Research shows that a significant strategic fumble leads to 55% of business failures. In other words, leadership thought something was a smart move. They put their resources into it. They gave it their all. But it failed, taking their capital investments and their business with it.

Strategy that isn’t based on some form of intelligence is just guesswork and we’re not talking about the knowledge that lies between your ears. That’s important. But this intelligence goes beyond that.

Market intelligence is data about the market in which your business exists. It’s things such as the competitive landscape, customer trends and typical customer profiles. It’s information about what your customers are doing, how they’re finding you, and how they relate to your brand.

Often when people start businesses, they’re hyper-focused on an idea and their business. But just like no person is an island, no business can stand alone.

Business exists within a market.

 In order to thrive as a business, you must understand the market in which you and your business exist.

Enter market intelligence. It helps businesses make sense of their market through real, measurable data as well as through analytics and intelligence modeling. This becomes actionable data you can use to do things like:

  • Increase revenue
  • Cut waste in your marketing and advertising budgets
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Ensure you’re targeting the right customers for you
  • Increase how much customers spend and how often

Market intelligence can be gathered from many sources. But increasingly, it’s collected from online sources because the average person spends 6+ hours online per day. Some of these sources include:

  • Your website
  • Social media accounts
  • Online reviews sites like Yelp, WebRetailer and Google My Business (GMB)
  • Your competitor’s website

You might combine market intelligence with business intelligence sources like:

  • Your customer relationship management software (CRM)
  • Sales and customer service records
  • Other internal records

What are the characteristics of marketing intelligence that these sources share? They deliver tangible, measurable, quantifiable, and qualitative data you can use to strategize, plan and implement. Through it, you continually improve your business.

The significant advantages of marketing intelligence that you can draw from it is a clear choice and instead of taking a trial-and-error approach to business, which would end up costing you in time and money.