Fuel the growth with Market Intelligence

Market intelligence studies the external and internal sources of useful information to script an accurate prospect of market parameters that may help understand the direction of focus, for the overall growth of existing or new products and services in terms of business strategy and modeling. Market intelligence is the symposium of information surrounding a brand’s markets.

The science of predicting the future to carve the growth may be covered by analyzing the market prediction datasets which can be collected and analyzed to drive better decision-making and to promote a competitive strategy around market opportunity, penetration and development. Questions about planning and investment of resources can efficiently be answered by studying the dependent parameters of the industry. Not only does the strategic implementation can be figured out by understanding and predicting the state of a market but the channels of marketing and sales can also be planned as per the allocation of resources and the intel by market intelligence reports.

Capitalizing the Intelligence

In the constantly changing business environment, making developments in competitive measuring, monitoring or management strategies has become a pivotal task. Understanding the growth patterns of a competitor is equally essential, for which a thorough understanding of its products and services is required. Competitor analysis gives an excellent overview of the market trend and the growth patterns but to translate the hidden holes in the strategic wall of a competitor or market in general for that matter, and to make sure that such holes can be filled while painting the wall of planning and implementation of one’s company may prove to be a gamechanger.

With the rapid evolution of market trends, the intel of market changes along with the new initiatives by the rival businesses comes out to be the new foot in the door strategy. What makes it all the way more interesting is the fact that it has not yet been covered under the magic playbooks of growth, of various companies which is not just making them all susceptible to an overall low curvature of growth lines, but is making them vulnerable to be crushed by the behemoths of data-rich companies that are scientifically well off to comprehend the metadata of market. The science of formulation and market prediction is going head-on with the effectiveness and prominence of understanding competitors and reporting out a well-off competitor analysis. Demonstrating and examining the numerous business aspects of one’s company and that of competitors’ helps a company exploit opportunities and refine the strategies for future business threats.

Data is the new oil

If one is to carefully leaf through newspapers these days, one is bound to come across disputes between firms over data and also nations putting in a lot of effort for data localization. With the emergence of data from several internal business systems and various media sources, the volume and variety of data available to businesses are rapidly growing. The international politics once was done over petroleum, the ‘liquid gold’. If we take a look at the situation now, data is indeed the new ‘digital gold’.

In the sphere of business today, data is present at the very core and hence, almost every important decision made leans on it. If a company uses data in an effective manner, not only does the process of production gets streamlined, but also the resultant product meets customer expectations. This happens because data empowers entrepreneurs with facts and numbers, hence giving them clarity of vision. These are the reasons why successful businesses are always backed up by data for their decision-making process. Earlier, data gathering used to be a complicated process. However, with the emergence of modern tools, collecting data has become too easy a task. As a result, data has become important not only for huge corporations but also for relatively small businesses. In other words, for a twenty-first-century business to exist and grow, data has become indispensable.

There are concepts that look good on paper and then there are those which bring about real changes in the way a thing is done in the world. Market intelligence groups with the latter class: from fashion markets to chemical industries, market intelligence has proved its worth time and again by giving insights that may change the way business is done. Market intelligence holds the potential to transform a vast range of businesses that deal with: electronics, construction equipment, fashion, pharmaceuticals, retail, food, healthcare, and e-commerce; the list is non-exhaustive.

For a young business or startup, market intelligence may not only provide effective assistance in product discovery and management, but it may also prove to be a gamechanger in predicting the behavior of the users and thus calibrate the product as per the trembling requirements.

Product Intelligence

Product intelligence involves gathering data related to similar or competitor products in the market. It is important for any young business to hold its grip from the product perspective, which can be assured with the predictability of the market. The latest tools of data analysis make it sure that millions of data values can be converted into a useful set of parameters to help find the clue which may make all the difference for any company. On the other hand, studying the competitor’s price variations for a product can indicate the insights to help make critical strategic decisions.

Analyze the competition for better strategic planning

Competitive intelligence is all about understanding and evaluating your business strengths and minimizing the threats from competitors with better decision-making and analysis. It is important for a business to stay ahead of its competitors as far as the future strategy is concerned. A healthy competitive intelligence implies an organization collecting data from its competitors using lawful methods like checking public records and databases provided by the government. Its importance can be deduced from the example that many multinational corporations, including names such as Johnson & Johnson and ExxonMobil, have created CI units in their business models. Businesses use competitive intelligence for competitive benchmarking and business wargaming, both assisting them in making informed decisions.

Identify threats that could impact your business

Quickly responding to emerging threats from changing supplier or customer needs, technological variations, political or regulatory infrastructure, competitive activities, etc. may help prove setting apart for any business than its competitors. Market understanding implies a broad spectrum of things: knowing where one’s company stands in the market, new trends, finding out the target market and determining its size. These insights help an organization decide upon its course of action, plan future strategies and improvise the existing ones. It is clear, therefore, that a shrewd market understanding is critical for the survival and growth of any organization: both big and small.

Keep pace with the technological variations and advancements

To spot the next technological breakthrough and identify the technology that may be more susceptible to be accepted by the masses may prove to provide the first mover’s advantage to any company and thus is vital in gaining a competitive advantage. Market intelligence about various technological indicators may provide an edge for companies to understand whether there is likely to be sufficient market potential for sophisticated products and services in their domain and what will be the amount that it will require for them to make the users technologically trained to avail their product or services. It can also be associated with the cost of customer acquisition and the cost of onboarding a customer to a platform or product.

Don’t just tick the box, capitalize it.

Market intelligence is an effective, powerful and necessary box for a business to tick. Data is not the end of market intelligence, rather, it is just the beginning. The goal of market intelligence is to focus on actionable insights, and not just data. Hence, the data gathered must be converted into meaningful insights. After the data is collected, information is gained. However, it must be kept in mind that information and intelligence are not synonymous. Information only includes a list of facts and numbers while intelligence is using these figures to determine upon a course of action.

For converting data into intelligence, analysis of the information in hand must be performed. This analysis enables a company to understand market trends, strategies of its competitors and psychology of the target audience. Based on the intelligence thus gained, a company can build its reports and strategies. It is important to remember that usage of wrong data for creating intelligence can give the same results as swallowing a wrong medicine: sometimes it can prove to be dangerous. Hence, it is important, first to collect the right data from reliable sources and then to interpret it in a way that helps in boosting the organization’s overall performance.

It isn’t a one-time watch to keep but an ongoing activity, one that should be continuously complemented with a robust set of consumer insight, enabling a company to track its finger firmly on the pulse, and produce the best decisions for its business moving forward, as well as get early warning on any issues overall in the market or competitive landscape.

Vedang R. Vatsa

IT & Management Consultant