Although it’s only one tool in your marketing metrics arsenal, market intelligence is one that you’ll want to keep updated and in good working order.
Being ready to capture and act upon insight in real-time is crucial, because when emerging crises happen, they do so quickly. And market opportunities rarely announce themselves days ahead of time.
Market intelligence helps brands keep pace with, and even ahead of, ever-changing market conditions. And we’ll show you how!
To start, we need to explore what market intelligence is and what it isn’t; and why it’s so important for brand success. Because we see lots of brands wasting time on efforts that do little to move that needle. And we’ll examine foundational elements of exceptional market intelligence efforts, including:
- Consumer experience intelligence
- Product intelligence
- Competitor intelligence
Before we get started though, here are a few statistics we uncovered surrounding market intelligence that you’ll want to keep in mind as we go.
- Decision making is 5x faster for businesses using data analytics for market intelligence.
- Companies that update their competitor intelligence on a daily to weekly basis are 2x more likely to see positive revenue impacts than those who update quarterly to yearly.
- 32% of global consumers will drop a brand they loved after only one bad experience, and 17% of U.S. consumers follow suit.
What Market Intelligence Is
So, what is market intelligence exactly? It’s the brand awareness created through monitoring relevant markets by capturing information surrounding trends, consumers, products and competitors. It’s monitoring relevant sources across the web, and integrating propriety consumer resources to aggregate and analyze all of this structured and unstructured data as a whole. The analysis part is key. It must be handled by the most advanced modeling, preferably powered by next generation artificial intelligence, to extract actionable, accurate insight that forms the basis of strategic decision-making that touches every part of the enterprise.
It’s that stuff Fortune 500 firms are made of. And it offers powerful competitive, consumer and market insight for maximum impact on an ongoing basis. And, as with anything, there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way, which we’ll touch on below.
What Market Intelligence Isn’t
Rock solid market intelligence relies on both depth and breadth of discovery. That said, a market strategy built upon surface insights like random samplings or internet searches is not only lazy, but dangerous. For instance, missing relevant market factors can create bad timing for your rebrand or missed opportunities to one-up the competition.
Inconsistent analyses are nearly just as bad. It’s not sufficient to build a great analysis at just the front and backend of a campaign and call it good. You’ll miss a lot of insight and opportunities to tweak your approach on the fly to maximize your results.
In this day and age, as a business leader you should operate on the presumption that your competition has built their strategies using world class artificial intelligence (AI) and monitor it constantly. If you’re not consistently monitoring yours as well, you can forget keeping up with the competition. Never mind besting them.
Put quite simply, market intelligence isn’t something that most brands do well. Actually, most are bad at it.
Make sure you take advantage of that fact as businesses using data analytics for market intelligence are 5x faster in decision making than those that do not. That difference is the clutch in rapidly changing market situations.
Before you get into the nitty gritty of market intelligence, you need to know the market you’re in. By understanding this, you will gain a sense of how your brand is performing against others in your industry. It will also inform you of potential adjacent markets that you could expand into. Market understanding reveals:
- What’s selling and what is not
- How your brand compares to others in your industry
- Why consumers prefer a particular brand or product
- Sentiments surrounding brands, products, services, and trending topics
Once you understand this, you can apply it to your marketing strategies and campaigns.
So, where do you gather all of this information from––and how do you do it? Let’s look at those methods next.
Data Collection Methods
There are a lot of ways you can collect data for marketing analysis. Some have been around for a long time and require more elbow grease, while others are driven by technology and do some of the heavy lifting for you. Here are some common market intelligence methods.
This requires talking to a subject face to face about a specific subject or product. This allows you to ask a consumer about their opinion on your product or service and get honest feedback – that is if they’re honest. Interviews tend to make some people feel targeted and on the spot.
So, they may not be 100% truthful. Some consumers may hold back a little.
Surveys are another good option if you’re looking for unfiltered feedback. They allow you to ask any question of your audience. And because these aren’t usually done face-to-face, consumers may feel more relaxed in giving their feedback. And they’re inexpensive.
However, you need to be careful when crafting your questions. It’s all too easy to create a question that may have a biased lean, which would only encourage your consumer to answer a specific way. Thus, skewing your results.
This can be advantageous to knowing how your product will be received once it’s fully in the hands of consumers. Product testing gives the opportunity for the product to sell itself, and to see if there’s really a need for what you’re offering.
Once again however, this is feedback oriented, so a level of trust as to what the consumer is saying is required. And it’s time consuming and tends to be expensive.
Like interviews, these are done with a group or groups of people. And also like surveys, you have the ability to create any question you’d like. You’ll want to be sure that you’re not asking leading questions, as the answers could be compromised.
Another aspect to consider, is popular opinion. In a focus group, consumers may be less apt to say exactly what they think, and instead go with popular opinion. This is also time consuming.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI-driven market intelligence is likely the most bang for your buck. And it’s been gaining momentum for quite a number of years now. And for good reason––it’s quick and efficient in capturing real-time data from all over the world, and from many different sources, including some of those named above.
AI uses data from online and offline sources, and employs machine learning, to predict what consumers will do. This gives brands the intel to target them with personalized content at just the right moment.
