pexels-karolina-grabowska-7679897_ industry newsThe idiom, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another” has felt especially on the nose lately. First, it was COVID, next it was supply chain issues, then it was the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, and now, of course, it’s the war in Ukraine. There’s always some breaking news headline or uh-oh moment, and as financial professionals, we better be aware of how those factors are impacting businesses. But how can you use Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence to stay informed?

We recently developed a user guide called “Tips for Finding Research on Petroleum & Supply Chain Disruptions.” You can view and download this user guide from the Resource Center in Vertical IQ, under the Technical Pieces category. In it, we share some tips on using Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence to stay abreast of the issues hitting the petroleum industry and other related industries, with links to our content on those verticals.

This particular user guide teaches you how to fish for impacts to the petroleum industry — today’s “hot topic” — but here again, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. The next hot topic may be something different, so you’ll want to do these same best practices no matter which industries you are calling on. After all, nearly every industry has its own unique set of challenges or shortages right now. This guide contains reliable steps you can (and should!) take every time as you utilize Vertical IQ to research the hot topics affecting your client’s or prospect’s industry.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these tips for staying up to date on the latest issues impacting an industry…

A nose for news

Your first reference point should be the News tab on the homepage of the Vertical IQ platform. Since our news is updated several times a month across all industry verticals, you’re sure to find the information you need on those salient current events that are hitting the press. And these aren’t just any articles. They are hand-selected by our research team as they proactively seek out articles that are representative of critical issues that are impacting industries.

The News tab also has its very own search engine, which you can use to search (by keyword, date, source, or even industry category) our general and industry-specific news repositories, including our archives.

Keep in mind that sometimes less is more when it comes to using a keyword search. Instead of searching for “supply chain,” search “supply,” and then search “chain.” But don’t stop at those words. In your search results, look at the article summary and/or the article itself to see if there are other root keywords you might want to explore — words like “slow,” “disrupt,” or “crisis,” for example. It can help to add those other words to your search to home in on relevant articles.

Another best practice is to make use of your ability to “Favorite” industries. If you mark particular industries as Favorites, you will see the latest news articles from those favorite industries right on your Vertical IQ homepage under “My Industry News.” This keeps you informed of what you need to know. Just log in, go to Settings in the top right corner, choose “Industry Settings,” and select the star by your favorite industries. Or you can go directly to the Industry Profile and click the “Add Favorite” button at the top of the Dashboard.

Tapping into the Coronavirus/Industry Updates

You’ve checked out the latest news, so what can you do next to stay informed? I suggest reviewing the Coronavirus/Industry Update for the industry you are researching. Here, you’ll find the latest curated content about impacts to a particular industry, and it is updated every 30 to 45 days.

I would contend this is one of the best Industry Profile chapters to stay attuned to industry happenings. It’s where our research team is posting insights such as:

  • Point-over-point sales data
  • Staffing figures
  • Recovery numbers
  • Supply chain impacts
  • Volatile raw material pricing
  • Changes in the ways businesses want to go to market
  • Significant consumer demand shifts

In my opinion, this is a must-review before going into a meeting with a client or prospect. In fact, I’d be so bold as to say I’d be embarrassed to be calling on a business and not have read this particular Industry Profile chapter. Why? Because business owners are busy! They simply don’t have the time or the inclination to school me on the basics of what’s happening within their industry. So, shame on me if I don’t take five minutes prior to our meeting and read that chapter.

(I would note that currently, the chapter is called Coronavirus Updates, but, in the not-so-distant future, we will likely rename the chapter to something more reflective of industry current events … so stay tuned for that change.)

Searching for gold

Think of the industry of your target client or prospect as the bullseye. Your goal as a financial services professional is to not just be an industry expert in that target industry, but to be a well-rounded industry expert. You have to broaden your research target and go a few layers outside of that bullseye. To this end, another trick I’d like to share is the value of making use of the Vertical IQ full site search and the Related Profiles chapter.

As I was creating this new user guide on petroleum, I went in to look for industries that are being tangentially impacted by petroleum supply and prices. I did a keyword search for “petroleum” to pull up content directly related to that industry, and then within those search results, I started skimming for words like “fuel,” “oil,” and “gas,” and then searched for those words.

Next, I took my search a step further and went into the Related Profiles chapter for both the petroleum Industry Profile as well as in the profiles for the other industries my search had turned up. Related Profiles share buyer-supplier relationships — they are industries highly dependent or impacted by one another, or even niches within a larger industry.

Related Profiles is a great resource that is typically under-used but gets you thinking about other industries that could be impacted by your target industry. Let’s say you’re calling on a restaurant. It’s obvious that you should check out the Industry Profile for restaurants, but under Related Profiles, you’ll see that it might also be worth perusing the profile on beer distributors and/or food distributors, as well as the niche profiles on quick-service restaurants and restaurant franchises.

The latest updates delivered to your inbox

Need one more best practice to stay on top of the latest happenings within the industries you call on? Sign up for Quarterly Email Alerts, and Vertical IQ does the legwork for you, delivering a summary of the latest trends and changes impacting an industry directly to your inbox every quarter.

To sign up, just log in, go to Settings in the top right corner, choose “Industry Settings,” and select the envelope next to the industries you’d like to receive email alerts on. Or you can go to the Industry Profile and click the “Subscribe” button at the top of the profile.

Not sure which industries to pick? We’re all touched by industry sectors every day, so why not sign up for the email alerts on Vertical IQ’s Sector Profiles? Those offer a comprehensive look at the top sectors that comprise the U.S. economy: construction, healthcare, manufacturing, mining/energy extraction, retail, and wholesale (with more to come).

Even if you’re focused on, say, dentistry practices, dentists have to get goods, they have equipment needs, they operate in an office, they use energy, they have to obtain supplies and materials, so those Sector Profiles will almost always speak to issues dentists may be facing.

Stay in the know

Are you ready to put your finger on the pulse of the industries that you are calling on? Start by implementing these best practices to use Industry Intelligence to stay on top of the latest issues impacting your target industries. Your clients and prospects will appreciate your initiative and your insights!

>> Related: Download our newest user guide, “Tips for Finding Research on Petroleum & Supply Chain Disruptions.”


Photo credit: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

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