Analysing the marketplace plays a vital role in the success of every business. History is full of such stories of companies catapulting to new heights and those who sank to the bottom. And one common factor behind both is market intelligence.
Market intelligence collects and analyses information relating to consumers, competitors, markets, and economies. It shapes broader strategic decision-making and can help you discover valuable insights.
How Can You Gather Market Intelligence?
- Automate Information Gathering
It is a good way to keep track of your competitors and learn about your industry’s new developments. You could subscribe to newsletters, follow relevant social media accounts, set up news alerts, or use a free RSS reader such as Feedly.
- Analyse Existing Business Data
As a business, you already have a great starting point. The data you’ve collected in your business so far contains sufficient information to give you a broader picture of your business and help you take decisive action.
It can help you answer crucial questions about historical sale trends, your current inventory- what’s moving fast and what needs a push, which region you get most of your sales from, and so on.
- Speak With Customers
Connect with customers to learn about their experience with your product or service. You could use surveys, opinion polls, or get them on a video call if they agree.
You can engage with your customers on social media through live events, discussion groups, webinars, and posts. Keep in mind that your customers are vocal with their criticism, offering the most valuable advice. Also, ignore the trolls.
- Do Your Own Research
You could get loads of information if you only know what and where to look. You could get your hand on information available in the public domain, such as consumer spending data, annual reports, research papers, trade journals, and magazines covering your industry.
You could also go to events and exhibitions. And, if money isn’t a constraint, you could even showcase your product or service at a booth.
- Work With An Expert
Just like you would go to an expert to understand your strengths and weaknesses; similarly, you could reach out to a business that specialises in gathering market intelligence for their clients.
They use innovative methodologies, deploy expert researchers, and access information behind a paywall.
Market intelligence can help you make an important product, pricing, and promotion decisions. It is an indispensable element of your growth strategy.
A good strategy is always to use a combination of both internal research and third-party services. If you can’t hire a specialised firm, try using one of the many online services that provide you with up-to-date information about your industry, consumers, and competitors in exchange for a flat fee.