What Is Market Intelligence?
Being prepared to seize and respond to valuable information promptly is vital, as unexpected crises arise rapidly. Moreover, lucrative market prospects seldom provide advance notice. By gathering market intelligence, brands stay abreast of the constantly evolving market. Allow us to demonstrate how! While it’s just one element in your marketing metrics, maintaining an updated and well-functioning intelligence system is imperative.
First and foremost, we’ll dive into what market intelligence is and its role in achieving brand success. This is crucial as numerous brands often invest time and resources into endeavors that yield minimal impact. Additionally, we will analyze these other aspects:
- Market Intelligence vs. Other Intelligence Tools
- Key Components of Market Intelligence
- The Market Intelligence Process
- Putting it All Together: Execution Of Data Collected from Market Intelligence
- Four Intelligence Software Solutions
- Conclusion: Market Intelligence as an Essential Strategy in Today’s Digital World
Before we get started, though, here are a few statistics we uncovered surrounding market intelligence that you’ll want to keep in mind as we go.
- In the UK, Business Intelligence Software market revenue is projected to reach US$1.29bn in 2023.
- France is the fourth largest research market after Germany, followed by the UK and the USA.
- In Germany, Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2028) of 4.53%, resulting in a market volume of US$1.41bn by 2028.
- In 2020—the biggest year of turmoil for many where no one brand knew what to expect—Gartner found that 42% of sales leaders who used data analytics rated their sales analytics ROI significantly higher than expected.
What is Market Intelligence?
Market Intelligence is on the rise, with an increasing number of brands employing it to gain a competitive edge and propel themselves to the forefront. It serves as an innovative tool that brands rely on to achieve success. Now, let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of Market Intelligence.
Introduction to Market Intelligence
Companies that collect market intelligence can use it as a strategic tool to thoroughly grasp market dynamics, customer behavior, and the competitive environment. It entails systematically collecting, examining, and interpreting data and information to support sensible business decisions. By utilizing market information, businesses can detect new trends, evaluate market opportunities, assess competition strategies, and predict client demands. Thanks to this proactive and data-driven approach, companies may remain ahead of the curve, maximize their marketing efforts, and ultimately gain a competitive edge in today’s quickly changing business climate.
Definition and Importance of Market Intelligence
Market intelligence encompasses the brand awareness created by monitoring relevant markets by capturing information about trends, consumers, products, and competitors. It’s monitoring relevant sources across the web and integrating propriety consumer resources to aggregate and analyze all this structured and unstructured data as a whole. The analysis part is key. It must be handled by the most advanced modeling, preferably powered by next-generation artificial intelligence, to extract actionable, accurate insight that forms the basis of strategic decision-making that touches every part of the enterprise.
It’s that stuff Fortune 500 firms are made of. And it offers powerful competitive, consumer, and market insight for maximum impact on an ongoing basis. And, as with anything, there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way, which we’ll touch on.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of market intelligence, you need to know your market. By understanding this, you will understand how your brand performs against others in your industry. It will also inform you of potential adjacent markets you could expand into. How else is market intelligence important? It reveals:
- What’s selling and what is not
- How your brand compares to others in your industry
- Why consumers prefer a particular brand or product
- Sentiments surrounding brands, products, services, and trending topics
Once you understand this, you can apply it to your marketing strategy and campaigns.
However, market intelligence often gets interchanged with other forms of intelligence, such as competitive, business, and market research. Let’s look at each in turn and the differences in their scopes, approaches, and goals.
Market Intelligence vs. Business Intelligence
Market and business intelligence fall under data analysis and decision-making, although they are two distinct but connected ideas. The main variations between the two are as follows:
External market, customer, competitor, and industry developments are the main topics of market intelligence. It strives to provide insights into market dynamics, client preferences, and the competitive landscape to support strategic marketing decisions.
On the other hand, business intelligence focuses on internal elements within an organization, including financial data, operational effectiveness, performance indicators, and general business operations. It attempts to boost internal process optimization, operational effectiveness, and company performance.
Market intelligence helps support advertising and sales strategies. Informing product creation and marketing efforts, understanding client requirements and preferences, analyzing competition strategies, and spotting market prospects are all made more accessible with its assistance.
Contrarily, business intelligence offers a broader range of applications across many company activities. Making decisions based on data about finances, operations, supply chain management, human resources, and overall business strategy is made easier with its help.
