Market intelligence is the act of gathering insightful information on current and potential markets for your business, with the aim of making highly informed decisions and diminishing guesswork. It’s one of the first steps in positioning your organisation as a market leader.
A vital part of any successful strategy, it provides you with a clear understanding of your clients/customers, their motivations, expectations and willingness to engage with your business. With this understanding, you can then create effective products/services (and guide the sales and marketing behind them), define an effective pricing strategy and build your business around fact, not assumption.
Before you commit your time, money and energy into investing in a new market, you want to know if it is going to be viable. Furthermore, you want to assess the level of potential growth within that market.
To answer these questions we would recommend that you gather data on the following areas:
- Demographics – Includes factors such as age, gender, income and education. This information will allow you to target your marketing to a specific group, ensuring that your budget is spent on attracting the ideal customer. Blanket marketing strategies are inefficient and are unlikely to deliver the results you’re looking for. The more you can segment your audience, the more relevant your output will be to their needs and desires.
- Client spending habits – Provides vital insight into the preferences of your potential clients or customers, demonstrating where and how they spend their money. Such information is brilliant for developing a realistic pricing strategy and is a clear demonstration of why market intelligence is important.
- Geographic location & climate – Different geographical landscapes mean different cultures and interests. A business shouldn’t rely solely on information gathered from previous successful strategies to guide the execution of a new strategy somewhere else in the world – nor should they rely on their mere perception of that area. To attain high levels of engagement in a new geographical market, it’s pivotal to understand everything there is to know about that country or region.
- Government regulations – Depending on the nature of your product or service, you may need to make adjustments to your offering so it complies with a new market’s rules. This could include any restrictions put in place by trade agreements. In addition, you will need to ensure you comply with marketing regulations (e.g. GDPR in EU member states).
- Distribution channels – When entering a new market, it is crucial that you consider whether the existing infrastructure will be able to support your operations and get your product to your clients or customers. It may be that you need to allocate additional resources in the early stages or reach out to new suppliers or distributors.
The Role Of Competitive Intelligence
A significant stage in scoping out a market is investigating competitors who are already working – and are leaders – in that space. Competitive intelligence is the act of learning as much as possible about other companies. Done correctly, it allows you to identify and exploit any weaknesses in their business strategy, enabling you to move one step ahead and position your business as a market leader. A comprehensive competitive intelligence process looks into their market share, pricing, product specifications and overall market strategy. You can then use this information to propel yourself ahead of the very best out there.
Collecting Your Market Intelligence Data
When collecting your market intelligence data, we would always recommend that you use multiple sources of information to build up as complete a picture as possible. Speak to both current and potential customers to establish what they like about your offering, what they dislike and what would sway them towards purchasing your product or service. Any information that you gather on your offering and how it performs can be fed back to R&D to inform future decisions around design. Remember, various departments of your company will be interested in different aspects of the data.
How Market Intelligence Works in Practice
6 Group is a world leader in the delivery of highly bespoke and insightful market intelligence reports to businesses around the globe.
Below is when we were asked by an Oil & Gas giant to provide them with extensive market and competitive intelligence to support their new LNG venture.