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Market and competitor intelligence resources

Articles and resources about collecting, analysing and using market intelligence and competitor intelligence from data sources, to data storage and sharing information in the business.

For help and advice on carrying out any market intelligence projects on-line or off-line contact

  • Competitive intelligence
  • X26_1_wrestling1.jpg Competitive Intelligence is a specialist type of market intelligence specifically aimed at sourcing and gathering information about competitors, normally on a continuous basis. The objective is to understand and react to competitive behaviour as part of an overall market positioning strategy.

    Strict ethical codes should be adhered to when carrying out competitive intelligence data gathering. A rule of thumb is that information that is public and can be obtained without deception is free to be collected, but private data, commercial secrets and obtaining information by deception are not allowed. Detailed company sensitive data like number of sales, production costs, or commercial sales terms are unlikely to be obtainable.

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  • Database analysis and Big Data
  • X26_1_data_analysis1.jpg Companies have vast stores of information in their databases that cover customer behaviour over time, but often this is locked away and difficult to use. Data science (previously data analysis) is the process of extracting this data, cleaning it, coding it, potentially merging it with other data and performing a statistical analysis to better understand customers and customer behaviour, and increasingly using automated algorithmic systems or AI to extract insight from the databases to target offers and adverts to different customers.

    Increasingly, the phrase Market Intelligence is being used to describe the use of data science to link and analyse databases of information held within an organisation. Although, we see market intelligence more broadly than, database analysis is now a central business function for market insight.

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  • Using published reports
  • Using published reports for market intelligence and planning Many organisations and analyst houses provide published reports on markets and market statistics, particularly in technology markets and pharmaceutical markets. As a guideline for students and those new to market intelligence, we have some hints and tips on what to look for from published reports and perhaps when to buy and when not to.

    In general, published data is generalist in nature, so it rarely answers organisation specific questions. However, using the data and tracking it over time can provide a solid set of background information for business plans if the information is supported by credible publishers.

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  • Analysing website and internet traffic
  • Analysing web traffic Website analysis is now a specialist task, with increasing levels of statistical and algorithmic sophistication for tracing, tracking and modelling customer journeys often using dedicated external providers. With web-apps large amounts of data can be gathered, although consent and understanding GDPR or other privacy regimes is essential.

    In developing market intelligence systems, it is important to understand where and how the data is collected and what can be done with it and how to integrate website analysis into other market information data to develop market experiments and evaluate marketing effectiveness.

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  • Useful sources of information
  • Useful sources of information We regularly conduct market intelligence gathering exercises. Below are some useful sources to help those who might want a starting point for more technical or statistical information focused on background competitor or market intelligence.

    Naturally, everyone uses search engines now, however, knowing where to look to track down specialised information can benefit from analysts who are familiar with the source material, particularly for technical information like company financial data or government statistics.

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  • Desk research
  • X26_1_pen3006462_19201.jpg Desk research is the name given to using public information sources to find information on potential customers, competitors and intermediaries in markets. With the Internet, vast seas of information have opened up electronically making desk research an accessible tool to gather Market Intelligence, particularly in dynamic markets where data is quickly out of date.

    Search engines, directories and widespread online magazines and reviews have made much marketing intelligence much easier. However, searching and knowing what to look for remain skilled jobs to navigate primary sources for company information and statistics, and to ensure data is cross-checked and validated.

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