Collecting market and business intelligence is essential in promoting informed decision-making. Still, they have different goals and draw on various data sources to offer insightful information for objectives inside an organization.
Market intelligence focuses on various external data sources, including competitive analysis, market research studies, consumer surveys, industry journals, and social media monitoring. It focuses on acquiring information from outside sources to comprehend the market environment.
Business intelligence primarily uses internal data sources such as transactional databases, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and other internal data repositories; the latter is where business intelligence is most heavily reliant. To understand operational effectiveness and corporate success, it mainly focuses on evaluating internal data.
Market Intelligence vs. Competitive Intelligence
While competitive intelligence mainly focuses on examining competitors and their plans, market intelligence examines the overall market landscape, customer behavior, and industry trends. Both are essential for assisting companies in making justifiable decisions and maintaining their competitive edge, but they differ in specific ways. Here are three differences:
A comprehensive grasp of the market, including consumer behavior, market trends, industry dynamics, and market potential, is included in market intelligence. It offers insights into the whole market landscape and aids businesses in formulating strategic decisions based on thorough industry knowledge.
Contrarily, competitive intelligence has a narrower emphasis and is mainly concerned with obtaining and examining data regarding rivals. It entails tracking and evaluating competitors’ tactics, skills, strengths, and shortcomings to achieve a competitive edge in the market.
Brands use market intelligence for various purposes and applications, including understanding the general market environment, spotting market possibilities, gauging customer wants and preferences, and guiding strategic choices regarding market entry, product development, pricing, and advertising campaigns. Considering variables other than direct competition offers a broader framework for commercial decision-making.
Contrarily, competitive intelligence is used chiefly to understand rivals’ tactics, advantages, and disadvantages. It assists businesses in understanding how they stack up against rivals, spotting possible risks and business opportunities brought on by competitor behavior, and developing winning strategies to outperform or fend off competitors in the marketplace.
As a business leader, you should use both market and competitive intelligence. Operating on the presumption that your competition has built its strategies using world-class artificial intelligence (AI) and monitoring it is necessary. If you’re not consistently watching yours as well, you can forget to keep up with the competition. Never mind besting them.
Market intelligence draws on a range of market data sources, including market research studies, trade journals, consumer surveys, social media monitoring, and macroeconomic indicators. It includes a wide variety of external data to study market trends, consumer preferences, and overall market dynamics.
Competitive intelligence primarily relies on specific sources of knowledge about rivals. These sources may include press releases, industry conferences, trade journals, competitor websites, available financial statements, consumer reviews, and expert interviews. Gathering information specifically on rivals and their activities is the main goal.
Market Intelligence vs. Market Research
These terms are perhaps the most often mistaken for one another. Market intelligence supports decision-making across several business domains by offering a more comprehensive, strategic perspective on the market environment. Contrarily, market research has a more constrained focus on acquiring information and insights to address specific issues or challenges within a specified market segment. Although both are excellent resources for learning about the market, their scopes, approaches, and goals differ.
Market intelligence refers to a larger perspective on the market environment that includes knowledge of trends in the market, consumer behavior, the competitive environment, and the dynamics of the market. It attempts to offer strategic insights that will help decision-makers in a company make decisions about market entry, product development, pricing, and marketing strategies, among other business-related decisions.
Market research focuses on acquiring and evaluating data and information on specific market segments, consumer preferences, product reviews, and market demand. Its main objectives are to comprehend consumer requirements, evaluate market size and potential, and assess the success of marketing initiatives or the introduction of new products.
Market intelligence influences strategic decisions and activities. To gain a competitive advantage, it aids brands in comprehending market dynamics, identifying growth possibilities, assessing rival plans, and making well-informed strategic decisions.
Market research is more tactical and practical than other types of research. It is frequently used to obtain precise data to answer a business problem or inquiry. It helps with determining customer preferences, assessing product ideas, determining market demand, and gauging the success of marketing initiatives.
Market intelligence uses a variety of data sources, including market studies, trade journals, competitive analysis, customer surveys, social media monitoring, and expert opinions, to gather information. It gathers data from numerous outside sources using primary and secondary research techniques.
Market Research is used to gather data from your target market or target consumers, and it often uses primary research techniques like surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observational studies. It also uses secondary research to get insights, which involves examining current data sources, industry reports, and statistical data.
