What is market intelligence and how can you put it to work for you?
The landscape in which businesses operate these days is highly competitive. New competitors are coming out with new products that seek to push your offerings out of the market. This can result in losses in market share and have financial ramifications as well. Therefore, an ongoing process of gathering market intelligence and analyzing it is one of the most important ways you can circumvent such a scenario. But what is a market intelligence, how does it differ from market research and marketing intelligence, and what types of market intelligence can you undertake? This blog post seeks to answer these questions to enable you to have a deeper understanding of the processes involved.
What is a market intelligence and what are its benefits?
As a starting point, it’s important to take a look at what market intelligence is before you begin implementing any processes that relate to it. Almost every company these days requires some type of market intelligence, whether they would like to expand into an overseas territory or gain a wider share of an existing local market. In the business sense, market intelligence can therefore be looked at through several different lenses including competitive, product, marketing, customer, and industry intelligence.
Collecting data on each of these three key factors for consideration will be able to help inform your business’ expansion strategy much more thoroughly. In summary, market intelligence looks at data points such as sales, customer data, survey responses, focus groups, competitor research, current market, potential challenges, growth potential, the possibility of introducing new products and services and more to also help you identify new opportunities in addition to addressing expansion strategies.
Although often used loosely together with business intelligence, the latter typically doesn’t focus on what the competition is like and therefore these two terms should not be used interchangeably.
Ultimately, market intelligence seeks to answer questions such as where should more company resources be focused? What are some of the purchasing patterns of the best segment of customers? Which demographic segments can be penetrated and targeted in order to introduce new products/services? What new markets offer favorable conditions for expansion? Is there potential to cross-market existing products to current customers?
With all this in mind, market intelligence, when conducted and analyzed correctly, has the potential to provide companies with several important benefits. These include but are not limited to:
- Remain agile in a competitive landscape by gaining a bird’s eye view of the market on an ongoing basis;
- Entering new markets or expanding a presence in a current market;
- Limiting the risks related to investment decisions and investing in the right projects;
- Retaining an edge over your competitors;
- Expanding market share and providing customers with greater levels of satisfaction;
- Gaining greater understanding of your target customers, their needs, and how to tailor your products/services to them;
- Providing bespoke products, launching new products, and tailoring marketing efforts more strategically;
- Creating and maintaining a distinct corporate identity and brand, ultimately improving your organization’s industry status;
- Be better able to anticipate any market changes and fluctuations that may lie ahead;
- Enjoy greater levels of operational efficiency, saving you financial resources and time; and
- Increase overall sales revenue.
Market intelligence vs market research vs marketing intelligence
Although market intelligence is often used in tandem with market research and marketing intelligence, these terms are not the same and they have distinct features and characteristics that should be kept in mind. Here is a brief breakdown of the most fundamental differences.
Market intelligence: market intelligence is primarily concerned with the big picture of business growth. It takes into account competitor, product, market, and customer intelligence and combines insights from all four of these categories to create a stronger strategy, more accurate outlooks, and better and more targeted market penetration efforts.
Market research: market research, on the other hand, is a subset of market intelligence. It is primarily concerned with learning and gathering data about customer preferences. Whereas market intelligence looks at the bigger picture, market research will look at targeting specific groups of consumers and understanding how their purchasing decisions are informed through studying their demographic data including interests, hobbies, pain points, income levels, age groups, genders, etc.
Marketing intelligence: marketing is the way in which products or services are presented to consumers with the ultimate aim of convincing them to buy from you. Marketing intelligence differs from market intelligence in that the former looks at marketing strategies in particular, relying on market research, while the latter primarily looks at industry- and company-focused areas for business growth.
Market intelligence types and methods
There are several ways in which you can begin to conduct market intelligence. It must be remembered that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, every organization should create their own strategy or get help with this task depending on their unique offering and positioning in the industry. However, with that being said, there are some common market intelligence methods that you can employ which can be considered relatively standard across most industries. These may include the following:
- Collect data from your existing customers through a customer feedback program to collect data;
- Use insights from your sales team to provide details about upcoming industry trends;
- Undertake surveys, polls, forms, focus groups, interviews, observations, and A/B testing by asking your customers what they think, need, and want from your organization and how your offering can be improved;
- Use website analytics such as exploring your customer’s journey through your website, the total number of visitors, their location, the steps they take while on your site, how many make a purchase and check out, and overall exploring different patterns of interaction with your site to help you improve your offering;
- Study your competition by doing a SWOT analysis;
- Introspect about your own product offering and determine ways in which this can be improved;
- It’s also worthwhile to study your product’s current performance before exploring ways to fine-tune it;
- Look for wider market demand in new locations and the costs and opportunities for entering such territories;
- Get to know your current and target audience because this can help to increase your product or service life cycle; and
- Consider using the services of a reputable market intelligence organization if you don’t have the necessary in-house resources.
A reputable market intelligence provider at your fingertips
At StorsenDigital, we deeply understand the value and importance of market intelligence for all organizations. The benefits of this are many and they can truly help your company retain customers, gain existing ones, penetrate new markets, as well as boost overall revenue. An uninformed market expansion strategy, on the other hand, could be detrimental to your business. This is why with the right partner like StorsenDigital, you could really skyrocket your business and ensure that you reach all your business and marketing objectives. With specialists on-hand to help you at every step of your journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We’re just a click away and ready to hear about your business expansion requirements.