last posts

What is it and how to use it


Market intelligence is a surefire way to help you determine how and who to target your marketing efforts.

But how do you get such crucial information about your target market in the first place?

This comprehensive guide will teach you what market intelligence is, how to collect it, and how to use it.

What is market intelligence

Market intelligence is the actual data or information that relates to your company’s overall market.

Market intelligence is not limited to the identity of your target audience.

The goal of collecting market intelligence is to help make data-driven decisions about your business — not just your marketing efforts.

There are different types of market intelligence. These data points can include the following:

  • Industry-level trends.
  • Competition analysis.
  • Consumer knowledge.
  • Product sales.

Market Intelligence Vs. Business Intelligence

It is important not to confuse market intelligence and business intelligence.

Both of these areas of knowledge are vital to the success of a business, and they each have their own use cases.

Economic intelligence, by definition, refers to data specific to a company and its performance.

Let’s break down the main differences:

market intelligence vs business intelligenceImage created by author, December 2022

The main difference is in how they collect the data.

Since market information focuses on external factors, these data sources may include:

  • Customer surveys.
  • Economic data and consumer prices.
  • Demographic and geographic analysis.
  • Consumer behavior reports.
  • User testing.
  • Third Party Tools.

On the other hand, business intelligence looks strictly inward. When collecting internal intelligence, these data sources may include:

The key differences above should make it easier to determine what type of intelligence data your business may need at any given time.

How to use market intelligence

Whether you’re a brand new business or an established one, there are plenty of ways to use market intelligence to your advantage.

To understand how to use market intelligence, you must first identify your goals. What are you trying to accomplish by gathering market information?

The most effective way to use market intelligence is to let that data answer key business questions:

  • Do our business goals match today’s market?
  • Which market(s) are best suited for our brand? Should we consider expanding or focusing on a niche?
  • Does our business need to move resources to achieve its goals?
  • How do customers buy our product?
  • How do customers find out about our product (or our competitors)?
  • What does our ideal target customer look like? What behaviors and characteristics do they have?
  • What do competitors do that we don’t?

Market intelligence essentially analyzes the external environment (or market) to which a brand belongs.

Market information analysis can be subdivided into different categories.

Competitor Trends

Another part of using market intelligence is to perform competitor analysis. The objective of the competitor review is to help your brand identify:

  • What are their strengths and weaknesses compared to those of your brand?
  • Main product differentiators or similarities.

Identifying the above can help better position your product or service in the market.

Consumer behavioral trends

The biggest opportunity to use market intelligence is to dig into consumer behavior around your product or service.

Use this data to understand what their pain points or challenges are, as well as why they choose to buy from you in the first place.

This kind of intelligence can help optimize retention and engagement of existing customers, as well as acquire new customers.

Market intelligence around consumer behavior also helps define your ideal customer and their key characteristics. This may include:

  • Browsing and buying behavior.
  • Interests.
  • where they spend their time.
  • How they spend their money.
  • Household status or household income bracket.

Understanding these key factors can help shape your marketing and outreach efforts.

External market factors

Analyzing the market that your brand is currently in or that you may want to expand into is another way to use market intelligence.

Using this type of data can identify how your product or service is performing in its current market. It can also be used to identify the pros and cons of expanding into new markets and the opportunities or risk factors associated with it.

Some of these external market factors may overlap with trends in competitor and consumer behavior. Putting it all together in a market analysis will help define the big picture of your business as a whole.

How to collect market information

Gathering market intelligence should not come from a single source. Many credible and trustworthy sources should help shape the story around your target market.

Nor is there a “one size fits all” in gathering market intelligence. The first step is to set a goal on what you want to accomplish with this research.

Now that you’ve set a goal, the second step is to define which metrics are important to your brand. Here are some examples of key indicators:

  • Total Addressable Market Share (TAM): How many potential customers are in the market for this product or service? What is the expected market growth rate?
  • Price indicators: How does our price compare to the market as a whole?
  • Competitor data: How many competitors are there in this market? What market share do they cover compared to us?

Finally, it’s time to start collecting market information. Below are some ways to start collecting data and conducting research:

  • Your own customers. It could be something as simple as sending out surveys to current customers. Ask them key questions about their buying journey, pain points, and what they like about your product.
  • Analytical databases. Consider your own first-party analytics data to analyze customer trends, as well as third-party marketing and analytics platforms that have competitor data. Combining the two sources can help identify many key differentiators.
  • Search online. This may involve reviewing or purchasing specific trade journals or reports related to your market. While this research can cost money, it usually pays off in the long run by taking in the information needed to shape your brand strategy.
  • Market specialists. These experts typically work one-on-one with companies for a fee. As market experts, they work with other industry players to guide product trends.

While not an exhaustive list, these areas should be able to give your market intelligence journey a boost.

Once the data is collected, the analysis part comes next. Use the tips above to use market intelligence to your advantage.


Market intelligence is a great way to identify the current position of your product or service in relation to the current market.

Because markets are constantly changing, achieving market intelligence should be an ongoing effort for your brand. Collecting data on your market should not be considered a one-time project.

By creating a proactive approach to market data, you’ll be ahead of your competition and better know where to spend your time, money, and resources across all departments.

More resources:

Featured Image: mrmohock/Shutterstock



Font Size
lines height