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Library  »  Categories  »  Elite Research  »  Market intelligence for business

Market intelligence

Gathering market intelligence should be an active and ongoing business process.  Many companies have access to a wealth of information but don’t yet have a formalised system in place to capture and manage this knowledge.  As there are several industries and markets which experience rapid and regular change, it is even more important to update your information on a consistent basis.

To make the most of your own market intelligence it should be disseminated throughout your company in a meaningful and purposeful way.  That intelligence can be an excellent tool to help you:

  • mitigate business risk and wasteful spending
  • build informed marketing plans and strategies
  • gain knowledge of customer preferences and needs
  • illustrate where in the market your ideal prospects are located
  • reduce the ‘time to market’ by making faster, more certain decisions
  • ensure your products, services and communications are all current
  • fully evaluate your own  performance and your competition’s

Market intelligence can give you insight on the items listed above, but it can also offer much more - it gives you vital real-time information about what’s happening in your market, your industry and with your competitors.

The value of reliable market intelligence should not be under-estimated. Yet many companies under fund their market research and knowledge gathering capabilities, often leaving themselves blind when it comes to formulating effective business and marketing plans.  Making assumptions and relying on best guesses is not always the most dependable or cost-effective way to plan for your company’s future growth.

How do you use market intelligence in a meaningful way?

Market intelligence is a process for gathering quality information from your chosen market and reporting it in a useful way.  It is a real-time snapshot of the market conditions, competitor performance and customer behaviours.  It can come from secondary sources (i.e. market research companies, whitepapers, industry reports, the internet etc) or from primary sources (i.e. research which you undertake yourself - surveys, questionnaires, your own sales figures etc).  Your particular needs will determine the best source for information.

Wherever the information comes from, TWO things are absolutely vital:

  1. The information must be analysed and verified to ensure that it is accurate and reliable.  If your information isn’t legitimate or dependable, then nothing you do with that information can be considered dependable.
  2. It must be reported in an intelligent and comprehensive manner.  You may have several departments within your company who all require access to the information, but whom all have their own particular agendas.  

Your sales team may want to be able to build a profile of ideal customers and know what their preferences and buying behaviours are like... your product development team may want information on competitor pricing, product innovations and new technologies which may have an impact on their own strategies... your senior managers may wish to have an overview of the market or a snap shot of the performance of a particular product line or service.

Whatever the requirement, you should be aware of the different requirements for information and ensure that it can be presented in an intelligent and purposeful manner.

Market intelligence can help you to gain a better understanding of the dominant factors within the market which affect your business; and it also enables you to make proactive, informed and confident decisions about how you will react.  Fore-warned is fore-armed - and hopefully with the right intelligence and insight you will be able to keep one step ahead of your competitors.