However, utilizing distinct data collection methods in these two “markets” does not imply that they must remain separate. One way to bridge the gap is through the employment of Quid® and its out-of-the-box integrations. This solution offers expanded data coverage, allowing brands to incorporate additional data from surveys, CRM systems, social media platforms, spreadsheets, and other sources. Furthermore, it facilitates uploading and analyzing data through its “Bring Your Own Data Automation” feature. This means that new entries in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can be seamlessly transmitted to a Topic, simplifying the upload process and enabling further analysis in Quid Social.
Key Components of Market Intelligence
A few essential intelligence tools are part of collecting market intelligence; we’ll explore those now.
Consumer Experience Intelligence
How a consumer experiences your brand and its products and services can vary widely and often can be very different from what you think.
This highlights the importance of having consumer intelligence with a robust AI platform to not only cull your relevant consumer data but present it in a manner that is easily understandable and transparent to a granular level.
And speed is of the essence to ensure everything is going smoothly for your customers, as consumers aren’t afraid to walk away from a purchase if they’ve had a bad experience. But not only is that incentive to keep your consumer experience analysis sharp, but it’s also potential pay dirt for when your competition drops the ball.
A depth of actionable insight into consumer intelligence powered by next-generation artificial intelligence does the heavy lifting to propel your brand to the forefront of market intelligence.
Product intelligence aims to analyze your product/service to understand better where it measures up concerning relevant markets. Consistent monitoring of the conversations surrounding your product gives your brand the agility to push into market gaps, sidestep disruptive factors and leverage consumer engagement.
It’s a critical facet of market intelligence that significantly expands the maneuverability of your brand in effective product marketing.
A product analysis is not limited solely to your product but should also include the factors at play in markets related to its production and supply so your marketing team is swift to act.
For example, suppose your frozen food company is heavily dependent on sausage. In that case, you want to be aware of potential supply disruptions, recalls, and more in the pork industry before the competition does so you can have your action plan in place.
And who doesn’t like having a good old-fashioned edge over the competition? Competitor intelligence aims to gain insight into their brands, products, and consumer engagements and make super-informed decisions.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of the competition coupled with consistent trend analysis puts your brand in a position to take advantage of gaps in the market before anyone else notices.
A thorough understanding of your competition’s strengths and weaknesses helps a company determine how to fine-tune your marketing to capture consumers’ attention better and increase your brand’s share of voice.
And the Quid platform makes it easy to dial in on the competition using the company’s dataset to capture company and investment information of your target market.
And the power of contextual AI in the industry news/blog dataset allows you to discover the sentiment, traction, and trends surrounding your competition. Dig as far into the data as you need so you and your team are confident of your next move and where you sit in the conversational mix.
Your competitor analysis will let you know whether the other brand missed an opportunity or is in the midst of a brand crisis. It’s critical information that allows you to know when to swoop in or avoid a pitfall.
Let’s face it; it’s much less costly if a brand can learn from the mistakes of others. That’s a dollar and cents reason to ensure your brand’s competitor intelligence is on point.
For brands to effectively target customers, meet their requirements, recognize opportunities, stand out from competitors, make wise decisions, and adjust to changing market conditions, they must have a thorough awareness of the market. It is a driving force that enables companies to establish solid consumer bonds, stimulate economic expansion, and experience long-term success.
By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the current state of your industry, you can make more informed decisions that will ultimately enhance brand awareness and optimize return on investment (ROI).
Today’s consumers expect companies to know them and their preferences. Otherwise, you risk being perceived as impersonal and not caring, which will affect your health and bottom line. 2023 is anticipated to witness the emergence of a novel type of consumer characterized by heightened expectations regarding their overall customer journey and experience during the entire buyer journey. These consumers anticipate a personalized and tailored experience that caters to their needs.
Acquiring market intelligence that delves deep into the characteristics of your consumers is an essential asset.
A comprehensive understanding of your consumers’ preferences and demographics will provide crucial information on your target market, shaping your marketing strategies, product innovation initiatives, and targeted messaging.
Market Intelligence Methodologies and Best Practices
Having a reliable formula at your disposal can significantly aid in your market intelligence process. To assist you further, we have outlined below some valuable best practices.
