The business environment in modern times is highly competitive and dynamic, with new technologies causing disruptions in every market routinely. Operating a business in such a market landscape can be challenging to say the least, particularly if your organization isn’t gathering intelligence on your competitors, market, and customers. Market intelligence allows organizations to make informed decisions by supplying them with insights, trends, patterns, etc., propagating a data-driven business approach. Organizations that receive a steady stream of market intelligence have a bird’s-eye-view of their market, and understand their current position in the market, which in turn helps formulate strategies for success and growth.
However, traditional methods of collecting market intelligence – while still relevant – are inadequate in the age of the internet, the largest source of information on the planet. Manually filtering out relevant information from this bottomless abyss of information is highly impractical, if not impossible. Once again, technology comes to our rescue. A market intelligence platform or tool can extract actionable intelligence from the unstructured digital noise present on the internet, making aggregation, organization and analysis of information easier for organizations.
Well, traditional methods of collecting market intelligence can be very time and effort-consuming. But, if you aren’t using traditional methods of collecting market intelligence, how are you going to determine what’s going on in your market landscape or what your competitors are doing? How do you make sense of all the information available on your competitors and market? How do you determine strategies to beat your competitors and dominate your market?
The modern market landscape requires organizations to understand and embrace the competitive landscape to create strategies to combat their competitors. Organizations need market intelligence platforms to inform strategic decision-making across the enterprise. Today’s increasingly technology-driven world has no room for silos. Thus, it’s important to utilize market intelligence platforms and/or tools, not just to make gathering the information easier and more efficient, but to make sense of it all and turn it into actionable strategies. Here are some advantages of having a market intelligence platform in your organization:
Market intelligence platforms can help organizations understand their markets inside-out by gathering real-time data such as trends, patterns and insights. This in turn can aid companies in evaluating their position in the market, and formulating strategies and processes around that data, allowing them to stay competitive, predict consumer behavior and meet market demands.
Insights gathered using market intelligence platforms help in the analysis of your consumers, thus building customer understanding. They provide you with insights into the areas of improvements that are needed by the customers and thus help you retain them and improve customer lifetime value.
Determining the right target audience, and more importantly determining whether your product will succeed with your target audience, is a problem most organizations struggle with. MI platforms can help with this by empowering your sales reps with actionable information on your competitors, such as their strengths and weaknesses, which can be used to your organization’s advantage.
Marketing intelligence platforms will give you actionable insights on the product trends in the market, such as the specific features or product specifications currently in demand. Such information helps you to evaluate your product and make product-related business decisions such as modifications, new features, etc., accordingly.
A market intelligence platform can help you watch over the competition, the upcoming trends, and gives a complete picture of the market, always keeping you one step (or several) ahead of your competition. Thus, you’re always first to penetrate a new market or capture an existing market’s share by launching a product/service or a new feature at the right time. This is what is known as a competitive advantage.
In short, a market intelligence platform will help guide your organization to success by identifying which trends are the most important, helping you understand your consumer and your competition in your industry, learn the behaviors of your consumer, as well as reveal consumer sentiment, distinguish between critical and non-essential business issues, and pinpoint new prospects for fresh and groundbreaking products, services and business investing.
Different market intelligence platforms may have different features, However, a comprehensive market intelligence platform should have the following features in order to automate routine market and competitive intelligence tasks, streamline analyst workflows and save time spent on manual research and information processing, while also enabling efficient distribution of personalized intelligence newsletters across the organization.
- Personalized News Feeds: A continuous stream of the latest updates on your target markets to help you discover intelligence relevant to your organization using smart filters.
- Intelligence Newsletters: Personalized alerts on competitors, suppliers, partners, customers, and industry topics.
- Intelligent Dashboards: To help graphically visualize information and spot trends, and import your data to create informative and engaging charts.
- Taxonomy Builder: To categorize and tag sourced intelligence based on how your business is organized.
- User Management: To grant or restrict access to modules and knowledge areas for your users and teams as you see fit.
- User Analytics: To understand and analyze the consumption of intelligence by tracking user metrics across the organization.
- Sourcing Manager: To add custom sources using a built-in sourcing module and manage all active sources in a single view.
- API Integrations: To integrate intelligence from your markets into your intranet portals, ERP, CRM, and KM systems.
- White-labelling: To customize the platform with your brand’s logo, color palette, and visual design language.
The above mentioned features can be found in Contify, which is a cutting-edge market and competitive intelligence platform. If you want a distinct competitive advantage in the market, these features are not only indispensable, but essential.
Market intelligence platforms are one of those things that you have to see for yourself to understand their utility. While it may be easy to think of several reasons to hold off on investing in a market intelligence platform, its benefits far outweigh those reasons. Not to mention that 90% of Fortune 500 companies already use market and competitive intelligence platforms to gain a competitive advantage, and even small and medium enterprises are following suit. It won’t be long before market intelligence platforms become a norm, and those that adopt them earlier will have a distinct advantage over the late adopters. The fact is that there is simply too much relevant data on the internet that organizations can use to optimize their business strategy and other processes. Organizations that use a market intelligence platform are already benefiting from better analytics, optimizations, forecasting, cross-team collaboration, customer service, and more. Sooner or later, investing in this technology will be essential to keep up with competitor performance. For many businesses, it already is. As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best adapt to change.” It is up to you to make an intelligent decision.