Market intelligence is information about the market on which you are working, meaning the likes, dislikes, and demographics of the market that you are trying to enter, as well as the trends that are appearing within that market. These trends could be based on the demographics of the customers, or they could be simply based on environmental or political factors. All of this information allows you to create a product that better suits the needs of your customers and create advertising that is going to better appeal to your customers.
If you are a small company, market intelligence might be vital but you might not know how to gather it. Here are some tips for gathering market intelligence.
1. Talk to Your Sales People
Your sales people are going to be your greatest source of information, as well as the most affordable way for you to gather market intelligence. The reason for this is because your sales people are the people who have spent the most time and have the most experience interacting with your customers on a day-to-day basis.
Create a list of questions that you want your sales force to try to answer that you could use for improving your product or for improving your advertising campaign, such as what sorts of topics appeal to the customers and how much are they willing to spend on a certain product. Your sales force can then work to get this information out of a variety of customers that they interact with and log all of the information into a spreadsheet so that you have data to analyze.
2. Monitor Social Media
If you don't have enough information to get specific information about the people who are using your product from a third-party company, then you can always get information about who at least is using your product and has enough strong opinions to bother to post it to social media. Going onto Facebook or Twitter and searching terms that are related to your product, as well as your product name and your company name, will help you get a sense for how your product is being received by the public and if you need to take any steps to adjust this reception.
3. Use Search Engines
Finally, use search engines to see what reviews of your product are out there and to see what types of people are posting positive and negative reviews. Reach out to those customers individually and see if they would be willing to be part of a customer advisory board, part-time. This could simply mean that they are on an email list where you can bounce ideas for improvements off them so you can get some more direct feedback.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in market intelligence. Companies like Customer Foresight Group, Limited data research company, may be able to assist you.