Competitor Intelligence research & Market Intelligence

Octopus 17/03/2014

Competitor Intelligence research & Market Intelligence are often confusing processes. In this article, we will endeavour to describe both and provide an alternative.

Not sure if you have noticed but are living in a world where more information is available than ever before. A single search on a search engine will reveal more details at your fingertips than all your ancestors put together would have had.

Note, that’s information, not the knowledge or Intelligence. (Capital I not — not insulting you at all). Publicly available information id awash with market trends, customer data, legislation, customer suppliers, competitors, distributors products and any other subject you can think of. And many that you can’t.

Too much information

All via a search engine, libraries, databases and ever-increasing ways of presenting Ian’s digesting it. But you know this already. However, capturing quality information by major data houses and it’s access sold on at an extremely high price. Yes, the information is still there without access, but it just takes more time to find. But the most valuable information is not available online. Most of it is in peoples heads. For non-professionals, the difficult to find competitor intelligence. It’s like trying to find a missing person lost at sea by looking through a single porthole. And you could find them, but most the sea is on the other side of the boat for a starters.

Excellent questions

You need to work smartly to find the information and not just ask questions but ask the questions correctly. Make time to ensure you have the right questions to ask because you could only get on chance to ask them. New tech is changing all the time, and one to one discussions will be required. So you need to develop excellent sources. So, general information is usually available for little or no cost, but more specific data needs careful consideration and perhaps a company like Octopus to assist.

What Is Market Intelligence?

Market intelligence is a widely used and abused term. However, there is nothing mysterious about the process. Wikipedia tells us that Market Intelligence is the relevant information on your markets. Collected and analysed to provide accurate and confident market opportunity decision-making. Also decisions associated with market development metrics and market penetration strategy.

Simply put, Market Intelligence is information to enable you to make a business decision. Information and data analysed to make it into Intelligence. Not to be confused with guesswork based on industry experience, ego and rumour and Market Research.

What is Market Research?

Market Research is the process of gathering, recording, analysis and interpretation of information about a company’s markets, competitors and customers. That sounds similar to us too. How about defining it as Market Research looks at what is happening and what has occurred. In contrast, Market Intelligence should be about what’s going to happen next. So, understanding what a competitor did last year may be a nice to know, and you may get an understanding of how they act, think and decide, but understanding what the market id going to do next is so much more powerful.

Interestingly. market research is no longer an academic pastime with little to do with business. Now it is very much focused on improving business decision making. Some claim market intelligence is more about helping you increase presence or establish entry into a market. Market Intelligence covers external looking skills like Market analysis, competitor analysis, market size calculations, competitor analysis and market growth predictions as well as substitutes and product analysis.


Another term that covers all of this market collection is Competitive Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence answers the questions you need to know to solve problems and make decisions. Competitor Intelligence Research & Market Intelligence are often confusing processes. In this article, we described both and provided an alternative — Competitive Intelligence.

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