Focused market research builds brands by uncovering strategic insights and answering specific questions. However, it needs a solid foundation. That foundation is provided by market intelligence. So what exactly is market intelligence and how is it evolving in the digital space?
Simply put, market intelligence is an ongoing, all encompassing and holistic view of an organisation and its positioning. Broadly speaking it covers three main types of information: business (found within the business); market (relevant to determining market opportunities); and competitive (to benchmark against competitors and measure reputation).
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The distribution of information across a growing number of channels today means social media is changing the face of market intelligence. Online users, influencers and bloggers continue to add their voice to an existing pool of industry experts, creating a democratised yet fragmented web of data that marketers must track and filter in order to strategise effectively. This also makes it possible to cross reference data while monitoring trends and sentiments in real time.
The complementary nature in which intelligence and social fulfill business strategy gives marketers unparalleled opportunity and means the two must work together and form a central hub of information in order to better support different departments and answer their specific business pains.
Integrating market intelligence with social media monitoring and the digital space requires an intense understanding and customisation of data. It involves convincing those outside market intelligence that intelligence acts as a highly relevant solutions provider within the organisation to work towards specific outcomes such as if the R&D team needs to know what product or feature to develop or if the sales team needs to be able to identify new business opportunities.
Presenting relevant and appealing data is paramount to making market intelligence the cornerstone of any B2C or B2B organisation’s digital marketing strategy. This includes investing in digital hubs or customising newsletters and dashboards. The further challenge lies in digitising field resources. Although vast amounts of information can be found online, a significant proportion remains on the ground, accessible primarily to sales teams who are involved in face-to-face meetings, which offers opportunity for serious growth.
Relationships are vital and key information and insights should also be exchanged and coordinated across internal teams via a dedicated digital platform.
Market intelligence should ultimately serve as the backbone of any organisation across all departments and companies must invest in expanding digital resources and data to answer hard hitting business questions. If marketers can truly understand the advantages of digital and social tools they can leverage on and integrate intelligence and social information to support both B2C and B2B ventures by identifying opportunities, strategies and solutions from data collected. This continues to be the future of market intelligence.
The writers are Stephen Dale, general manager and Melissa Chue, marketing executive at Digimind.
To find out more on Digimind’s services, please visit: www.digimind.com
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