Learn the Ropes of Market Intelligence in 4 Steps

Last Updated: 

April 23, 2024

Why is market intelligence the need of the hour? Have you ever imagined the potential of your business if you had a clear picture of the techniques used by your competitors?

Market intelligence (MI) is a significant part of every business across the globe in the current scenario. Every business organisation is deriving huge value through this innovation and forming data-driven decisions. 

When you have a well-defined image of the market, it not only helps you in revenue growth but also helps you stay ahead of your competitors. 

So, how to build the market intelligence process? Keep reading to fetch all the answers. 

But first things first, what is market intelligence?

Key Takeaways on Mastering Marketing Intelligence

  1. Market Intelligence Essentials: Market intelligence is indispensable for businesses in making informed, data-driven decisions and staying competitive in the global market.
  2. Categories of Information: Market intelligence comprises crucial categories, including market understanding, competitor intelligence, product intelligence, and customer understanding.
  3. Understanding Your Audience: Knowing your audience is vital for enhancing customer satisfaction and retention, ultimately contributing to a more efficient marketing strategy.
  4. Steps in Market Intelligence Process: Identifying competitors, using market intelligence effectively, choosing relevant metrics, and conducting competitive analysis are integral steps in building a successful market intelligence process.
  5. Metrics for Different Organisations: Brand-focused organisations should focus on aspects like appeal, loyalty, and awareness, while performance-focused ones should track metrics such as annual recurring revenue and conversion rates.
  6. Competitive Analysis Implementation: After collecting data, providing context to statistics, developing action plans, and communicating findings to employees are crucial for effective market and competitive analysis.
  7. Turning Insights into Action: The ultimate goal of market intelligence is to guide strategic decision-making. This involves deriving insights, providing context, formulating strategies, and taking action to achieve desired results.
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Defining market intelligence

Also called marketing intelligence, market intelligence is the process of systematically collecting, analysing, and interpreting results related to market trends and competitors, gaining useful insights into the market. As a result, it helps business professionals arrive at smarter strategic decisions. 

Categories of information in market intelligence

Market understanding

If you really want to know the performance of your product, make a note of several markets where you are delivering it. Find answers to questions like “Can I expand my product? Can other markets benefit from my product or service if I deliver it to them?”. Answers to these questions will help you find the existing gaps between the audience and the product so that you can take measures to fill them.

Competitor intelligence

Gathering more information about your competitors is a significant factor in helping you design the measures to get ahead of them. In short, it means having more information about your competitors. Conducting a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is a major step to learning their nitty-gritty. The end goal in finding out about your competitors is to unleash the reasons individuals choose their product instead of yours.

Product intelligence

You have gained useful insights into your competitors. Now, it is time to pay attention to the products and services you are providing. Understanding the quality and performance of your product are the major goals here. It gives you a way to let you know the opportunities to improve your product. Some questions that you can ponder over in the product intelligence are – What is my manufacturing process? Am I building the product efficiently? All such pieces of information will make the user experience better and ultimately improve your product.

Customer understanding

What is the vital way to increase the life cycle of your product or service? The answer is: Understanding your customers. You must be surprised to know that it is more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain the ones you already have. Do your best to keep your existing customers happy. This makes it all the more important to know your audience. You must have clear answers to “Why do customers prefer you?” and “What are the challenges you are helping them resolve?” This simplifies the process for the marketing team to come up with impressive marketing and targeted campaigns.

You can always do research on what works for your business, and customer interviews help to create more profound insights into what your potential customer's pain points are. Listen to their voices and communicate, which is always a good thing to get their perspective. This helps you to be familiar with their goals, motivations, and interests.

Now let’s come to the steps in the market intelligence process

Market intelligence gives you the needed insights into what is happening in the market. You can form the required business strategies and understand the reason behind the success of the market leaders. 

Having said that, how to build a successful market intelligence process? Here are all the answers you need to know - 

 Watch out for your competitors

Identifying your competitors seems like a simple step, but it isn’t and goes beyond that. Most businesses have the idea of their direct competitors, but knowing the indirect ones is also important. Let’s understand this with an example. You sell a special type of ingredient to the restaurants. Your direct competitors will be businesses selling the same ingredient to other food outlets. 

