Marketing Intelligence describes the gathering and analysis of information about possibly all aspects of an economic market before entering it. Within the specific target market companies search for information about the market conditions, competitors, industries, suppliers, customers, interest groups, etc. MI helps collect data about market players and strategically relevant topics, and transforms it into insights that support strategic decision-making.
The basic concept of MI is simple, the more you know about a market the likelier it is that you will have a competitive advantage. However, in today’s world, access to market data is not the main challenge to gain an advantage, rather it is the efficient use of MI. Often, MI is divided into four processes:
Collection: The first step in most MI frameworks is the gathering of relevant data from the analyzed sector. External sources such as governmental agencies, research institutes and other partners should also be consulted.
Validation: “Cleaning” the market data collected is a crucial stage, as some sources present incomplete, wrong or duplicated contents. This step will allow data and information to be adjusted and understandable.
Processing: Involves the use of translating the clean data into readable information, reports or spreadsheets that allows the organization to gain exclusive insight into the market.
Communication: The fourth and final step results in communicating and presenting the newly gained market knowledge to interested companies with the idea that they apply these insights in their decision-making processes.