Market Intelligence V Business Intelligence: What’s The Difference?

Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence are critical in the performance improvement of your organisation. However, Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence are very different animals when on their own. When put in the same cage, they can bring huge rewards for your business.

The main differences between the two are that Business Intelligence has an internal focus, while Competitive Intelligence looks at what’s happening in the outside world. Both Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence collect data. Then sorts it into relevant virtual piles within one location. Analysing what’s found and then, hopefully, taking action.

Business Intelligence looks into the business so the main difference with Competitive Intelligence, is that data from external sources. The analysis (the part which most organisation’s skip), creating options and then taking action.  Similar processes, but their benefits differ.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence looks inward and is, to varying degrees, well established in most businesses. Business intelligence gathers data on your business from many of sources. Such as like sales, SEO and accounts etc. And bringing it all together to analyse it to make decisions to the allow you to grow.

So, business intelligence looks through the data so you are able to make decisions on improving or creating new tactics and strategies to make your business more efficient and profitable.

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence looks outwards and is not as established as Business Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence gathers secondary sources data on your competitors, markets and external environment (think Porter’s 5 Forces), to give you an understanding of the critical information. And using your findings to anticipate your competitors and markets next move. You will understand your competitive landscape so much better and improve upon your own strategies and associated tactics.

How Can You Benefit from Business Intelligence?

All businesses will have multiple data sources holding valuable Intelligence for your teams.

  • Your management team will get a snapshot of whats going on in the business so they can make the big decisions on processes, expansion, investment and recruitment.
  • Your marketing team will get an understanding of how campaigns are performing,  your article metrics, and website traffic. To allow you to figure out what’s going well and where to invest your time and money in the future.
  • Product marketing teams can improve their product launches and sales development activities, and better target their ideal customers. Look at historical product launches, campaigns and take into account what worked and what didn’t to learn from it.
    • What they are buying?
    • What they are not buying and why?
  • Your sales teams receive better sales figures, so you have a better understanding of which deals close the fastest, average sales cycle times. And which members of the sale team perform the best. Allowing you to improve the sales message, focus on recruitment issues and target sales training needs.

How Can You Benefit from Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence can help product marketers understand what your competition is doing, not doing (and more importantly, what they’re going to do).  Research target audience, the marketing message and positioning. Create winning business development tools and deliver significant product launches that stand out and addresses the market’s needs. One neat trick is useful if both you and your competitor are about to launch a fabulous game-changing product. How much better would it be to launch your product the day before your competitor with a better message, countering their offer and highlighting their weaknesses within your new products strengths. Marketers can take a look at their competitors:

  • Content
  • Campaigns
  • Social media posts
  • SEO ranking visibility
  • Trade events
  • Marketing strategies
  • Product offering
  • Reputation management in the market

Learn from the competition to enhance your differentiation. Also, if it’s not wise to just copy them. But reduce the influence of their strengths and play on their weaknesses. Clearly, sales teams need Competitive Intelligence to win more tender applications. And to understand why they win. Also why the competitor wins. To better position themselves and win more deals.

To have prepared “landmines” should your sales teams come across a rival in the market. Using simple and accessible tools such as battle cards and SWOT analysis, sales teams can better position themselves against competitors and win more competitive deals. By understanding your competitor’s current strategy and future moves, senior management can control the market better. Make better decisions based on Intelligence and not guesswork.


Market Intelligence Versus Business Intelligence. What’s the Difference? Well, we discussed what Business Intelligence and Competitive Intelligence are and the differences and benefits of each one. And these intelligence tool sets are clearly used differently, but, one looks internally and the other externally.

They will, however, impact on all and different parts of your corporate strategy. Used together than you can ensure you are going to win a lot more than lose.So, get ready to put some noses out of joint and get closer to be the market leader with Business and Competitive Intelligence.

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