The days of relying solely on past experiences and knowledge to make sound innovation decisions are gone. Analytical intelligence alone isn’t cut out for innovations previously unseen and unexperienced by the market — meaning there is no past experience or knowledge to rely upon. Thus, innovative market intelligence is fundamental for a new product’s success.
What is market intelligence?
Marketing intelligence is the process of acquiring expertise through varied sources of information about an industry’s detailed market landscape, both existing and future. The goal? To garner the forward-thinking insights needed to make better business decisions.
Market intelligence considers many factors and data points, such as competitors, customer demographics, market trends, unrealized challenges and market potential. At its best, it offers a wealth of information to be used for new business goals, answering questions such as:
- What truly differentiates this innovation from that of our competitors’
- What’s the most efficient price for the innovation
- Which geographic locations have the best market?
- How can we cross-market new products to current customers?
- Which areas of our marketing processes are lacking?
- What potential markets could we penetrate in the future?
Here are 6 different types of market intelligence, each representing a vital piece of the picture:
#1: Competitive intelligence
How much do you know about your competition? What marketing tactics have worked for them? What mistakes have they made that you can avoid? Competitive intelligence can be as easy as researching other brands’ websites and social media campaigns, or as complex as surveying global industry leaders for qualitative insights on your competitive landscape.
#2: Technological intelligence
What specific technologies are needed to pursue your target market? How can your R&D and marketing teams work together to ensure the creation of technologically advanced innovations that also meet a clear market need?
#3: Customer intelligence
Marketing to the wrong demographic is detrimental; refining your target customer is critical. You must know your customer as if they were your best friend. What frustrates them? Dissatisfies them? Check what your customers are saying about your innovations via comments and feedback to see what can be improved.
#4: Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is necessary for both internal and external growth. Your internal team needs the ability to communicate effectively with one another to produce the best innovations; similarly, your marketing needs to relate to customers on a real, authentic level to convince them of their need for your product.
#5: Innovative intelligence
Innovative intelligence is the ability to gain insight into previously unknown issues. Innovations are vague, uncertain and complicated — innovative intelligence utilizes existing knowledge and trends to form new insights and create completely new frameworks, thus creating new market opportunities.
#6: Business intelligence
Good marketing intelligence results in better overall business practices. While business intelligence focuses on broader metrics like sales and logistics, it relies on accurate market intelligence such as the most profitable demographics, when they typically make purchases and where — all of which can drastically change the direction of business goals.
The advantages of using market intelligence in the innovation process
When used correctly, market intelligence leads to fascinating discoveries. Here are a few of the many ways your research and development team can use market intelligence to uncover competitive advantages for your innovation:
- Acquire a 360 degree vision of your market, which is difficult to obtain from analytical intelligence alone
- Spot previously unknown threats and opportunities specific to your innovation
- Gain improved understanding of existing and future market trends
- Notice early warnings of disruptive technologies or innovations within or outside your industry
- Identify potential alliances and networks within the ecosystem
- Discover unbiased information about the market attractiveness of short-listed innovations and existing technologies and products
- Better understand customer needs and their likely development in the future
Now that you know how much there is to gain from market intelligence and the impact it can have on the success of your innovation, it’s hard to imagine not pursuing it.
Final tips in using market intelligence
Gathering market intelligence is a complex process, requiring juggling multiple external data points. Once gathered, it must be systematically integrated into the current innovation process — each contributor should be able to contribute knowledge, insights, ideas and goals in a centralized and streamlined way, such as an easily-accessible internal database.
You may consider looking outside of your own internal resources to get the best market development insights. Whether it’s looking to customers themselves for feedback or garnering qualitative research through surveying key industry leaders, the goal is to produce unbiased insights that compensate for the subjective blind spots of your internal team.
External tools such as market research have offered a competitive advantage for many innovators seeking improved market intelligence. With market research automation, market intelligence can be streamlined and gathered in a matter of weeks — enabling key business decisions to be made in real time.
Making timely market-intelligent decisions is difficult, but it’s necessary for a successful innovative process. How might your innovation benefit from better market intelligence?