Market Intelligence Tools
Brands that gather market intelligence must adopt best practices while using intelligence products, such as establishing clear goals, maintaining data quality and accuracy, frequently updating data sources, and incorporating stakeholders from many departments in the analysis and decision-making process. Marketers who effectively utilize market intelligence often follow a four-step process. These steps include:
- Data Collection
- Analyzing Data
Let’s briefly look closer.
Data Collection: The initial step involves gathering data that aligns with your business objectives. This highlights the importance of having business intelligence in place beforehand. To streamline the data collection process, conducting a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) mapping exercise is beneficial. This exercise helps identify how specific data points correlate with your business goals, ensuring that you focus on the most pertinent data rather than an overwhelming amount. Since revenue is a common business goal, it is advisable, to begin with that if you are unsure or unable to access other information immediately.
Analyze: Once you’ve obtained the appropriate data, it is crucial to analyze it to gain insights. Analysis can take various forms, and one straightforward approach is basic regression analysis. With just a spreadsheet and common formulas, you can perform this analysis. However, this method can become cumbersome as datasets become larger and more complex. This is where using artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning, becomes valuable. Machine learning tools can efficiently conduct extensive analysis by exploring every possible variable combination and generating sound outputs in a significantly shorter time frame.
Brands seeking marketing intelligence will benefit from employing other techniques like sentiment analysis, classification, and clustering. These techniques make marketing analytics data more transparent and easier to comprehend.
Visualize: After analyzing data, the subsequent step involves creating visual representations that facilitate understanding of the metrics by your team. This is achieved using dashboards or reports. Without regular visibility of the data, it becomes challenging to make informed decisions based on it.
Execute: With a clear view of your data, it is crucial to take action. The insights gleaned from the collected data should guide your decision-making process. However, it is essential to note that the value of the initial three steps lies in the commitment to implement the recommendations. Simply going through the data analysis process is meaningful only if there is a dedication to follow through and execute the necessary actions.
Competitive Intelligence Tools
The ultimate objective of competitive intelligence is to extract crucial insights from your competitor’s actions to determine your next strategic move.
But you need a clear understanding of who your competitors are first. Without a competitor analysis, gathering valuable information becomes significantly more challenging. Here are some best practices to get you on your way.
Begin by narrowing down your primary direct competitors—brands that offer similar products or services and target the same user persona.
Next, create a supplementary list of indirect competitors. While they may offer different products or services, they still attract your target audience. Tracking these competitors can provide inspiration rather than a direct competitive advantage.
Once you have compiled your list, prioritize them based on their threat level or competition.
Before embarking on competitive intelligence research, it is essential to establish your objectives. Take the time to inquire within yourself and your team: “What knowledge do we aim to acquire?” This will aid in identifying the avenues to explore and the data sources to prioritize.
For instance, let’s consider the example of a vehicle company seeking to enhance its comprehension of competitors’ marketing strategies, including messaging, campaigns, and content marketing. A clear direction is provided to the team by formulating this precise goal. Subsequently, the team can develop a well-defined plan to obtain the desired data.
Now that your team has a clear objective, it’s time to implement the appropriate data collection methods.
Continuing with the example of the vehicle company’s goal to comprehend its competitors’ marketing strategies, the intelligence team will likely focus on analyzing competitor websites, landing pages, blog posts, and downloadable resources, among others.
Additionally, social monitoring and listening techniques will prove valuable in understanding the content produced by competitors and the consumer response to it. Ideally, your tool allows you to pull in all your company data and integrate it for easier dissection and a holistic view.
Below we have the starting point of any competitive comparison. This chart compares sentiment, potential impressions, posts, and brand passion index. From here, a company can delve into any of these to uncover details to inform its strategies.
By devising a well-defined plan for data collection, competitive intelligence teams can effectively stay on track within the project’s scope. Avoiding overly broad approaches ensures a more focused and productive analysis.
Gather and Analyze Your Data
The data-gathering process can span several weeks or even months, depending on the scope of your goals and the efficiency of your tools. During this phase, leveraging a market analysis tool becomes crucial as it helps to organize and categorize the gathered data for future analysis quickly.
Once you have accumulated sufficient information, the real excitement begins. You can start analyzing the data, searching for patterns, and uncovering your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
This phase lets you gain valuable insights to inform your strategies and decision-making.
