Many people confuse marketing intelligence with business intelligence; however, they are not the same. Business intelligence generally focuses on internal factors such as billing rates, processes, and headcount, among others. In contrast, marketing intelligence collects data externally, which provides companies with a holistic view of the entire market and not just your company. Incorporating these two intelligence bits provides companies with a complete picture of the ongoing industry performance in specific market conditions. Other than business intelligence, marketing intelligence is also often mistaken for market research. The difference between the two is explained further below.
Marketing intelligence is defined as the information collected by organizations from the markets they operate in or want to operate to help make informed business decisions and determine market penetration, market segmentation, opportunities, and existing market metrics. This data can be gathered from internal and external sources such as surveys, sales logs, social media, manufacturers, distributors, news websites, or clients. It is an important measure that helps businesses understand the current state of the market. With the help of marketing intelligence, organizations can collect their target audience's general demographics and spending habits to come up with improved, targeted social media advertisements. It also helps brands make decisions on product development, which results in establishing a stronger brand. A part of collecting marketing intelligence also deals with the collection of competitor intelligence.
Marketing intelligence provides brands with numerous opportunities to navigate complex marketing landscapes, with a unique focus on the organization. Marketing intelligence generally includes four aspects that help brands in coming up with successful and informed decisions. These four aspects are as follows. Competitor Intelligence In simple words, this can be defined as the process of studying competitors. It gathers data associated with your competitors using ethical methods search as public records and government databases. For this process, brands can conduct SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analyses to get a better understanding of your competition. This process aims to understand why customers would choose competitors over your brand and its products or services.
Once you have studied your competitors, it is time to look at your products and services. This process aims to understand and learn more about the quality and performance of your offerings. It involves taking a deep dive into your products and seeing how they stack up in the market. This process requires brands to speak to their customers and engage audiences with surveys and polls to understand their products' competitive advantages. For instance, for physical products, brands can analyze the manufacturing process, ask themselves whether they are efficiently building products and if any areas would require improvement. This allows brands to align products with unique consumer interests and drive conversions by improving products and user experience. Market Understanding To get an accurate measure of product performance, companies need to look at the various markets where they are available. This process generally answers whether you could expand your product to other markets or whether other markets could benefit from your offerings. It is about knowing your company's market share, trends in the market, and the size of the market, among other such factors. Companies can significantly increase revenue and market share by understanding market demand and what customers in those markets want. The data collected by this part of marketing intelligence is focused on examining marketplaces that are populated by customers or prospects. Analyzing this data shows organizations where their target audiences are most active and help identify the right media mix, touchpoints, and channels to utilize for your offerings.
Understanding consumers is vital for increasing product life cycle because it is more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing customers. Despite most companies focusing on recent sales and conversions, customer retention is equally important. Understand what customers want and like about your brand and, even more importantly, what they dislike about your brand. This gives organizations a chance to improve their processes, enhance products, and better suit customers. Consumer understanding helps brands effectively target new customers while spending less on marketing and boosting retention rates. Happy customers are most likely to influence others into purchasing your brand’s offerings.
Most marketers prefer utilizing primary methodologies to collect marketing intelligence instead of the various quantitative or qualitative methods required for market research. These methodologies are as follows.
Surveys are a set of questions that are put together to gather data from the target market. This data is then studied and analyzed to create valuable marketing intelligence. Service can be e classified into four main types
A series of questions can be used for qualitative or quantitative research from data gathered from a broad audience.
A set of questions that collect precise information for the task at hand. Forms do not include questions that require respondents to share opinions or feedbacks.
It generally includes only one question with options for the respondent to choose from. The response rate of this methodology is exceptionally high, as it takes hardly any time to answer.
These interviews provide valuable and reliable information to companies. Despite being expensive to carry out, this method provides an in-depth understanding of specific topics or products.
Requires a set of people that are are carefully selected to represent and actual target market. Focus groups allow companies to evaluate customer demands and opinions by collecting information relevant to that market. Moderator asks questions to each person in the group and records the answers.
This methodology provides brands with information such as consumer habits, buying patterns, and consumer preferences. This helps organizations hack into the subconscious buying behaviors or attitudes of the target audience.
This methodology is more like a real-time experiment and involves placing products in specific stores to understand consumer response for that product.
After all the data is collected, it needs to be analyzed to be understood and to provide meaningful intelligence. This can be done with the help of various marketing intelligence software that is available in the market.
This is a vital step in marketing intelligence as visual infographics and reports allow companies to understand markets only with easily digestible information.
You have already read about what marketing intelligence is, and by now, you probably already know the difference between marketing intelligence and market research. If there is any doubt, however, here's the differentiating point between the two. The main difference between market research and marketing intelligence is the ultimate goal. While market research provides information about customer preferences, marketing intelligence is company-focused. Market research provides data about the consumer's research process and the influences that make them purchase a product or service.
Marketing intelligence helps companies create a unique aura around themselves, which distinguishes them from their competitors and provides valuable insight to excel at business. Some of the benefits of marketing intelligence are as follows.
Successful marketing intelligence answers complex regarding the market in which a company operates, the current and potential customers and competitors, and help determine internal company goals. Accurate marketing intelligence requires large amounts of data, which is analyzed to improve processes, sustain success, and effectively market to consumers.
Hamzah specializes in tech-based marketing and writes about marketing hacks targeted at marketers looking to enhance their businesses. He has an academic background in International Business, from which he draws his ambition as a market analyst. Hamzah is also an avid football fan, and that’s what you’d find him engrossed in, in his free time.