Business Bridge Supplier Toolkit

How To Assess the Priorities of Large Companies

Researched and written for Business Bridge by Strategic Insights Inc. | Thursday, March 14, 2024

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can find it daunting to secure contracts with large corporations. These corporations often have complex structures and operations that make decoding their priorities an enormous challenge for modestly sized companies. Here are some effective approaches you can adopt to better understand the priorities of large corporations.

Why assessing priorities matters

Assessing the priorities of the corporations your business wants to target is critical for the following four reasons:

1. Enhances partnership potential

When SMBs take the time to understand the core priorities of a larger firm, they can better showcase how their products and services advance those priorities in a proposal. It instantly makes the SMB more appealing and credible as a partner.

2. Positions SMBs as specialists

Researching a big corporation’s priorities exhibits dedication and a specialized understanding of them. This positioning makes an SMB stand out compared to generic competitors.

3. Allows for targeted offerings

SMBs can use this information to fine-tune service packages instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

4. Builds strong relationships

Understanding what matters most to enterprise partners lays the groundwork for strong working relationships by demonstrating a commitment to their success.

Methods to assess corporate priorities

Some common methods you can use to assess the priorities of larger corporations are media relations intelligence, website research and business intelligence platforms.

  1. Media relations intelligence

You can use the information companies publish or post about themselves online, as well as coverage from third-party news sources, to assess corporate priorities. Research these types of media relations to learn more about the companies you want to target:

  • Press releases: Press releases offer direct visibility into corporate goals.

  • News monitoring: Google News Alerts track third-party coverage of a company’s priorities across different publications.

  • Social media: Companies self-report strategic initiatives on their own social channels.

  1. Website research

In addition to using media sources to learn about a large corporation’s areas of focus, you can directly mine the websites of those companies to pinpoint priorities. Following are some suggested sources:

  • Investor and shareholder pages: Public companies maintain dedicated investor relations pages highlighting business objectives, financials, governance policies and more to ensure transparency for shareholders.

  • Annual reports: Like investor pages, the annual reports issued by public companies disclose the strategic priorities guiding them. You can review CEO letters, business overviews and focus-area declarations in these yearly disclosures to grasp corporate directions.

  • About” and “Vision” pages: Even non-public companies provide details about their priorities on “About Us” and “Our Vision”-type pages on their websites.

  • Industry events: In addition to online sources, corporate priority intel can be gathered through in-person industry events.

  • Conferences and tradeshows: Speeches and presentations at high-profile conferences offer insights directly from leadership on priorities, including recent changes.

  • Local networking: More informal local business networking events often attract mid-level to senior enterprise personnel who are well-versed in their corporate culture.

  1. Business intelligence platforms

While the above tactics rely on monitoring announcements from specific corporations, business intelligence platforms take a higher-level view: tracking developments across companies using aggregated data. What follows are two types of information to be gleaned from business intelligence platforms that can be very helpful in positioning your products and services for large corporations.

  • Data insights: Platforms like Pitchbook, Owler, SimilarWeb and others collate vast amounts of intel on companies and provide insights, all the way from identifying investments in new areas to web traffic patterns and news trends.

  • Competitive intelligence: This focuses on identifying patterns reflecting shifts in corporate strategy. Monitoring this high-level intelligence can help you view enterprise priority developments through a wider market lens.


Understanding the core priorities of large corporate prospects can be systematically accomplished by tapping into the various sources of intelligence covered in this article. While delving into the strategic directions of big corporations requires significant effort, it ultimately enables SMBs to compete more effectively and deliver goods and services that meet corporate client needs.

Further Reading:

  1. Almquist, Eric, et al. “How to Measure—and Deliver—What Business Customers Want.” HBR,

  2. Anderson, James, et al. “Business Marketing: Understand What Customers Value.” HBR,

  3. Sull, Donald. “How to Recognize a Strategic Priority When You See One.” MIT Sloan Management Review, 28 Sep. 2017,

Full toolkit bibliography.


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