Competitor Intelligence and Market Intelligence are often confusing processes. In this article, we will endeavour to describe both and provide an alternative.
Not sure if you have noticed, but are living in a world where more information is available than ever before. A single look on a search engine will reveal more information at your fingertips than all our ancestors put together would have had. Note, that’s information, not the knowledge or Intelligence. Publicly available information is awash with market trends, customer data, legislation, customer suppliers, competitors, distributors products and any other subject you can think of. And many that you can’t.
Too much information
All via a search engine, libraries, databases and ever-increasing ways of presenting and digesting it. You know this already. However, capturing quality information by major data houses and it’s access sold on at an extremely high price. Yes, the information is still there without access to behind the paywalls, but it just takes more time to find. But the most valuable information is not available online. The stuff in people’s heads, the difficult to find competitor intelligence. Not using Primary Intelligence is like trying to find a missing person lost at sea by looking through a ship’s single porthole. And you could find them, but most the sea is on the other side of the boat for a starters.
You need to work smartly to find the information and not just ask questions but ask the questions correctly. Make time to ensure you have the right questions to ask because you could only get one chance to ask them. New tech is changing all the time, and one to one discussions will be required to get the information you need. So you need to develop excellent sources. General information is usually available for little or no cost, but more specific data needs careful consideration and perhaps a company like Octopus to assist.
What Is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is a widely used and abused term. However, there is nothing mysterious about the process. Wikipedia tells us that Market Intelligence is the relevant information on your markets. Collected and analysed to provide accurate and confident market opportunity decision-making. Decisions associated with market development metrics and market penetration strategy.
Simply put, Market Intelligence is information to enable you to make a business decision. Information and data analysed to make it into Intelligence. Not to be confused with guesswork based on industry experience, ego and rumour and Market Research.
What is Market Research?
Market Research is the process of gathering, recording, analysis and interpretation of information about a company’s markets, competitors and customers. That sounds similar to us too. How about defining it as Market Research looks at what is happening and what has occurred. In contrast, Market Intelligence should be about what’s going to happen next. Understanding what a competitor did last year may be a nice to know, and you may get an understanding of how they act, think and decide, but understanding what the market is going to do next is so much more powerful.
Market research is no longer just an academic pastime with little to do with business. Now it is very much focused on improving business decision making. Some claim market intelligence is more about helping you increase presence or establish entry into a market. Market Intelligence covers external looking skills like Market analysis, competitor analysis, market size calculations, competitor analysis and market growth predictions as well as substitutes and product analysis.
Another term that covers all of this market collection is Competitive Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence answers the questions you need to know to solve problems and make decisions. So a result of this is that Competitor Intelligence and Market Intelligence are often confusing processes. In this article, we described both and provided an alternative – Competitive Intelligence.