Global Marketing Intelligence

Before entering into a market, especially an international market, it is extremely important for companies to know as much as they can about how beneficial the market will be for the company to enter into. One way of ensuring that the executives are making the right decision to enter (or not) into a market is through the use of market intelligence

Market intelligence is the use of external information by companies to make better decisions about their role in domestic or, in this case, global markets. This information could consist of things like: online resources (company websites, comments on social media, news articles, etc.) data about the population age, consumer habits on travel or spending, government laws & regulations, facilities within the target country, etc. Having and understanding this information is what gives companies and the executives that run them a “higher IQ” in regards to what will make their business successful in the global marketplace. This external market analysis goes hand in hand with something called business intelligence, which directly relates to the company’s internal information such as sales reports, shipments, returns, budgets, purchases, etc. The collection and analysis of this information is what allows businesses to make sound decisions within their own company. One could argue that business intelligence should be analyzed and understood by companies before they even start thinking about market intelligence or entering into a new market. Similarly to the famous question, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” which do you think comes first, business intelligence or market intelligence?…

Now, lets look at some examples of how market intelligence was and was not used by companies when entering into the marketplace…

Back in 2011 and 3 years after the company had launched in the United States, Airbnb decided that it wanted to really start honing in on the UK and expand its business there. The company wanted to be swift in their decision making regarding the quickly growing market, but needed to accumulate information about it first. So, they partnered with a company called London & Partners and collected competitive environment information which helped to boost their market intelligence in order to make the right decisions when moving forward. As a result, Airbnb grew by 748% in 2012 and listed a total of 10,000 properties by the end of the year. Without market intelligence, Airbnb could have ended up making poor decisions within the UK market…

On the contrary, Blackberry did not make as good of decisions back in 2011 when they did not have enough market intelligence to understand that there was a massive change in consumer behavior. Up until that time, predominant smartphones did not have touchscreens and typically had physical keyboards on the phone itself. However, companies like Android and Apple started to pave the way for touchscreen smartphones around 2011, which left Blackberry in the dust. Blackberry saw this coming, but decided not to act until it was too late to do so. The company is not a major player anymore in the industry, but very well could have been if they had more market intelligence.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting question you guys pose in what came first–business intelligence or market intelligence. At first, I thought 100% business intelligence, because if you don’t have a good business at its core, the market research won’t make a difference. Then I thought, if you understood the market through market intelligence, you could build your business based on that info. Ultimately, I think it depends on whether you started a business based on resources available (in which case, business intelligence comes first) or based on market demand (in which case, market intelligence comes first).
    – Cassity

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