AI-driven data can help you:
- Access real-time analytics and insights: Mine consumer data and spot trends. Observe who and what consumers are talking about and reveal how they feel about any topic. This data guides your brand in making winning strategic moves by understanding what any audience wants.
- Create campaigns that deliver across multi channels: AI tracks and measures your campaigns across multiple channels. It pinpoints which posts and what messaging is working the best for you on individual social sites, blogs, and forums. And this helps you maximize your ad spend and increase ROI.
- Segment your audience: Because AI has segmenting capabilities, you can divvy up your consumers into their own groups––and not just your basic demographics such as age and gender. You can segment by other characteristics such as professions, interests, even keywords and hashtags that consumers are using.
Suddenly Phil isn’t just a 45 year-old teacher, he’s Phil who enjoys margaritas on the veranda while listening to experimental jazz, taking selfies and posting about #funkylemons. Yes, AI driven data can get that specific.
And now that you have these consumers divided up, you can better advertise to them in a way that they will relate to.
- Discover Trends: Staying ahead of the game can mean winning consumer hearts. Consumers want brands to know what they want and then deliver it. With AI-driven market intelligence, your brand can do that.
It helps track conversations and segments them so you can see which ones are gaining momentum. Maybe there are some conversations with a high engagement count but low publish count. This may very well be a white space opportunity and the early bird does indeed get the worm.
No matter what you use, your data needs to be accurate for your brand to make game winning moves. And time is always of the essence. So if your present market intelligence methods are offering inconsistent results or slowing you down, it might be time to invest in something more dependable, such as AI-driven data intelligence.
To help you understand what to look for, we’ll go over must haves in market intelligence.
Market Intelligence Must Haves
And what will set you apart from the rest in due diligence is having clearly defined, measurable goals based upon a broad range of key performance indicators (KPI). There’s no such thing as being over-zealous in measuring your KPI’s and they should measure everything from sales revenue to your mcommerce data and everything in between.
Since brand strategies are only as effective as the data they are based upon, top brands rely on powerful next generation artificial intelligence (AI) tools to ensure their strategic efforts stay informed from start to finish.
They also know that nothing will send their KPI’s into the red faster than negative net sentiment left to snowball online unmitigated. Not only that, machine learning allows brands to mine the vastness of the online conversation for relevant insights to get the most from their marketing campaigns.
Think of it as a cushion against the red and a power-up in the green. You’d need an army of employees to do what AI can do in minutes, and smart brands don’t make a move without the intel it provides.
Since robust data analytics are the name of the game in market intelligence, the contextual AI built into our Quid platform extracts meaning from any kind of written content including news, product reviews, company investments and forums. You can even upload your own company data for analysis.
It’s a game-changer in rounding out your market intelligence with strategic insights into your consumer experience, competitor intelligence and both your current and tentative product markets.
Let’s take a look at those in a little more detail.
Consumer Experience Intelligence
The way a consumer experiences your brand, and its products and services can vary widely and often times can be very different from what you think.
This highlights the importance of having a robust AI platform to not only cull your relevant consumer data but present it in a manner that is easily understandable and transparent to a granular level.
And speed is of the essence to ensure everything is going smoothly for your customers as 32% say they’d walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience. But not only is that incentive to keep your consumer experience analysis sharp, it’s also potential pay dirt for when your competition drops the ball.
Depth of actionable insight into consumer experience powered by next generation artificial intelligence does the heavy lifting to propel your brand to the forefront of market intelligence.
The aim of product intelligence is to analyze your product/service to better understand where it measures up in relation to relevant markets. Consistent monitoring of the conversations surrounding your product gives your brand the agility to push into market gaps, sidestep disruptive factors and leverage consumer engagement.
It’s a critical facet of market intelligence that greatly expands the maneuverability of your brand in effective product marketing.
A product analysis is not limited solely to your product but should also include the factors at play in markets related to its production and supply, so your marketing team is swift to act.
For example, if your frozen food company is heavily dependent on sausage, you want to be aware of potential supply disruptions in the pork industry before the competition does so you can have your action plan in place.
And who doesn’t like having a good old-fashioned edge over the competition? The aim of competitor intelligence is to gain insight into their brands, products and consumer engagements and make super-informed decisions.
Keeping your finger to the pulse of the competition coupled with consistent trend analysis puts your brand in position to take advantage of gaps in the market before anyone else notices.
A thorough understanding of your competition’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to fine tune your marketing to better capture the attention of consumers and increase your brand’s share of voice.
And the Quid platform makes it easy to dial in on the competition using the companies dataset to capture company and investment information.
And the power of contextual AI in the news/blogs dataset allows you to discover the sentiment, traction and trends surrounding your competition. Dig as far into the data as you need so you and your team are confident of your next move and where you sit in the conversational mix.
Whether the other brand missed an opportunity, or is in the midst of a brand crisis, your competitor intelligence analysis will let you know. It’s critical information that allows you to know when to swoop in or avoid a pitfall.
Let’s face it, it’s a lot less costly if a brand can learn from the mistakes of others. That’s a real-life dollars and cents reason to make sure your brand’s competitor intelligence is on point.
That said, a dedicated and consistent approach to each area of market intelligence will pay dividends in the speed of your decision making and consequently your bottom line. There’s no time like the present to make sure your brand is on top of its market intelligence game. Be sure to reach out for a personalized demo and we’ll show you how!