And finally, let stakeholders in on the intel. With this information, businesses can leverage it to drive growth and increase revenue.
Customer Intelligence Tools
The volume of customer data flowing into your company from various channels, such as websites, apps, and customer-initiated communications, is substantial. Following these foundational steps will help dissect and segment everything efficiently.
The first step is to gather and consolidate customer information into a market intelligence platform that breaks down information silos. This creates a “single customer view” that facilitates efficient examination and analysis of the data. Selecting a tool that enables seamless integration of your company’s data is crucial, providing a comprehensive view of your customer base.
The next crucial step is analyzing the collected data. Modern customer intelligence empowers organizations to delve deeper into customer insights based on the customer lifecycle, including newly acquired customers, active customers, and customer churn. And they can go beyond that, revealing consumer behaviors along the purchase path, such as identifying barriers and triggers for purchase:
This intel is crucial as many outside factors influence consumers, such as ads, social media influencers, friends, and family. Understanding what is barring them from buying helps inform brands how to adjust their marketing.
With the data collected and analyzed, insights are ready to be extracted. These insights enable organizations to make informed decisions tailored to their business needs. Customer intelligence provides clarity on customer interactions and sheds light on customer expectations.
Social Media Listening Tools
“Social listening” is crucial in gaining insights into your customers and their perception of your brand. Its primary objective is to assist the company in identifying opportunities for innovation and enhancement. Here are some guidelines to follow to maximize the effectiveness of your “social listening” efforts.
Before embarking on your social listening journey, it’s essential to determine the keywords and topics you want to monitor. These typically include your brand name, product names, competitors’ brands, relevant buzzwords, slogans, employee ambassadors, campaign names, brand hashtags, and industry-related hashtags. Additionally, consider variations and abbreviations of these terms to capture a comprehensive range of conversations.
The keywords and topics you monitor may evolve as you gain insights from social listening tools. You can refine your listening strategy by understanding the language and information people commonly use when discussing your company and industry.
Next, selecting the social media platforms to monitor is crucial. Each platform may have unique conversations related to your business. Identify the primary platforms where people discuss your brand the most and focus your efforts there. This allows you to engage naturally and implement targeted advertising strategies.
And, of course, analyzing your competitors’ activities is vital to avoid duplicating their efforts and generating negative feedback. You can gain inspiration for new products, marketing, and more by studying their successful initiatives and identifying their missteps.
Remember, social listening is not just about measuring campaign effectiveness or engagement. Its core purpose is to address the needs and concerns expressed by potential and current customers. A social listening manager analyzes current and future trends, ensuring your strategy remains effective.
As you become familiar with conversations and sentiments surrounding your brand through social listening, be vigilant for any shifts that may indicate changing perceptions. The sentiment analysis below shows declining positive sentiment with a spike in negative sentiment towards the end of the month. Savvy brands will want to know what is influencing these changing sentiments.
Adapting your brand strategy based on these insights in real-time will be essential. One bad review takes only a few minutes to spread rampantly across social channels. Real-time monitoring will keep you informed so you can quickly address the crises.
Finally, sharing the information obtained through social listening within your organization is invaluable. It allows for immediate assistance to current and potential customers, enhances credibility, and builds customer trust. It also provides insights into customer desires for future product/service improvements. Departments such as customer service, marketing, and product development can benefit from these insights.
Trend Intelligence Tools
Businesses can become too focused on their internal operations and miss external trends. They may only make changes in response to their competitors, leading to a cycle of adaptation and following. However, conducting proactive market trend analysis is crucial to identifying unique opportunities and meeting customer needs. Analyzing industry trends helps businesses find innovative ways to distinguish themselves and capitalize on overlooked opportunities.
To initiate a trend analysis, it is crucial to determine the specific type of trend you want to examine, such as customer, historical, seasonal, geographical, technological, and more. Once you have identified the trend, you should establish clear objectives. Having a goal in mind before delving into trend analysis is essential. This focus ensures that you concentrate on relevant aspects of market trends. While being aware of all trends is beneficial, you must prioritize actionable trends you can effectively address.
Selecting appropriate tools for your research is crucial in identifying trends, analyzing consumer behavior, and gaining insights into the current market landscape. These tools provide user-friendly dashboards that showcase patterns and straightforwardly facilitate the communication of trends.
