Unlocking Business Success with Market Intelligence in 2024
In today’s dynamic and competitive business landscape (Figure 1), it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve. To do so, businesses need to understand their customers, competitors, and overall market trends. However, this can be challenging without using the proper tools and techniques. Market intelligence (MI) provides the necessary tactics for businesses in any industry to stay resilient and attractive to customers.
This article dives into market intelligence and how it can help companies better direct their efforts.
Figure 1. The global number of startup unicorns by industry in 2022
What is market intelligence?
Market intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing data to gain insights into the market, including customer needs and preferences, market trends, and competitor activities. This information is used to make business decisions and strategies more data-driven, improve overall customer satisfaction, and increase revenue.
Market intelligence can be gathered through various sources such as market research, surveys, social media monitoring, and industry reports. It’s important to note that market intelligence is an ongoing process, as the market and customers’ needs are constantly changing.
How is market intelligence different from competitive intelligence?
Market intelligence and competitive intelligence are both types of business intelligence (BI). While these terms are related, they are distinct disciplines. Market intelligence focuses on understanding the overall market, whereas competitive intelligence is specifically geared towards understanding competitors.
Competitive intelligence involves gathering and analyzing data on competitor strategies, strengths and weaknesses, and market position. The ultimate goal of achieving competitive intelligence is to gain a competitive advantage by identifying areas where the business can improve or differentiate itself from its competitors.
Top 5 benefits of effective market intelligence
Being aware of market developments yields various benefits. This section highlights some of them.
1. Competitive advantage
Customer loyalty is declining (Figure 2). With an abundance of options on the market and customers becoming more impatient by the day, customer retention is becoming a challenge for businesses. In the current ruthless business environment, efforts toward achieving market intelligence can help businesses stay attractive to customers.
By analyzing competitor activities and market trends, businesses can detect market gaps and identify areas where they can differentiate themselves to gain a competitive advantage.
For example, an online clothing retailer may use market intelligence to identify a gap in the market for affordable, sustainable clothing and launch a new line of eco-friendly products.
Figure 2. Declining customer loyalty due to increased competition
An AI-powered tool can help you achieve market intelligence in your business to obtain a competitive edge. Bright Data offers an AI-powered web data platform to help e-commerce businesses stay ahead of the curve. The platform offers:
- Data analytics of multiple competitors
- Track competitor pricing for their products and services
- Monitor competitor product catalogs to help you improve yours
- Monitor consumer sentiment toward your brand
2. Better understanding of customer needs and preferences
Knowing what your customers want is crucial in this customer-focused business environment. Through MI, businesses can better understand exactly what their customers want. By gathering and analyzing data on customer behavior, businesses can customize their products and services to meet the needs and preferences of their target market.
For instance, a sports apparel brand may use market intelligence to identify the most popular products among its target audience and adjust its inventory accordingly.
3. Improved decision-making
Market intelligence provides businesses with valuable insights that can fuel strategic decisions. Suppose an online sports brand leverages market intelligence to track competitor prices. If a competitor is offering a similar product at a lower price point, the brand may decide to lower its own prices or offer additional value to its customers.
4. Increased revenue
Businesses can identify new opportunities for growth and revenue by understanding market trends and how customers interact with products and services. If your market intelligence solution helps your business identify a gap in the market or foresee a trend, it will translate into more customers and higher revenues in the future.
5. Improved customer satisfaction
Marketing intelligence can help businesses understand what their customer wants and how they want it. To achieve such awareness, a marketing intelligence solution can analyze the following data:
- Feedback from customer surveys, online reviews, and social media to identify patterns and trends in customer preferences and pain points
- Sales data to identify which products or services are most popular among customers and which pricing strategies and promotions are most effective
- Demographic data, such as age, gender, and location, to identify patterns in customer behavior and preferences
- Website analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, such as which pages are most popular and how customers interact with the website
Top 5 business use cases of market intelligence
It is important to know which parts of your business can benefit from insights gathered through market intelligence.
1. Product development
The product development process can be improved by providing insights into customer needs and preferences, competitor activities, and market trends.
For example, a tech company may use a market intelligence solution to analyze customer feedback data regarding their software. The company can use the insights from the data to identify the most popular features among its target audience and incorporate those features into its product development process.
Watch how Starbucks uses AI to translate customer insights into product recommendations to achieve market intelligence:
2. Marketing and advertising
In the current marketing space, campaigns need to be more targeted to be successful. Targeted advertisement, for instance, is considered more beneficial to customers than mass or untargeted ads (Figure 3). Insights and data from market intelligence fuel targeted marketing.
Data related to customer behavior, preferences, and market trends can be used to improve marketing and advertising strategies.
For example, a fashion retailer may use market intelligence to identify the most popular social media platforms among their target audience and adjust their advertising strategy accordingly.
Figure 3. Benefits of targeted advertising according to customers in the U.S. (2021)
3. Sales forecasting
Market intelligence can also fuel sales forecasting by providing insights into market trends, competitor activities, and customer behavior.
For instance, a car manufacturer may use market intelligence to forecast demand for electric vehicles based on market trends and customer preferences. This may allow it to plan earlier for future demand increases.
4. Supply chain management
Marketing intelligence can facilitate supply chain managers in achieving this goal by providing insights into consumer behavior and demand trends. By analyzing this data, businesses can anticipate changes in demand for their products and adjust their supply chain operations, such as inventory control, production, procurement, etc.
Suppose a skincare brand notices a spike in sales for a specific product. It can use marketing intelligence to identify the cause and adjust its manufacturing and distribution processes to ensure sufficient supply.
5. Improve pricing strategy
Pricing is one of the most important decision-making factors for customers. Offering the best price can give you a competitive edge in the market.
Insights gathered from market intelligence can help keep an eye on competitor prices and marketing trends. This data can help make competitor analytics more accurate by providing insights into the strategies and tactics of competitors.
For instance, a grocer can leverage marketing intelligence by using a smart price monitoring tool to offer the lowest prices.
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