How well do you know your market? Do you have a clear picture of what consumers think and feel about your products versus your competitors’ products? What trends are emerging and how quickly are you able to capitalise on them?
In a competitive marketplace, an incomplete picture of the market or a slow reaction to changes and trends can leave you trailing businesses that want your share of the market.
To protect and grow your revenue, you need to be on the front foot and that means getting closer to what’s happening in the market. Enter, market intelligence. Building intelligence has long been a successful business strategy. But the methods are changing. While white papers and market research have their place, there’s a growing trend for using digital tools to automate and streamline the process.
Such tools offer a wide range of benefits and we’ll break down 5 of the best below. But first, we’ll offer some clear definitions and an overview of market intelligence.
What is marketing intelligence?
Marketing intelligence or market intelligence is the output from tracking the market online. It is information that has been analysed to provide insights into consumer sentiment and behaviour, market trends and changes, performance and news. It can cover areas such as regulatory change, customer reviews and feedback, customer demographics, press commentary and competitor benchmarking.
How is marketing intelligence used?
Marketing intelligence is primarily used to understand what’s happening in the market and identify threats and opportunities for your business. The insights are shared with key people and departments – often sales and marketing – to make informed decisions and adapt their strategies and plans for better results.
What is market tracking?
Market Tracking, Competitor tracking or Competitor Monitoring refers to the process of gathering intelligence — i.e. insights about your competitors, the competitor landscape and the wider market. The process has historically been managed manually using multiple software solutions, requiring many hours of effort whilst still missing key information.
Examples of marketing intelligence
A good market intelligence strategy requires focus. In other words, you need to know what you’re tracking and why.
Here are some of the most popular things businesses track:
New regulations and updates
If your industry is regulated, either by the government or an industry body, new legislation or updates to existing policies have significant repercussions for your organisation. It can force you into process and policy changes, so the sooner you know what’s coming the better.
Social media engagement & sentiment
What and how a company posts and engages with customers online can reveal a lot about its brand strategy, personality and plans. The number of followers it has and how much they engage can also reveal a lot about its popularity and what your own target audience cares about.
Customer reviews and feedback
In recent years, there has been an explosion of consumer feedback platforms with the likes of Trustpilot and Feefo leading the way. They capture reviews and feedback on products, services and overall experiences.
While competitor tracking focuses on what competitors are doing, market tracking covers how others are talking about the market and your competitors. Industry titles often break competitor and regulatory news before the official announcement is made.
A full picture of the market often means understanding how you’re performing against the competition, whether that’s business-to-business or product-to-product. Metrics could include comparing revenues, profits, sales, review scores, social followers or sentiment.
Benefits of marketing intelligence
Hopefully, we’ve given you a clearer understanding of what market intelligence is. But what are the most compelling reasons for using it? Here, we outline 5 reasons why it should be a permanent fixture of your business strategy.
1. Adapt faster to threats and opportunities
We’ve already mentioned the use of white papers, reports and market research as a way to understand the market you’re in. While those methods provide value and shouldn’t be discounted, they have one major drawback.
By the time the intelligence makes its way into the hands of the teams and individuals in your business who can use it, it’s no longer fresh. Things could have changed — and in markets that are focused on innovation and digital engagement, that’s highly likely.
Real-time marketing intelligence gives you insights as they happen. If you’re able to share it quickly, it could give your business the ability to adapt and respond faster to exciting opportunities and potential risks.
2. Help your organisation make better decisions
In any organisation, departments, teams and individuals are faced with important decisions. The choices they make can impact a whole host of factors that ultimately result in more or fewer sales. If their decisions are made on outdated intelligence, intuition or experience alone, the chances of success are significantly reduced.
When marketing intelligence is shared in real-time using your existing communication channels such as Slack or Teams, you give them the opportunity to make informed decisions that supplement what they already know. It could help clarify assumptions or point to opportunities they haven’t considered.
3. Become an authority on key trends or regulatory changes
When things change in an industry, there are usually a small number of businesses that move quickly to establish themselves as an authority. They write blogs, create podcasts and produce other content that aims to clarify the changes and offer advice on how best to react.
In many instances, their content is aimed at peers rather than consumers but it helps to reinforce their positioning as market leaders. Market intelligence can help you identify trends and understand upcoming regulatory changes long before the rest of the market, allowing you to plan and create authoritative content.
4. Capitalise on competitor weaknesses
Every competitor has strengths and weaknesses that impact their ability to dominate a market or close the gap on market leaders. Maybe they have a great product but poor after-sales. Or great after-sales but a weaker product.
If you only know about what you see from their official communication or the sales data, you could be missing a big opportunity to invest in areas you can be a leader in. Marketing intelligence helps you to build up an in-depth, real-time understanding of how consumers think and feel about competitor offerings and adapt your own roadmaps accordingly.
5. Improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns
Any marketing investment is designed to have an impact on revenue, either in the short-term through direct calls to action or over time through brand awareness. In competitive markets, where all companies plough money into their marketing, success can often hinge on the effectiveness of a campaign.
Market intelligence can help you understand consumer sentiment and how they’ve reacted to previous marketing pushes — both yours and your competitors’ campaigns. Building up that understanding can help you invest in the right messages and channels, target the right audiences and launch at the right times.
Do you want to get closer to the market, become an authority on the latest trends and changes or take market share away from your competitors?
Watchmycompetitor.com is a fully-automated intelligence platform that provides real-time insights into your competitors and market. Data is captured in a single dashboard, with each insight shareable through integrations with your existing communication channels — including Slack, Teams and Power BI.
If you want to protect and grow your revenue, we can help. Contact us today to book your demo.