However, the person producing that ingredient also comes under your competitor. And how will you come to know about them? Research the market, monitor the online portals, and use reliable market intelligence software to give you valuable insights. Once you finish that, it’s time to choose the metrics to measure. 

Using market intelligence effectively 

Nowadays, almost every business uses market intelligence in some form or the other. Starting from a small company to a huge enterprise, everyone is getting its benefits. Here are the things included in the market intelligence process to get the ROI you want 

  • Data costs         
  • Cost of poor decisions

Browsing the internet costs nothing for companies that do basic research and have zero data costs. But, the cost of poor decisions can really cause big trouble for them. This is the reason such companies remain small even after their years of existence in the market. What is the solution here? Leveraging the power of MI. Use the market intelligence software like brizo that will not only provide you with the relevant information but also save immensely on the costs of poor decision-making. 

Metrics you want to measure

Depending upon the goals of the organisation, it chooses metrics to measure. Organisations are generally of two types – brand focused and performance focused. Brand category, its aspects, and competitors are the focal points of brand-focused organisations. Whereas performance-focused organisations put more focus on demand generation and sales efforts. Focusing on these metrics gives the organisation an edge over others.

Elaborating further, metrics like appeal, loyalty, awareness, association, personality, affinity, advocacy, strength, trust, salience, and the performance of the competitors are what brand-focused organisations must pay attention to. Make a note of the type of content your audience shows a positive response to. Here is where using the MI tool becomes important to collect information, taking these metrics into account and delivering them to the marketing teams by creating monthly or weekly reports.  

Performance-focused organisations should make a special note on metrics like annual recurring revenue of competitors, average revenue per user, sales budget, conversion rates, etc. If you are a performance-based organisation, MI software that gives you a way to measure these metrics will make things seamless for you and, hence, streamline things.

Competitive analysis

The next step in the list is market and competitive analysis that can be done using a competitive intelligence tool like Unkover. What to do here? 

  • Everyone in your business might not be having the information on what the numbers and visual representations indicate. So, after getting the statistics from the MI software, provide the context next to these insights. 
  • Tell your employees or partners about how to proceed with the statistics and improve the processes. Develop an action plan as an appropriate response to the statistics you have analysed.   
  • Your people or employees are not going to doubt you for the analysis you will present to them. However, it is always advisable to cite the resources for better understanding.

Keeping all these things in mind while using the market intelligence software and performing market research gives you an upper hand in the competitive analysis, and you get the most out of it. 

Insights into action

What is the supreme goal of market intelligence? To form strategic and informed decisions. For instance – Producing better goods or services, and capturing a larger market, to name a few. And to reach such goals, in reality, the market intelligence process should ideally go like this.

  • MI delivers you valuable insights.  
  • The context is written in front of the insights. 
  • Forming business strategies keeping the statistics in mind. 
  • Taking action to get the desired results. 

Following the listed steps one by one will push you closer to your goal. 

Ways of using market intelligence tools data

After collecting the data using the market intelligence tools, using them in the course of your business actions is the next big step. Whether you are a venture that is just starting out and looking to establish itself or a brand that wants to expand, MI can help you in innumerable ways. What are some of them? Let’s find out. 

Guiding strategy

You can form short-term and long-term strategic plans with the help of the data that you have just gathered and everything in between. It isn’t limited to here. Use this data to find out what your position in the market is, your strengths and weaknesses, and the ways to leverage those opportunities to reduce risks.

Accelerating product development

A business’s product development process is greatly impacted by the insights from market intelligence tools. You can find the features customers appreciate, the problems they are facing, and understand their unmet needs. In this way, you can design your product better to cater to the needs of the customers.

To make a long story short

In the data-driven world, it has become all the more important to use market intelligence for achieving organisational goals. In the same way, an inefficient MI process or not following any data-driven process can impede your business operations. Having a regular stream of market data enables you to make your business model more stable. The right MI process fuels your organisation in product positioning and investing the right amount of money in marketing campaigns. Consequently, you gain an advantage over the market. Thus, set up a similar system in your business as discussed above and stay ahead of your competitors. 

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