Marketing intelligence is a process that helps you collect necessary information about your industry and the market. In the way the business world is formed today, adapting to changes and reforming the way business is done is more than vital for a company’s well-being and overall existence within a specific market.
With the rise of AI digital marketing, businesses are now leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand their customers and optimize their marketing strategies.
So, that’s why we gathered all this information to help you comprehend the concept behind marketing intelligence and give your sales team a head start.
Table of Contents
What is Marketing Intelligence?
As mentioned earlier, Marketing Intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing data, gathered by an organization from the market it operates in, aiming to make better decisions in the future. Usually, data is analyzed by an enterprise about a market and it could be linked to demographics such as population age, consumers’ spending habits, government regulations, and more. Marketing intelligence focuses on collecting information from different data sets, analyzing this information, converting the data into smaller sets, and distributing information to the equivalent department of the organization.
Market intelligence is highly important as it allows marketers to comprehend the current state of the market and gather competitor intelligence which gives you a heads up. Gathering and analyzing circumstantial data concerning the customer understanding, industry trends and pattern behaviors, allow marketers and companies to acquire a holistic understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This is a great benefit over competitors, as well as understanding target groups and evaluating insights about new products or competitor products, and new markets. Simply put, marketing intelligence guides you and your marketing team towards strategic decision-making for your future actions; defining your goals beforehand serves as a motivation and efficiency boost.
Marketing Intelligence vs Business Intelligence
The fundamental difference between marketing intelligence and business intelligence is that the first focuses on tracking what people do and the second is all about what your business is doing. But, let’s be more specific.
MI collects data from a specific industry field so businesses can form data-driven decisions and be more competitive. Marketing Intelligence is connected with learning about existing markets, consumers, competitors, and growth opportunities. Companies can collect information via internal and external data sources, for instance, sales logs, surveys, social networks, news websites, manufacturers, clientele, or distributors.
For example, businesses can collect their customers’ demographics and spending habits to create better and more targeted copy for social media ads. In addition, marketing intelligence can assist a business in making decisions about product development and establishing a powerful brand voice. MI practices help companies profit from actionable insights concerning their markets and industry fields.
More specifically, the most important benefits of MI involve:
- Self-discovery; identifying strengths and weaknesses
- understanding of the market via competitor analysis; overall market understanding based on competition
- understanding of the customer; defining your target audience, its needs and wants
There are two methods of collecting marketing intelligence data; the quantitative approach and the qualitative. The first one is all about hard numbers that can be edited, compared, and analyzed to determine and foresee trends. Both methods help marketers understand what is working and what is not.
On the other hand, business intelligence is about gathering, analyzing, and storing data derived from a company’s actions and activities. BI includes data mining, process analysis, performance benchmarking, and descriptive marketing analytics. On that note, this type of data enables businesses to measure performance and trends that lead to actionable decisions.
Business intelligence comes from the concept that marketers without accurate or complete information are more likely to form worse decisions than if they were better informed. Financial model creators mention this as “garbage in, garbage out.”
There are numerous reasons why companies should use business intelligence; supporting actions as diverse as hiring, compliance, production, and marketing campaigns. In a few words, BI increases business value. Some of the advantages businesses can experience from incorporating BI into their strategy are:
- faster and more accurate reporting and analysis
- better data quality and employee satisfaction
- decreased costs
- higher revenues
- better business decision making
- find ways to increase profit
- optimize operations
- uncover problems
- discover trends
- data comparison to competitors
But how does business intelligence work?
Businesses, companies, and organizations set questions and goals. Answering these questions and tracking performance regarding these goals, requires collecting the necessary data, analyzing it, and choosing the actions that are needed to achieve these goals. Also, business intelligence combines data and business analytics but makes use of them as part of the process. BI enables users to jump to conclusions based on data analysis. Keep in mind that descriptive data analysis and statistics help businesses uncover and predict future patterns.
4 Benefits of Marketing Intelligence
But why is marketing intelligence so beneficial? There are many reasons, but let’s check below the 4 most important ones.
Benefit #1: 360 overview of the market
Marketing intelligence is all about collecting data in real-time from the market. A market overview informs you about what is happening in the market/industry you are interested in and it provides a holistic picture of the market. This synopsis reports the significant criteria of a market to advise further marketing activity.
Market data is gathered from many sources and the overviews are organized by topics emphasized or modified with custom information. On that note, conducting a market analysis based on the data you collected can help you figure out how to better place your brand to be competitive and satisfy your customers. An assessment of a market in a specific industry is really important to enhance your brand voice, identify your competitors inside of the market, any problems around product features, and get to know your customers’ needs and what kind of products they prefer. All of these help you evolve and build a more powerful brand by focusing on customer behavior and assessing their buying choices and patterns.
Benefit #2: Higher customer retention
Customer retention measures customer loyalty and a company’s ability to maintain its customers over time. Customer retention can help you point out customer satisfaction, purchasing behavior patterns, customer engagement, and sentiment insights. These metrics are related to the first purchase a customer makes, including other interactions. As soon as customer retention is measured companies can benefit from the customer feedback to conduct a data analysis concerning customer experience and success.
Keeping your current customers and transforming them into recurring customers is as important a step as approaching new ones. Focusing solely on expanding your audience base and gaining new ones is not going to benefit you as much as combing the processes. Being aware of unsatisfied customers and the reasons behind this sentiment can avoid losing customers.