After collecting the data, the next step is to analyze it thoroughly. During this process, you can uncover trends, examine consumer behavior, and gain insights into present market dynamics.
When analyzing the data, searching for patterns and correlations is vital. Experiment with various parameters and filters to unveil these patterns. This exploration will aid in identifying emerging trends and understanding them.
For example, the Quid dashboard has various filters and views to help brands locate and analyze emerging trends:
Additionally, it is essential to identify any irregularities in the data that could indicate a potential shift in trends. This data serves as a foundation for companies to make well-informed business decisions.
It is crucial to assess how the data can influence the future of your business. This proactive approach will enable you to stay ahead and maintain a competitive edge. Furthermore, revisiting the data and regularly observing trends over time is essential. This practice allows you to identify any market shifts and ensure that your business remains ahead of the competition. It is also important to consider external factors and recent market changes during this analysis.
Web Scraping and Data Execution Tools
Web scraping can be highly effective and efficient in obtaining desired data. This process involves automated web scraping tools extracting data from websites or other online sources.
Nevertheless, achieving successful web scraping outcomes requires a comprehensive understanding of diverse online systems and strategically applying appropriate techniques. There are several cons to using web scraping, aside from it requiring a lot of elbow grease on your part:
- Because of the manual labor involved, web scraping has a learning curve.
- Web scraping needs perpetual maintenance.
- Data extraction is not the same as data analysis.
- Scrapers can get blocked.
If you decide to go this route, here are a few tips:
- Respecting the robots.txt file is a crucial aspect of web scraping. This file in a website’s root directory outlines the sections that search engines or scrapers should not crawl. Before initiating a scrape, it is essential to review the robots.txt file to avoid accessing restricted areas and violating regulations. Neglecting this step may lead to legal repercussions and complications in future scraping activities.
- When web scraping, checking if an API endpoint is available before resorting to manual scraping is best. APIs offer programmatic access to website data, providing advantages like time and effort savings. APIs are faster, easier to use, and more resilient to website structure changes. They ensure your code remains unaffected, even during webpage modifications.
- Rotating your IP address during web scraping is crucial to avoid blocks or bans caused by excessive requests. Methods like proxy servers, rotating proxies, and VPNs offer different advantages and disadvantages depending on your project and available resources. Combining multiple methods, such as proxy services and a VPN, provides added protection and ensures uninterrupted scraping.
As you can see, there’s a lot involved. And it’s harder to prove your efforts to stakeholders using this method. An intelligence tool is going to be quicker and more effective.
Now, let’s look at how to use market intelligence tools effectively for your brand!
The Market Intelligence Process
In business management, the level of wisdom is determined by the extent of marketing intelligence. Market intelligence is pivotal in driving wise decisions for a successful business. So, let’s look at how market intelligence helps brands become wiser.
There are a lot of ways you can collect data for marketing analysis. Some have been around for a long time and require more elbow grease, while others are driven by technology and do some of the heavy lifting for you. Here are some standard market intelligence methods.
This requires talking to a subject face to face about a specific subject or product. This allows you to ask a consumer about their opinion on your product or service and get honest feedback – that is if they’re honest. Interviews tend to make some people feel targeted and on the spot.
So, they may not be 100% truthful. Some consumers may hold back a little.
Surveys are another excellent option if you’re looking for unfiltered feedback. They allow you to ask any question of your target audience. And because these aren’t usually done face-to-face, consumers may feel more relaxed in giving feedback. And they’re inexpensive.
However, you need to be careful when crafting your questions. It’s all too easy to create a question that may have a biased lean, which would only encourage your consumer to answer a specific way. Thus, skewing your results.
This can be advantageous to know how your product will be received once it’s entirely in the hands of consumers. Product testing allows the product to sell itself and to see if there’s a need for what you’re offering.
Once again, however, this is feedback oriented, so trust in the consumer’s words is required. And it’s time-consuming and tends to be expensive.
Like interviews, these are done with a group or groups of people. And also, like surveys, you can create any question you’d like. You’ll want to ensure you’re not asking leading questions, as the answers could be compromised.
Another aspect to consider is popular opinion. In a focus group, consumers may be less apt to say precisely what they think and instead go with popular opinion. This is also time-consuming.
