by Dan Sincavage, Tenfold
With competitiveness being rated now on a global scale and competition rising up from almost any part of the world, the need for intelligence data is fast becoming a necessity to keep up with consumer and market trends. While business intelligence data concentrates on the inner workings of an enterprise—whether their metrics are within industry standards, are their processes ISO-compliant, and more—market intelligence data is sourced from external factors. As the name implies, it is gathered from the consumer markets themselves. This includes very important data points such as consumer trends, age-group-to-spending-power ratios, as well as marketing penetration in the different sections of the economic spectrum.
Is Intelligence Data an Intelligent Investment?
Imagine this scenario: you are a small business trying to make your mark in a certain industry. All your competitors have been around for decades, and any of them can box you out using just sheer reach, influence, and experience. However, on your side, you have all the data about your competitors: their strong and weak seasons, their blind spots in logistics and distribution, all their pricing systems, major customer sentiments about their products, and their level of market penetration.
Suddenly, intelligence data levels the playing field simply by knowing how your competitors are moving about in the market. And this is just the tip of the market intelligence perspective called competitor intelligence. Market data also covers social media, customer purchasing power, and generally almost every sales-related statistic out there.
To successfully integrate market intelligence data into an enterprise’s decisions, extensive market research is needed. Studies such as feasibility and accessibility research, market penetration evaluation via surveys and double-blind consumer tests, and identification of target markets such as potential B2B clients or B2C channels—all these can help in gathering a snapshot of the state of the current market.
Diving in the Big Pool of Big Data
With 93% of companies investing in market intelligence (MI) saying that it helped them extensively in their business, there is no better time than now to ride the trend and leverage its benefits early. However, how does one even start in adopting such an all-encompassing concept?
One basic requirement is revamping the company’s IT infrastructure. Market research, in theory, sounds like a small thing. However, with literally millions of markets and billions of potential customers, the seemingly small data points add up to become extremely large.
Tools such as web analytics software, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, data mining, visualization, and dashboarding software—all these, they contribute to housing data better and morphing them into meaningful information for decision-makers.
Additionally, specific intelligence reps and analysts can be fielded to understand the “story on the ground”—this could be done by tracking social media sites such as Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook, or by being physically present in consumer conventions and gatherings, which is always a rich source of real and timely data.