Data is a critical component in every business today. It eliminates all assumptions and allows businesses to build strategies based on research and real-world insights. A business owner planning to foray into a new market might be under the impression that he understands the market well based on his limited interactions with a small part of his target audience. However, a wider survey of more people as well as solid data analytics could give a more holistic picture. Data-backed reports and insights can help businesses understand their limitations and improve their chances of success and profitability. Data generation and analysis, when done on a large scale for enterprises and organisations, is known as market intelligence.

To stay ahead in the market it operates, a company needs to have a strong grasp over rival products, the state of the industry and customer behaviour patterns. This is where market intelligence services come in handy. 

Understanding Market Intelligence

Market intelligence is the collective data that a firm gathers about a specific market where it operates or plans to enter. The large volume of data helps businesses identify their audience, requirements and market penetration levels, and understand opportunities and threats. 

Competitor intelligence is a specific component of market intelligence that focuses on data regarding specific competitors and constitutes a fundamental component of marketing intelligence. Competitor data helps marketing heads and business leaders make informed decisions at the enterprise level by revealing pricing laws, market share and customer behaviour patterns. 

Importance of Market Intelligence

We live in a data-driven world where every decision, promotion and product innovation is based on real-world insights and behaviour trends. Market intelligence makes up the foundation of the marketing efforts that any organisation relies on and includes the process of collecting and analysing data and applying the insights to their strategies.

To understand why business organisations now almost entirely depend on market intelligence services and the value addition it provides, take a look at the list below:

1. It gives a better understanding of the market and your position in the market:

Market intelligence provides a deep awareness and strong understanding of the industry. It provides reliable data collected through surveys, questionnaires and other legal methods. It helps businesses plan their next step, understand the reason behind their success/failure and the changes they should make to their existing business roadmap. 

2. It helps assess your product quality against existing standards:

Market intelligence surveys use reports, surveys, questionnaires and a wide range of data-collection methods to provide businesses with real-world insights related to product trends, requirements for specific features and product details or specifications that must be added. 

3. It provides audience insights:

Market intelligence guides businesses by telling them what their customers are looking for. Even if you have a perfect product, it may not sell if there is no need for such a product. 

4. It assesses strengths, opportunities and areas of improvement:

Businesses can use market intelligence services to modify their existing services based on an existing need or customer demand, learn from the failures of their competitors and build strategies based on rival positioning.

Applications of Market Intelligence Services

1. Market reports:

Any business, regardless of scale, is always interested in knowing about its performance in specific areas. Global data research giants such as Forrester or Gartner provide comprehensive secondary research reports. 

Market share is a fundamental part of such reports as it identifies where a business stands, how many people in the entire market are using their products and what part of the complete local market they control. Small businesses use these reports to identify expansion opportunities through additional offerings. 

2. Competitive information:

Industry reports, newsletters, personal insights and publications are common forms of competitive research. It is a part of market intelligence that small businesses use to better understand organisational changes or changes and plans that their rivals make. They could even purchase products from their competitors to understand why they work and what consumers like about them. 

3. Databases designed for internal use:

Market intelligence goes beyond simple customer email addresses, names and contact numbers. Marketing managers might also ask for other details such as average income, height or weight, education qualifications and duration of their visits. Such information helps enterprises build customer profiles and personas that they can then use to reach out to those who fit the bill and generate leads. 

4. Competitive Intelligence (CI):

Competitive intelligence is generally adopted by small businesses to conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). It helps in identifying where a business stands currently and how it can improve. 

Building a world-class market intelligence team in-house sounds like a great idea, but it might face several logistical and operational problems, especially for small businesses. Market intelligence services exist for this reason – to ensure businesses can get the necessary data without worbkrying too much about collection methods.