Marketing Intelligence is actually one of the most important topics of discussion in the current corporate ecosystem. It’s basically the information that any organization extracts from the market that it provides its services. Or it can also be a new market that it may be targeting for the future, both long and short term.
We use it as a key tool in determining the different segments in any market, the penetration level that their or a competitor’s product has, and the kind of available opportunities. So it’s vital for us to gain an accurate understanding of the consumer’s needs and play a role in gathering useful data about competitors.
One important thing that we must keep in mind is that marketing intelligence differs from business intelligence. In fact, business intelligence focuses on the company’s internal matters, whereas marketing intelligence looks at everything outside the company.
Components Of Marketing Intelligence
Two main components are the most talked about when dissecting the concept of marketing intelligence.
Consumer Intelligence or consumer understanding is information about the current and potential customers of a business. It covers a wide range of areas, including demographics, preferences, brand loyalty, and even anomaly events, i.e., what could cause consumers to deviate from their behavioral pattern regarding specific products or brands. The information gathered in consumer intelligence can be very useful in planning the marketing strategy in vast detail, starting from things as big as segment budgets all the way down to the tone to be used for sales calls.
This is when we gather data on our competitors through any legal channels available to us. This can include public records, company websites, market surveys, and any other avenues that may be accessible without violating the law. An example of this can be taken through Prius (Toyota) ‘s popularity in the United States. The need for and lack of high-quality hybrid/electric and fuel-efficient cars in the market allowed Japanese manufacturers like Toyota to penetrate that market and eventually dominate it.
A third component that we associate with competitor intelligence is . This focuses on gathering information specifically on the similar products that a competing brand is selling in the same market. Again, this helps us define costing strategy and manage new product launches to make sure they are competitive and up-to-date.
Why Is Marketing Intelligence Important
Given that marketing intelligence practically forms the base on which we define our marketing strategy, its importance can’t be stressed enough. There are several benefits and uses that come from marketing intelligence, some of which include the following:
Staying up to date
By gathering practical information about the market developments, companies can determine the type of a market has and accordingly bring changes or updates to their products to stay competitive.
Understanding of consumers
Knowing what the consumers want can be a major difference between the success and failure of any product. Marketing intelligence allows us to understand what consumers and our potential customers need and provide products that meet those requirements.
Understanding the type of product that consumers demand can allow the business to boost sales incredibly. There are often minimal differences in similar products that lead to one being a hit and the other capturing a tiny market share.
Current uses of Marketing Intelligence
Businesses nowadays are actively engaging in all sorts of activities to gather marketing intelligence for products. New and innovative methods are used to gather information such as test drives for vehicles, product displays, and live interaction with consumers, using big data to gather demographic information, spending patterns, and so much more. This helps businesses create brand loyalty and capture new customers by providing special promotions that are particularly successful.
Techniques For Gathering Marketing Intelligence
The more avenues you explore, the more information you will gather about the marketing. There are a lot of different techniques that companies employ to gather marketing intelligence, and some of the commonly used ones include the following:
Sales team networking
One of the best and reliable sources of gathering marketing intelligence is through your sales team. These are the people who are on the field and engage actively with consumers daily. As a result, they can provide realistic feedback regarding the product.
Channel partner engagement
The people responsible for distributing our product to the market are also reliable and important sources for product performance. In addition, they can provide us information about consumer demands and share insights regarding competition in the case of external partners.
Consumer’s data in search
Knowing what consumers are searching for gives us a great insight into the demand for a product, a company as well as a company’s position in the market, and the competition. Thus, the intelligence that we gain from consumer’s data in search engines can be both about a company itself (i.e., the demand for a product/feature, branded searches, etc.), as well as about its competition. This insight equips a marketer with their both in the digital and the physical world (this applies to the majority of businesses, with very few exceptions primarily on B2B — niche specific companies).
Social media engagement
All consumers are present on social media. So, without incurring too much cost, we can reach many of them and gain insights into their opinion about the product.
Many consulting firms are operating nowadays that carry vast amounts of data regarding the market. Outsourcing marketing intelligence to them can give us access to very critical information that may otherwise be inaccessible.
Marketing Intelligence goes hand in hand with any firm’s digital marketing strategy. With the whole world now connected via the internet, it is obvious that digital platforms, search engines, and social media are the kings in understanding consumers and, therefore, the primary source of marketing intelligence.
With the ability to get in-depth information that allows us to choose specific phrases to connect with our consumers, marketing intelligence provides all the necessary raw material required to establish a solid digital marketing foundation that is fail-proof and derives results.
The examples of how marketing intelligence has allowed businesses to reach new heights are no longer a secret, and practically every business utilizes its power. So leaving it aside was never an option when it comes to gaining success in the market.