What is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is the gathering and analyzing of information relevant to a company’s external environment, and is often part of a company’s strategic planning function, specifically for the purpose of accurate and confident decision making in determining market opportunities This insight can be useful for developing market strategies for how to penetrate new markets and is EXTREMELY necessary and useful for when entering a foreign market and expanding globally.
Market intelligence and market research are commonly associated and similar, however serve different purposes for a company. Market research and the information compiled from market research is commonly conducted when developing a new project, product, or entering a new market. This information is statistics, number and data about the external environment such as customers, competitors, and other factors. However, market intelligence is what is taken away from analyzing this data and how to continue what strategies, target customers, and specific campaigns marketers should implement from these interpretations.
For example, having a deep understanding about your competitors, their position in the market, and the pricing strategies are all extremely crucial to understand how your company can combat them and compete:
- Competitors: How are your competitors positioned and how do they communicate their proposition? Studying and understanding how your competitor is pricing and placing its products can help marketing managers gain a larger share of buyers in that same market.
- Customer Behavior: What influences are there on purchasing decision process such as language, ethnicity, race, religion and lifestyle?
- Potential Local Partners: Research to find possible reliable partners who know the market can be useful when expanding globally
Essentially, understanding both your current and potential customer in the senses of who they are, what they want, and their level of satisfaction or loyalty is crucial in implementing correct marketing strategies and campaigns, especially when entering a new market abroad! Having that timely information regarding marketing and operations including areas such as innovation, product development, promotion and pricing can help a company gain the competitive advantage they’re seeking and brand their company or product successfully.
The Strategic Importance of Market Intelligence when Expanding Internationally
Collecting market intelligence before expanding internationally is strategically imperative. Market intelligence can help you both develop strategies in specialic countries or regions, and even allow you to find out new opportunities and whether or not you should even enter that specific market! Understanding the where, why, and how of stepping into a foreign market can help you optimize your companies strengths and aligns them to develop the most effective strategy. This knowledge can let you adapt and innovate your product to appeal to customer preferences in many new markets that you wish to enter and can make or break a brand’s success. For example, Groupon famously tried to move into China and ultimately lost because of their lack of cultural understanding and China’s saturated group-buying market.
Airbnb & Global Market Intelligence
Many travelers all across the globe now turn to Airbnb as their go-to site for finding a local place to stay while on vacation as opposed to hotels. Creating an international network through marketing intelligence helped Airbnb grow its brand across various markets globally. Having a local presence in key areas is crucial for the company to uphold their home-away-from-home brand.
For Airbnb, adapting to the customs of the culture in the market they want to move into is crucial for success. One of the major tools that Airbnb uses in order to localize quickly and distinguish themselves is Polyglot.js which allows them to quickly translate commonly looked at texts and gain more insight in new global markets. Ultimately, by taking advantage of market intelligence in order to successfully localize many different markets and cultures, Airbnb was able to conquer the travel industry by creating a unique and personalized travel experience catered to a diverse customer base.