolated on a broader scale after calculating individual averages.

Ultimately, combining the disparate market size estimations for software-based and manual functions provided the overall market sizing of credit card operations infrastructure (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 – Increased degrees of information specificity to estimate market share & overall revenue

 

Develop an Action Plan

This market sizing analysis helped identify products and offerings in various steps of credit card operations for major competitors (Fig. 3). It also helped specify the larger components in the overall credit card cycle. A holistic view of the credit card industry emerged, helping determine services and segments adjacent to existing services provided by the client.

Fig. 3 – Expenditure to support verticals in credit card operations infrastructure
[all numbers illustrative and strictly for representational use] 

Partner with You to See it Through

 

Partner with You to See it Through

Knowledge gaps were identified through interviews with subject matter experts and used to refine hypotheses regarding estimation. This credit card operations infrastructure market size analysis helped clarify understanding of potential future markets and opened the door for a strategic plan to help prioritize investments in new products and markets.

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