Brands need to create a lean, mean data capturing machine that can aggregate, analyze and inform enterprise-wide decision-making. One that can take that actionable insight and get it in front of target segments at the speed of social, which is lightning fast most days.
Sounds like a simple, short list of tools to come up with, right? It’s not, of course. And your company’s needs will be unique and largely driven by whatever industry category you inhabit. But, we have a top ten list that should get your market intelligence efforts moving in the right direction.
Your brand requires a Martech Stack that provides flexibility and robust capabilities to track ROI and identify potential relationships that brands may otherwise miss out on. And the competitive intelligence piece is key as well, particularly when it comes to capturing emerging trends early. There are six key areas you need to ensure are covered by this tool medley, and they are:
- Data Analytics
- Content & Experience
- Social & Relationships
- Sales & eCommerce
- Advertising & Promotion
And we have some top picks for each!
Data Analytics: The foundational tool of your brand’s stack
This piece of your Martech Stack is foundational and will eventually be adopted company-wide as digital transformation takes over, so we have two tools to share here. It acts as your consumer and market intelligence home base, where you’ll capture and analyze data captured from a variety of sources.
This super important catch-all, foundational category should be able to pull in (via API feeds) and integrate all sorts of structured and unstructured data from the social web, news sources, company and patent data and so much more. It will also capture consumer and market intelligence from review sites, comments, blogs, forums and any seamlessly integrate a brands’ internal data sources as well. From there, it must analyze it down to a very granular level to help spot emerging trends. And the output must offer user-friendly, interactive dashboards and easy-to-understand reports.
NetBase Quid is such a tool and a best-in-class one, at that.
And then another foundational tool every brand needs is website analytics – and Google Analytics really has that locked up. It offers amazing market intelligence insight around the traffic your efforts generate toward your online offerings – your website, landing pages, lead gen forms and such. It maps entry and exit points and offers lots of neat intel around consumer behavior while they’re on your pages – even in real-time.
Management: Creating processes with little overlap
These are the big picture tools, more aptly described as Project Management as that’s the main function they serve.
How is your team staying in touch in real-time and on top of projects? Slack is a good example here. It’s great for messaging and having a way to organize and tag conversations:
And then, Dropbox might be where you house all of your shared market intelligence insight with Zoom or Microsoft Office likely acting as your meeting go-to.
But, how are you sharing insight between these tools? How is it organized? That’s all part of the overall management process.
Wherever you house CRM data, which we’ll discuss in another category, it will be important to ensure it can be integrated with your foundational analytics tool.
Content & Experience: Where professionals & amateurs part ways
Creating content is important and businesses either must contract with an agency or have an in-house Adobe Creative Suite expert. Canva won’t cut it for professional graphics and your in-house meme-maker is not the best option either.
Social & Relationships for Audience & Channel Understanding
Social media management requires scheduling and interaction with followers. With management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer available, brands can work with teams to see which posts are resonating and with whom. Both are great for managing multiple accounts and launching campaigns collaboratively with teammates.
Pulling this insight into your foundational consumer and market intelligence tools creates an overarching holistic view of a category and helps identify opportunities – and influencers. And it can also alert brands to previously undiscovered segments and learnings from competitor attempts in a space.
A survey tool is important to have at one’s disposal as well, as are many social channels. SurveyMonkey offers brands the ability to poll an audience. And it’s important to combine what consumers self-report on a survey with what they post without prompting on social media. This is a consumer and market intelligence must!
And, of course, brands really can’t understand the consumer experience until they capture and analyze it without preconceived biases holding back these discoveries.
Advanced AI will make connections with other emerging ideas that are semantically similar and offer up conversational clusters that provide competitive intelligence brands need. Old AI will not do this, so be sure to make that distinction. You’ll know the difference based on how transparent the insight is.
This is why your foundational data analysis tool must provide that ethical screen, that distance to prevent human bias. It must make connections that human analysts would miss, or unintentionally suppress.
Sales & eCommerce Capturing the Consumer Journey
Thanks to COVID-19, brands have had to digitally transform at breakneck speed or die. So, labeling this “ecommerce” is appropriate, as the tools to accommodate this need have shifted accordingly. Salesforce is an important CRM tool, of course, as this is a gold standard tool for capturing insight that both tracks and informs your sales teams’ efforts. It offers very specific, and easily personalized fields that capture key consumer and market intelligence around consumers as they travel through your sales funnel.
A robust data analytics tool offers a complete understanding of your customer’s journey and pain points to address issues that deter customers from completing a purchase, allowing brands to:
- Pinpoint events and life stages that cause customers to take action
- Understand customers’ purchase path and identify points of friction
- Address issues that deter customers from completing their purchase
- Measure your brand’s success moving customers through each stage of the purchase funnel
Overall, an organization’s sales and ecommerce tools must support outreach and consumer and market intelligence gathering efforts, as it, in turn, informs advertising and promotion, which is our next – and last – category!
Advertising & Promoting with Personalization
With so much intel captured from the categories above, particularly around emerging trends, brands are able to create promotions that seem predictive – because they are.
Google Ads combined with consumer and market intelligence for the win! Personalization is so important and brands can do so much more with their advertising when they know their target consumer beyond the outdated ‘marketing personas’ of years ago.
All of those previously identified influencers and detractors (found vis social and relationship management intel and viewed in next generation AI-powered social analytics dashboarding) offer key intel every brand needs to succeed.
Combine the intel from all of these tools and your marketing will be leaps and bounds ahead of competitors. Reach out and we can show you how to integrate a good bit of it into your foundational analytics tool and finish off 2020 stronger than ever!