What is Competitive Market Intelligence and Why Do I Need It?

Niraj Sharma |
 06/03/21 |
6 min read

What is Market Intell and Why Do I Need It_ (1)

Competitive market intelligence keeps you ahead of the evolving industry around you. From emerging trends within your category, to emerging crisis you may be facing – market intelligence can guide your brand to success, help you avoid pitfalls and keep your brand’s feet firmly planted on solid ground.

Market intelligence provides deep KPI analysis, comparing things like mentions, posts, net sentiment and more. For example, we see peaks in each area below (mentions, posts, net sentiment) and a little digging reveals each of them are related to this top beverage companies’ partnerships and influencer marketing efforts. And the dips? Those reveal discussions around the unhealthy attributes of this company’s product. This market intelligence is immediately actionable when one trusts its tool’s accuracy – and you should!

This beverage brand may want to consider a campaign combatting any “unhealthy” misperceptions, led by its influencers.


Let’s explore how marketing intelligence can guide your brand efforts, including:

  • Insights geared towards your specific needs.
  • Providing answers to your questions.
  • Why decision-making is 5x faster for businesses using market intelligence.
  • How AI has become a staple of marketing strategy, with usage jumping from 29% to 84% between 2018 and 2020.

Market Intelligence Offers Specific Business Operation Insight

Competitive market intelligence gathers and analyzes data about your specific industry and dials it down to a granular level for clear, actionable insights. And these insights seldom form a straight line. Nor do they end up looking as we think they should.

And market intelligence is critical to deciphering and creating a clear picture of how your brand is perceived. Discovering who you are according to your consumers can be eye opening and may not align with how you see yourself. And then you can find ways to tweak what you don’t like so that your internal perception matches the vibe your consumers are picking up about you.

Sentiment analysis tools are fantastic for finding these painfully honest truths. For example, in the crosstab analysis of brand issues below, we can see how a brand is doing on important measures, including their customer care, and how their advertisements and efforts in sustainability are being received.

On a scale from –100 to 100, customer care comes in with a solid 48. But this brand’s Advertising/Commercials are only rating an 8, due to a consumers expressing mixed feelings about a controversial ad earlier in the month. And then sustainability is an area for concern. Consumers are posting about pesticides in the brand’s products and one poster claiming that the brand is responsible for half a million tons of plastic pollution. Yikes.

This leaves brands lots to work with – solid starting points for enhancing perception and consumer engagement around the right topics. And as we dig into this brand’s recently activity, we see they’ve already begun to implement changes around sustainability such as better water stewardship, resource management and inclusive business.

For all practical purposes, your brand is who your consumers perceive it to be and you need an unbiased understanding of how that looks. Market intelligence offers this unbiased approach using next generation AI. It reveals the good, the bad and the ugly.

And making decisions is 5x faster for business that use market intelligence, whether it’s for a crisis or just for your next marketing move. Market intelligence answers many questions, which we’ll detail next!

Questions That Competitive Market Intelligence Answers

The number of businesses using AI to inform marketing strategy continues to increase, jumping from 29% to 84% between 2018 and 2020. This is because competitive market intelligence answers a multitude of questions in a very short amount of time. A quick list of queries it helps with revolve around:

  • Voice of the Customer – what are customers saying, where are they saying it and what should I be paying the most attention to?
  • M&A and patent intelligence – what are competitors’ next moves, and how should that impact my own
  • Whitespace and first-mover opportunities – are there unmet needs or even new categories where we can stake a claim first?
  • Emerging trends and sentiment – are there new ideas bubbling up in consumer and market conversations? How are consumers feeling about these trends – and about our brand?
  • Competitive intelligence – what are our competitors up to? What can we learn from their attempts in every area?
  • Demographics – do we really know who our audience is? Are there new, unrealized segments to explore?
  • Influencers and KOLs – who are the movers, shakers and DIY makers in our category and how can we partner with them to win a larger share of voice and more authenticity with our customer base?

Competitive market intelligence guides your brand in finding common interests, professions, demographics, even common language shared among consumers. It answers the question of “How can I engage authentically with my audience?” even outside of partnering with influencers (though it’s a great idea to do so).

For example, exploring interests of Food & Beverage consumers, we see “automotive” indexing high among them. Perhaps this brand’s next partnership should be with a race car driver or even a car company. Exploring the possibilities offers ways to differentiate with an audience hungry for personalized attention.


However, everything changes quickly, and you can measure those changes by tracking these interests over time. Has this automotive interest been around for a while, or is it something new? Is it tied to an existing event? Seasonal? A timeline analysis of your competitive market intelligence will help you sort this out.

With anything you do, you have to know your steps. Marketing is a dance and if you do not get the choreography just right, you’ll be spinning out of tempo and right off the stage.

Making the Right Moves, Informed by Market Intelligence

You now know some of the questions market intelligence can help you answer, but what are examples of what you can do with it? Once you’ve got a good idea of where you stand in the competitive market, it’s time to explore what else this tool can do for you. So, let’s explore.

  • Insights into Opportunity – You never know when tracking conversations can pay off. Looking for new ventures to invest in is smart. And following those who have influence can also be wise. Take Elon Musk for example. He needs only to tweet about Bitcoin and the stocks soar, or plunge. Tracking KOLs who have an impact on whatever you’re seeking to invest in can be advantageous and is a key market intelligence
  • Capturing Consumers via Competitor Analysis – Competitor analysis offers valuable market intelligence. It provides intel on not only the competitor, but on their consumers as well. Who are they and where are they? You could use competitive market intelligence to compare domains they are participating and you could be as well and create a plan specific to that channel to dominate. And seizing opportunities to woo away unhappy customers of your competitor with your superior understanding of their needs is something that will get noticed too!
  • Consumer Experience to Inform – The consumer experience is multi-faceted, and you can track all of it. You can view popular hashtags being used in relation to your consumers’ experience and use them within your own ads and social media posts to demonstrate how well you know them. And you can track where they are in your purchase funnel, to see what kind of language they use as they progress from initial awareness all the way to post-purchase. That’s competitive market intelligence you can take to the bank!
  • Product Ideas – Consumers talk a lot, and so do competitors. And both have great ideas. You can use their chatter to inform your brand of possible future endeavors – like a new product. For example, you can use competitive intelligence to see where a brand made “improved” slinkies but failed because as it turns out their audience had no desire for them. This allows you, as a toy company, to launch your product stronger.
  • Trends – What’s trending? There are various ways to see this: By term, things, brand, emotions, hashtags and even emojis. These can aid your brand in consumer engagement, possibly helping to shape conversations so that you become a leader and source of trusted intel for your consumers. Which in turn improves your brand perception.
  • Influencer analysis – Market intelligence does a lot of things really spectacularly, but perhaps most amazing for the current atmosphere is influencer analysis. Targeting possible influencers can help you reach groups of people you previously had no access to. Perhaps your brand of make-up needed a shakeup of inclusivity and you’ve now created more products with these demographics in mind. Now you need to reach that demographic of people. An influencer can help get this done.

Competitive market intelligence makes a world of difference. Reach out for a demo and we’ll take you for a tour of functionalities that will forever change the way you engage current and potential customers!

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