How To Gather Market Intelligence: The 8 Key Steps Required

Why is it important to understand how to gather market intelligence?  Well, imagine the potential if you had a clear and complete understanding of your competitors’ marketing strategies and tactics.


Imagine knowing about changes to their approach and organisation as they happen – not weeks later when it begins to impact your revenue.


Marketing intelligence forms part of a steep rise in the number of intelligence investments made on a global scale. Organisations of all sizes and sectors are seeing the value of making data-driven decisions to protect and grow their revenues.

Whether you’re concerned about the impact of competitors, market trends or regulatory changes, building a clearer picture of the market you’re operating can help get and stay ahead. 


In this article, we’ll take a closer look at market intelligence, the benefits it offers, and examine the 8 key steps required regarding how to gather market intelligence.


how to gather market intelligence

What Is Market Intelligence?

Market intelligence (also referred to as marketing intelligence) refers to insights about your market and competitors that are gathered to help marketers in understanding what’s happening and make smarter strategic decisions.


It involves the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data related to competitors, market trends and regulatory changes. By harnessing marketing intelligence, businesses can make informed decisions and devise effective strategies to gain a competitive edge.

The Types Of Intelligence Marketers Should Consider Gathering

Types Of Intelligence


Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis enables you to keep a close eye on your competitors’ market strategies, advertising campaigns, pricing models and product positioning.

Understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help you identify opportunities. It can help you to play to your strengths, differentiate your proposition effectively and optimise your campaigns.

Customer insights

Gathering data on customer behaviour, preferences and buying patterns can help you create market campaigns that resonate and influence their future choices. You can tailor market efforts and develop targeted campaigns to attract and retain customers.

Market trends

Staying updated on industry trends, emerging technologies and consumer demands can help you make smarter strategic decisions. Monitoring shifts in the market allows you to adapt your strategies and align your offerings with current trends.

Social media monitoring

Monitoring social media platforms involves tracking customer sentiment, engagement levels, and brand mentions. This data provides valuable insights into customer perceptions and helps gauge the effectiveness of market campaigns.

Online analytics

Using web analytics tools to measure website traffic, user engagement and conversion rates can be crucial. This information enables you to optimise your online presence and improve user experience.

Content performance

Analysing the performance of market content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics can help you invest your budget more efficiently. By assessing metrics like views, shares, and comments, you can identify content that resonates with their target audience and refine your content strategy accordingly.

Consumer surveys

By conducting surveys and tracking review sites and scores, you can better understand consumer satisfaction levels, preferences and pain points. This information guides marketers in tailoring products and market strategies to meet customer needs.

Competitive pricing analysis

Competitor pricing strategies and promotions can have a big impact on your campaign performance and ultimately company revenue. Understanding the pricing landscape helps you position your products competitively and adjust pricing strategies accordingly.

The Main Benefits Of Market Intelligence?

Before we examine in-depth the 8 key steps regarding how to gather market intelligence effectively, we’ll quickly examine its primary benefits. For a more in-depth look at this topic, please click here.

A) Gaining a competitive advantage

Every move your competitors make has the potential to affect your position in the market as well as theirs. Marketing intelligence gives you the ability to understand and respond to competitor changes faster to minimise their impact and/or exploit the opportunities they present. Speed of decision-making can increase campaign success and company profitability.


B) Making smarter decisions

Without up-to-date marketing intelligence, marketing decisions may be formed on outdated information, intuition and individual experience. By gathering and analysing the data as it becomes available, you can reduce uncertainty in your decision-making and improve the effectiveness of your strategies and campaigns.

C) Targeting more effectively

Understanding customer preferences and behaviours through marketing intelligence allows businesses to tailor their marketing efforts and create personalised campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

D) Detecting market trends sooner

By staying informed about emerging trends and consumer demands, you can adapt quickly and capitalise on new opportunities. The earlier you know about trends, the greater the opportunity you have to use them in building your brand and creating compelling, relevant content.

How To Gather Market Intelligence Effectively – 8 Key Steps


1) Clarify your goals and objectives

Before embarking on gathering marketing intelligence, define your specific goals and objectives. Determine what insights you need to support your marketing strategies and align them with your overall business objectives. This clarity should inform your entire approach to gathering and using your marketing intelligence.

2) Identify the right marketing intelligence software

Research and select a marketing intelligence software that suits your business needs. Look for features such as competitor tracking and analysis, social media monitoring and reporting capabilities. Consider scalability and user-friendliness.

Plus, look into the compatibility of the software with your existing marketing tools and systems. Look for stand-out features that set platforms apart from one another.

3) Identify what types of intelligence you intend to track

Based on your goals and objectives, determine the specific types of market intelligence that are crucial for your business. This may include competitor strategies, customer insights, market trends or any other relevant data points. Focus on gathering information that directly impacts your marketing decision-making process.

4) Choose the competitors you intend to track

Select the key competitors in your industry and closely monitor their marketing activities. This could be your direct competitors, emerging players or indirect competitors who offer different products to the same customer base.

Analyse their messaging, campaigns, product offerings and customer engagement strategies. This knowledge will enable you to identify gaps in the market and position your brand effectively.

5) Clarify how you intend to analyse your marketing intelligence

Do you have an insights team? Or analytical expertise and availability within your department? Do you plan to recruit an analyst on a permanent or freelance basis? Does your chosen competitor intelligence platform offer market analysts as part of its proposition?

Whatever route suits you best, the focus should be on collating and analysing the data fast, so that you can focus on the most relevant and actionable intelligence.

6) Define how your marketing intelligence will be used 

Assign responsibility to specific team members or departments so that insights inform strategies, tactics and other important decisions. Communicate the purpose and benefits of market intelligence clearly to relevant stakeholders to ensure its integration into decision-making processes.

7) Decide how you intend to share your market intelligence

Establish a system for sharing marketing intelligence within your organisation. This may involve regular meetings, reports or a centralised database accessible to relevant stakeholders. Encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing to leverage the collective intelligence of your teams.

Your competitor intelligence platform should enable you to share alerts in real-time as well as compile periodic reports. Think about the best channel for doing this. Integrating with your existing communication tools will make intelligence easier to consume.

8) Measure the impact of your market intelligence

Continuously assess the impact of your market intelligence efforts on your business outcomes. Monitor key metrics such as revenue growth, market share, customer acquisition and customer satisfaction. Regularly review and refine your marketing intelligence strategies to optimise their effectiveness.

By following these steps, you can effectively gather market intelligence and harness its power to drive informed decision-making and achieve marketing success. Remember, marketing intelligence is an ongoing process, and staying proactive and adaptive will ensure your business stays ahead of the competition in today’s dynamic marketplace.

FAQs About How To Gather Market Intelligence

How often should I review and refine my market intelligence strategies?

Market intelligence is an ongoing process, so it’s essential to regularly review and refine your strategies. Keep an eye on key metrics like revenue growth, market share, customer acquisition and satisfaction to optimise the effectiveness of your market intelligence efforts.

Can market intelligence help me stay ahead of the competition?

Yes, market intelligence enables you to monitor competitor activities, respond faster to changes and identify opportunities to position your brand effectively. Staying proactive and adaptive with market intelligence can help your business stay ahead in today’s dynamic marketplace.


How can market intelligence benefit my decision-making process?

By providing up-to-date and relevant insights, market intelligence reduces uncertainty in your decision-making process. It helps you make smarter decisions based on data rather than outdated information or intuition, leading to more effective strategies and campaigns.


Is market intelligence only relevant for large businesses?

No, market intelligence is valuable for businesses of all sizes and sectors. Small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from understanding their market, competitors, and customers to make informed decisions and compete effectively.