Marketing, like many other business functions, has evolved rapidly over the past few decades. There are many more digital channels in addition to newer iterations of conventional mediums. Virtually every industry and niche has tons of fiercely competitive businesses fighting for the largest share of the pie. Many of these competing businesses offer essentially the same product or service. Therefore, to stand out, you don’t just need a great product/service. You also need to know how to market your product or service as distinct from what your competitors offer.
Successful marketing strategies, however, aren’t trial-and-error. They are calculated efforts designed to return the best return on marketing spend. This is where marketing intelligence comes in as a useful resource for marketers to increase the precision of their efforts, as well as refine them as they go along. Read on to find out more.
Marketing Intelligence and How Businesses Can Use It
The concept of marketing intelligence isn’t exactly new, although the process is very different in the digital world. However, the basics remain the same. Businesses gather various types of information about a specific industry or market, especially when launching a new product/service, or venture. This information, correctly utilized, can help businesses make the right strategic decisions, as is the case with successful competitive services like Spectrum Cable. It is also what is known as marketing intelligence (not to be confused with market research). The extent of this information varies from business to business. However, most intelligence typically includes information on:
- Consumer pain-points.
- State of the existing market.
- Competitor info.
- Growth potential.
Marketing intelligence can be gathered through various internal and external sources. The purpose is to learn as much as possible about the existing market, the intended customer, and the direct competition before you start marketing a new product or service. This information enables business leaders to make informed decisions with the best possible outcomes in terms of customer acquisition and growth. Marketing intelligence can be divided into several broad categories including:
The first step when testing new waters is to learn more about competing businesses that are already there. Solid competitor analysis is a good way to figure out where you stand in relation to your closest competing businesses. A SWOT analysis is one of the most common means to do so. This will offer you some insights into a competitor’s respective strengths and weaknesses. In other words, you can get a bird’s eye view of why customers might choose their product over yours.
After gathering and analyzing information on your competitors, it is time to examine your own product or service. If you want to be able to market a competitive product or service, you need to have a deep understanding of its performance and quality. In terms of physical products, this can involve an examination of everything from product design to manufacturing processes to quality control. Product intelligence can often reveal inefficiencies in these areas, which you can then strategically fix. This will not only improve how efficiently you make the product but offer a better end-user experience as well.
Your Target Market
It is not enough to examine your product from a design or quality perspective. You need to measure how your product performs in the target market as well. A good way to do this is to look at similar products in other comparable markets. Countries with approximately the same conditions as the market you are targeting are good places to start. This can also lead you to potentially untapped markets with opportunities for you to expand into. Learning about the market will give you a fair idea of where to find the audience most receptive to your marketing efforts.
Your Intended Customer
Perhaps the most important ingredient of marketing intelligence is learning about the intended customer. Having a fair idea of what your ideal customer responds to can help you maximize your product/service lifecycle. Remember, retaining customers is far cheaper and more profitable in the long run than finding new ones. Understanding what motivates their buying decision (as well as what dissuades them from purchases) is extremely valuable information that you can leverage for growth.