Proleptic Market Analysis: Market Analysis Based on Consumers Attention

Market analysis provides insights into the competitive environment in which firms operate, traditionally focusing on products and their producers. Yet, producers are not the only firms active in markets; firms such as information providers and comparison platforms engage with consumers and affect their decision making. Although such nonproducing firms can represent both opportunities and threats to producers, they have received limited attention in traditional market analysis. Herein, the authors propose a broader approach they term proleptic market analysis: by combining new methods with a new object of analysis, namely, consumer attention, this approach accounts for both producers and nonproducing firms. The authors apply proleptic market analysis to the development of the German retail banking market over six quarters. Using organic search results of 902 market-defining keywords and covering over 4 million individual searches, the authors identify 591 firms that compete for consumer attention across eight identified topics. They find that although 27% of these firms produce financial products, they attract only 14% of consumer attention.