Market intelligence, which is often called business intelligence, uses analytics to generate more accurate business insights, integrate disparate sources of information and automate important actions in today’s fast-paced marketing environment. The uses of market intelligence for businesses are astonishing. A partial list of these uses must include the following: 
- Customer behavior analysis to increase conversions
- Sales forecasts to streamline production and reordering
- A unified view of customer actions
- Better resource planning
- Maintenance forecasting
- Fraud prevention
- Better churn management
- Optimization of pricing and special offers
- Quality control
- Customer-specific recommendations
- Efficient security analytics
Consumer attitudes and market trends evolve rapidly in today’s atmosphere of instant communications. No matter what products or services a company sells, keeping up with the latest market intelligence can prove incredibly important. Custom dashboards can allow authorized staff members to explore types of data, integrate insights with the company’s products and services, monitor social platforms and get up-to-the-minute readings of inventory and sales for minimum advertised pricing, dynamic pricing and sales incentive offers. Specialized apps can also handle most of these processes.
What Is Market Intelligence
Market intelligence includes many sources of information depending on the company and industry. Raw information includes analytics information such as sales logs, customer churn rates, social media trends, survey responses, customer complaints and website behavior. Customer demographic and geographic information plays a critical role in marketing and sales.
Anything that a company can use to gather intelligence is a valid tool for market research. That includes visiting a competitor’s website, publishing surveys and getting input from employees. The methods of gathering market research include primary research, secondary research and custom tools. Primary research is the information available from existing company resources such as the company website, social media pages, customer service department, salespeople, etc. Secondary research is data from observation, third-party resources about market conditions, competitor efforts, third-party business reports and industry trends.
The tools of market research can include apps and initiatives to collect and organize the data obtained from primary and secondary research. The sources of information might include trade publications, magazines, community newspapers, government reports, focus groups, surveys, personal observations, web and brick-and-mortar sales and many others – even weather reports.
Third-party Reports of Industry Information
Some of the most popular research reports include the producers of industry studies, statistics companies and thought leaders. Some of the top sources of industry information include:
- Pew Research Center: This well-regarded think tank conducts rigorous studies on issues, trends and attitudes.
- MarketResearch.com: This organization provides tailored market research reports on companies, products, industries and countries.
- NPD Group: This group provides information that helps retailers identify sales trends and make better marketing and sales decisions.
- U.S. Census Bureau: This department is one of the most valuable resources for identifying demographic trends, business success and the overall economy’s condition.
- Nielsen: This company measures all kinds of attitudes and actions with targeted market research to gauge what people watch, listen to and purchase.
Extraordinary Benefits of Accurate and Timely Market Intelligence
Keeping current with competitors and the state of the industry paints a broad picture of the market – growth potential, competitor threats and popular new products and services. Companies can answer critical questions about where they should be allocating resources, which markets to enter and the best products for cross-marketing efforts. The benefits of automated intelligence-gathering through various tools include:
- Product Performance
Intelligence data can provide information about how a given product performs under different conditions or when compared to competitor products.
- Customer Insights
The right tools can automate the gathering of demographic and geographic information about customers including their browsing and buying preferences.
- Competitor Intelligence
Data can show how well the competition is doing and chronicle a competitor’s success stories and failures.
- Market Opportunities
Company experts in key areas can define market conditions that generate business opportunities and trigger automatic alerts to staff when those conditions are met.
- Thought Leadership
The right information at the right time gives companies the opportunity to post thought leadership articles about the industry and market trends to establish the company as an authority.
- Product Development
Hard data eliminate the guesswork of product development and marketing. If necessary, companies can make changes to their own products to position them more effectively in the market.
The Benefits of Custom Apps
Custom apps can make it easy for companies to collect invaluable market intelligence data such as the markets for key products, customer demographic information, product pricing, company and product reviews online, product inventory levels at different sales channels within the company, relevant social media posts and other critical insights.
All market intelligence is a blend of data and personal insights. An app can trigger an alert to an appropriate decision-maker to speed the response to a particular set of conditions that generate a business opportunity. It’s a low-cost method of integrating intelligence and triggering actionable responses.
Statistical Overview of Market Intelligence in Today’s Business
Statistics play a dual role in business intelligence. First, they have incredible value in planning production, marketing and sales. For example, millennials do 60 percent of their total shopping online.  The early part of 2019 has tracked massive growth in millennial online sales activity. A smart company can combine this trend with the popular millennial commitment to social causes to develop a compelling social media ad campaign.
Marketing intelligence can also be made available to customers who resell the company’s products. Offering customers onsite access to business intelligence helps to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. Wholesale customers can track the data that most concern them in their own sales efforts.
About 77 percent of all companies now feel that competitive intelligence is critical to business success.  That means knowing as much as possible about marketing, products, customer demographics and customer attitudes of both the original company and its competitors. Sources of competitor intelligence include job descriptions, product videos, review sites, social media pages, website descriptions, forum threads and many others.
The most successful organizations use market intelligence daily in management, sales and operations according to a report posted at Forbes.com.  The most successful tools include dashboards, automatic alerts, end-user self-service options, data warehousing and advanced visualization technologies.
Using Market Intelligence Tools Intelligently
The largest companies – like Amazon, eBay and Walmart – enjoy fully integrated sales platforms that gather market intelligence automatically. Small-to-medium-sized businesses face a huge capital investment to integrate their sites with intelligence sources. However, smaller companies can get just as many insights about their targeted products and customers by using a dedicated intelligence app to gather information from the company website and third-party sources.
The days when it was practical to develop market intelligence manually have pretty much passed. Small companies can do some market research using basic tools, but as datasets grow larger and more complex, statistical tools, apps and other technologies become increasingly important to business success. Companies today need to use software and apps to stay on top of data, or they need to hire a third-party consultant or in-house analyst to manage the job if they want to remain competitive in their markets.
MarketMole provides an up-to-the-minute holistic view of what’s happening in your market, including product pricing, product reviews and trending topics. Our market intelligence tools can be applied to any pages on the web, sending you notifications about stock levels, pricing and competitor pricing, negative reviews, MAP violations detection and more.
Contact us to learn how we can help you save time and make more money.
Learn more about MarketMole and our services.
https://bi-survey.com/benefits-business-intelligence  Digitalcommerce360.com: Millennials now do 60% of their shopping online
https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2019/03/26/millennials-online-shopping/  Impactbnd.com: How Companies Get Competitive Intelligence in 2018
https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/competitive-intelligence-in-2018  Forbes.com: The State Of Business Intelligence, 2018