Think Tank

Market Intelligence: What You Need to Know
Before opening a business, unveiling a new product or service, or even implementing an advertising campaign, (basically before you do anything) you must brush up on your market intelligence. Much like outlining an essay before diving right in, this is a marketing step that is typically just skimmed over, but oftentimes vital to success.

Market intelligence is the industry/market specific information gathered by a company to help them make smart business decisions. Basically, it’s the stuff you gotta know to be competitive, and it can be broken down into four main categories.

Competitor intelligence

Learn everything you can about your competitors. To do this, try conducting a SWOT analysis— aka a planning technique in which you identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The overall goal? Determine why someone would choose someone else’s product or service over your own.

Product intelligence

Is your product quality and does it perform well? If it’s a physical product, examine the efficiency of the manufacturing process. If it’s a service, delve into the user experience- ask for feedback. Find your cracks and make the necessary improvements.

Market understanding

Look at the various markets your product is available in. Now, get an idea as to how it’s performing in each one. Is it possible to expand to new markets? Which markets would benefit most from your product or service? Answering these questions should help you determine where your audience is.

Customer understanding

Did you know it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain a current one? Now that you do, you must also know that it is absolutely vital to know your audience- very well. Why should customers keep buying from you? Answering this question is key to developing targeted marketing campaigns.

Now that you understand the basics, here are just some ways to answer your questions:

Polls
Forms
Surveys
Interviews
Focus Groups
A/B Tests
Competitor Tracking Analytics
Observation

In business, being a know-it-all can be a serious problem. Trust me, I’ve been there. Just keep in mind that a true leader never stops learning, and to put it simply, market trends will absolutely never stop changing.
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