AI-driven market intelligence is likely the most bang for your buck. And it’s been gaining momentum for quite a few years now. And for a good reason––it’s quick and efficient in capturing real-time data from all over the world and from many different sources, including some of those named above.
AI uses data from online and offline sources and employs machine learning to predict what consumers will do. This gives brands the intel to target them with personalized content at the right moment.
AI-driven data can help you:
- Access real-time analytics and insights: Mine consumer data and spot trends. Observe who and what consumers talk about and reveal how they feel about any topic. This data guides your brand in winning strategic moves by understanding your target audience’s wants.
- Create campaigns that deliver across multi-channels: AI tracks and measures your campaigns across multiple channels. It pinpoints which posts and what messaging works best for you on individual social sites, blogs, and forums. And this helps you maximize your ad spend and increase ROI.
- Segment your audience: Because AI has segmenting capabilities, you can divide your consumers into their own groups, not just your basic demographics such as age and gender. You can segment by other characteristics such as professions, interests, and even consumer keywords and hashtags. Suddenly Phil isn’t just a 45-year-old teacher; he’s Phil who enjoys margaritas on the veranda while listening to experimental jazz, taking selfies, and posting about #funkylemons. Yes, AI-driven data can get that specific.
- Discover Trends: Staying ahead can mean winning consumers’ hearts. Consumers want brands to know what they want and then deliver it. With AI-driven market intelligence, your brand can do that. It helps track conversations and segments them so you can see which ones are gaining momentum. Maybe some discussions have a high engagement count, but a low publish count. This may be a white space opportunity, and the early bird gets the worm.
Whatever you use, your data must be accurate for your brand to make game-winning moves. And time is always of the essence. So if your present market intelligence methods offer inconsistent results or slow you down, it might be time to invest in something more dependable, such as AI-driven data intelligence.
As previously mentioned, having a thorough understanding of the market is essential before making any business decisions. This includes being aware of the dynamics within your industry and keeping track of key players and their actions. Trends constantly evolve due to economic changes, technological advancements, and other factors. A prime example is the smartphone market, where companies frequently introduce new products to keep up with rapid technological progress. Last year’s model quickly becomes outdated, considering the advancements made in the current year.
Looking at our conversation on Smart Phones, we can see what the various themes are within the landscape:
From here, companies will want to get an idea of their share of voice in this industry. For example, we can take the smartphone analysis and filter to reveal top companies:
After establishing a solid understanding of your company’s position in the market, it is crucial to examine your competitors thoroughly. This analysis will provide valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses. By studying your competitors, you can accurately position your business in the market and implement effective strategies to attract customers. Moreover, observing their mistakes and successes allows you to learn from their experiences and avoid repeating the same errors while leveraging what works to your advantage.
Next, you’ll want to look at sources to identify your audience. Where are they chatting? Often a brand’s audience is talking about them on multiple online platforms. There’s a significant focus on the big names of social media like Facebook and TikTok, but forums and blogs are growing. And places like Reddit offer a fantastic platform to talk about brands and get advice on which products to buy. Our audience analysis shows that there’s a lot of chatter on Reddit about Samsung—and specifically about their phones:
Imagine being Samsung and not having a tool to gather this intel; they’d be missing a giant piece of the digital marketing puzzle. On social platforms, brands can get an accurate idea of how they’re perceived and their products and services.
Once you know where your audience is, you can begin to get to know them better. And we’ll go more into that in our next section!
Execution Upon Data Collected from Market Intelligence
Having established your share of voice, identified competitors, and honed in on your target consumers, you now possess a solid foundation to proceed with the execution. The next step involves exploring various approaches to differentiate yourself, and we’ll present a few options below.
Now it’s crucial to determine how you can set yourself apart. We can identify emerging themes that guide our focus by analyzing the ongoing conversation surrounding smartphones. Additionally, our analysis of outlier clusters uncovers topics that generate significant engagement despite having a relatively low publish count. These clusters indicate potential whitespace opportunities worth exploring.
Evidently, Treehouse, an e-learning platform specializing in web and mobile development education, has garnered significant attention. Students who enroll in Treehouse gain exclusive access to an extensive collection of video courses. Notably, Treehouse has partnered with Amazon and offers courses on building Alexa skills. This product has generated considerable enthusiasm and has become a popular subject of discussion.