Market intelligence can also help you analyze the areas of improvement that are necessary and suggested by customers. This process refers to the action businesses take to minimize and reduce customer defections by implementing customer and brand loyalty actions and activities.
Benefit #3: Improved business efficiency
Marketing intelligence boosts overall business efficiency and productivity by recognizing errors and providing actionable insights. Using real-time data analytics is the key for a business to improve its efficiency. Business efficiency refers to the amount an organization can produce related to the necessary time, money, and resources. So, in a few words, it measures how well things like materials, labor, and capital can be transformed into products and services that are profitable.
Business efficiency can be evaluated in various ways such as return on investment, process efficiency, operational efficiency, eco-efficiency, energy efficiency, labor productivity, and financial efficiency. Being efficient increases profit and it is necessary for growth.
How to improve business efficiency? Well, you should focus your attention on the following:
- team management software
- email marketing
- face to face communication
- manage and limit interactions
- short meetings
- promote single-tasking
- follow processes
- open communication
Benefit #4: Competitive advantage
Competitive intelligence allows you to enhance your competitive advantage. Keeping an eye on the competition and upcoming trends enables a business to be one step ahead. A competitive advantage enables you to outperform your competitors. So, a company can achieve profit compared to its competitors and produce value for the company itself and its stakeholders.
The competitive advantage distinguishes you from the competition by contributing to greater prices, enhanced brand loyalty, and more customers. Having such an asset should be one of the most valuable objectives of any company.
There sic types of competitive advantages you can benefit from:
Competitive advantage helps your company increase its visibility, expertise, and certainty while focusing on resources for maximum ROI. In addition, it helps you accomplish organizational momentum, enhance consistency and predictability, reduce unnecessary expenses, and measure progress more accurately. Figuring out your competitive advantage requires time, focus, and market research, so it’s time to start taking action and generate interest.
Key Marketing Intelligence Techniques
Here are some of the key marketing intelligence techniques we gathered to help you get a better understanding of the concept of marketing intelligence and everything it involves.
Technique #1: Data collection
Data collection is a highly important process for business strategies. As we said before, data allows you to identify consumer behaviors, needs, trends, and more, so you can have a clear overview of what is going on in the market. Data collection enables you to gather and store vital information concerning your existing but also your potential followers. This information can also allow you to save money by designing a database of customers to use for upcoming marketing endeavors.
Data allows you to make strategically informed decisions and benefit from market opportunities that may come your way. It is important to keep in mind that data helps recognize problems and find a solution before they get out of hand; a great crisis management strategy is always welcome. On that note, with the assistance of data, you can develop theories that are accurate and can help you sort out short-term problems and at the same time develop and adopt long-term theories. Data can support your arguments; everybody has a say these days, so having accurate data by your side you are more likely to promote your ideas. Data is the key to making your actions and activities strategically oriented and then you will be aware if everything goes right and according to the objectives you set you will receive feedback and so improve your marketing strategy.
Wondering how you can collect data online? Here are some tips you can follow.
- Personal interviews
- Field trials
Technique #2: Visual presentations
Reports, visuals, and infographics enable a company to better understand how the market segmentation works and answer questions, like what certain metrics mean. Visual presentations refer to expressing ideas by using visual characteristics such as visual multimedia. Communicating virtually is everywhere in the digital world and it is extremely useful as it helps you comprehend qualitative data. Some of the visual aids you can use are charts, graphs, colors, and more. Visual elements use the main characteristics of data and allow to present the findings of research while providing the shape and pattern of data. When a huge set of data is presented in charts and graphs instantly it uncovers important features.
Details presented visually are easier to understand as this way seems more natural for the human eye and mind. Data visualization presents information most efficiently and of course. The role of visual representations is crucial for e-commerce companies and businesses as business owners, stakeholders, and decision-makers can make predictions and estimate efficiency and accuracy.
Regarding more complex projects, images are the perfect fit compared to words. When gathered data is visualized in the right way, it can also be better understood. Additionally, it helps track the processes of a project and make sure they head towards the right way.
Technique #3: Analysis
Analyzing the information gathered enables a business to comprehend target market opinions, trends, competition, and where renovation or alteration is needed. Data analysis is necessary for any company, as it assists in figuring out all vulnerabilities and problems and helps to solve them properly, and constantly monitors the results, based on the collected data. Analysis in the business field is the process that involves collecting insight based on the data that was gathered. Business Analysis uses many analytical techniques.
The business world is continuously changing, so companies need to keep up and adapt to these changes, considering how competitive today’s market share is. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors you need to keep an open mind and be ready to accept change.
Data makes sure that the company is ready to reach its potential and evolve as much as possible. There are always areas of improvement and data is the best way to adapt to solutions, set and achieve goals, and implement changes, so companies can better compete within the industry.
Some types of competitive analysis you can start with are the following:
- Gap analysis
- Sentiment analysis
- Trend analysis
Now Over to You
Marketing Intelligence offers actionable insights into your industry and identifies growth opportunities. You should make sure the information you receive is accurate for marketing intelligence to be used appropriately. Your company’s existence in the market needs to be tracked and analyzed for better outcomes and future business endeavors that may come your way. Keep in mind that you can also use a marketing intelligence tool.