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What Is Market Intelligence?


Definition: Marketing intelligence is the external data collected by a company about a specific market of which it wants to enter. It is the first set of data which the company analyses before making any investment decision.

Market intelligence is the term used to describe the process of keeping tabs on your competition and how your industry is operating. It’s an essential part of running any business, regardless of size or industry, and is company-focused. Over the years, the definition has grown to include analytics and analysis that can help improve your overall business model and projection accuracy.

One of the most important aspects impacting an organization’s ability to stay ahead of the market is to have a comprehensive understanding of its competitors, the state of its industry, and the changing consumer landscape as a whole. With this information, marketers can evaluate their tactics and optimize future campaigns based on their own insights as well as those from across the entire industry.  

Methods of Marketing Intelligence

There are many types of marketing intelligence methods. Below are some of the most popular ones:

  • Market research
  • Customer satisfaction survey, interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies, product testing
  • Web analytics and social media monitoring
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Pricing review
  • Competitor analysis
  • Assessing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses

Market intelligence vs Market research

Market intelligence is synonymous with market research since it relates to the gathering, recording, analysis and interpretation of actionable information about a company’s markets and the people within.

But some key differences separate the two:

Competitive intelligence is existing information and data widely available for brands to better understand the markets, competition and landscape surrounding their target audiences.

Marketing research, on the other hand, means taking a deeper look into the consumers at the core of this market, and the trends that set them apart.  

How do companies use market intelligence?

Successful market intelligence answers concrete questions about current and potential customers and competitors, and helps your company determine its internal goals. Here are some questions that market intelligence can address:

  • Where should my company devote more resources?
  • Which markets should I try to enter next?
  • What are the buying patterns of our best customers?
  • What products could be cross-marketed to existing customers?
  • Into what demographic segments can my company push new and existing products?
  • How do I conduct a market analysis?

Market intelligence helps businesses analyze the overall environment in which they are operating. This helps your business spot potential risks and identify new opportunities for growth. Most companies do this by looking at these four criteria.


In the past, marketers had to rely solely on their intuition and gut feeling to make decisions. However, in recent years, marketing intelligence has become a bigger part of the decision-making process for organizations.

Marketing intelligence is an umbrella term that refers to strategies that allow organizations to collect and analyze data that will help them make better decisions about their marketplaces. It can also be used for strategic planning purposes.

This is achieved by using qualitative and quantitative methods to understand customers’ needs, preferences, behaviors, or opinions in order to make informed business decisions about pricing, product development, sales techniques, or any other areas of business.