Nevertheless, assessing the sentiment surrounding these whitespace topics is crucial at this stage. While a topic may attract high engagement, it does not necessarily guarantee a positive reception.
Suppose Company A is prepared to elevate its presence by emulating the successful strategies of Amazon and Treehouse. However, before proceeding with this idea, it is essential to determine if their consumers desire or require such a product or service. Creating something that consumers are not actively seeking isn’t very sensible. This is where understanding the target audience becomes crucial.
Conducting a consumer analysis enhances digital marketing efforts as it allows for a comprehensive breakdown of the target audience based on demographics such as age, gender, and geographic location. However, an effective market intelligence tool can delve even deeper by providing psychographic insights, including interests and professions.
Upon initial examination, it appears that this audience might be intrigued by the idea, considering their top interests in technology, gaming, and arts. However, it is crucial to conduct further research to confirm this hypothesis.
Another practical approach to understanding consumer preferences is conducting a crosstab analysis with a personal narrative theme. This technique can unveil insights directly associated with a specific topic, brand, or its attributes and offerings, providing valuable information about consumers’ desires.
Each category is explorable, revealing specifics on what consumers want from brands. For example, selecting “I wish” provides us with posts we can explore:
While discussions about desiring a learning experience on mobile phones are not prominent, there is a notable amount of commendation for the Samsung brand, along with a few constructive suggestions. These suggestions highlight potential areas for improvement in their current phone offerings.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, thoroughly analyzing data from various angles is paramount. With much information available, it is essential to have a robust market intelligence tool that can delve deep into the data, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape. Such a tool serves as a valuable resource, capable of peeling back the layers of information and uncovering crucial details that might otherwise go unnoticed. By exploring data from multiple perspectives, businesses can gain deeper insights, identify emerging trends, spot hidden patterns, and make well-informed decisions in the rapidly evolving market.
Market Intelligence Software Solutions
There are many market intelligence software solutions out there, and picking the right one for your business is critical to getting your marketing right. We’ve broken down a few tools for you to explore.
Understanding the Market Landscape: Similarweb
Similarweb is a market intelligence software that focuses on business intelligence. It assists brands in gaining insights into the market landscape. Specifically designed for small businesses, it provides various features, including website, industry, and app analysis tools. One notable feature is their free top website ranking page, which enables brands to assess their share of voice. It allows users to select different categories based on geographical regions for ranking.
Customer Research: Dovetail
Dovetail is a customer research platform and companies’ intel on their existing customers. Capture insights from customer interviews to NPS feedback without overlooking any crucial information. Brands can upload, transcribe, and store customer data from various formats, such as text, video, or spreadsheets, regardless of your work location. Furthermore, this market intelligence software has a scalable research platform and collaborates with your team to identify themes within the data by tagging, grouping, and creating maps.
Revenue Intelligence: Gong
The Gong Reality Platform™ enables revenue teams to gain valuable insights from customer conversations, enhancing their performance and standing out from competitors. By leveraging Gong, teams can understand their market and internal dynamics holistically. Gong has a data-driven approach that provides valuable coaching opportunities, identifying priority deals for sales reps and helping improve forecasting accuracy, empowering your company to make informed decisions and drive success.
Competitive Intelligence: Crayon
Crayon’s competitive intelligence software offers unlimited tracking of competitors, user additions, and the creation of battle cards/dashboards. Regardless of the number of rivals, Crayon’s software allows you to seamlessly monitor and analyze unlimited competitors, accommodate unlimited users, and create as many battle cards/dashboards as needed.
Conclusion: Market Intelligence as an Essential Strategy in Today’s Digital World
Market intelligence has become an essential business strategy in today’s digital world. With the abundance of data and information available, understanding the market landscape and consumer behavior is crucial for making informed business decisions.
Market intelligence provides valuable insights into customer preferences, competitor activities, and industry trends. It helps businesses identify opportunities, mitigate risks, and stay ahead of the competition. By leveraging intelligence, companies can develop effective marketing strategies, optimize product offerings, and enhance customer experiences.
Furthermore, brands that collect market intelligence adapt quickly and respond to changing market conditions. A dedicated and consistent approach to each area of it will pay dividends in the speed of your decision-making and, consequently, your bottom line. There’s no time like the present to ensure your brand is on top of its intelligence game. Be sure to reach out for a personalized demo, and we’ll show you how!