Nowadays executives have more information than ever before. But so do customers, which adds to the need for competent and innovative marketing and business strategies. Thus, marketing intelligence can be the key to success in an increasingly competitive environment.
Most companies are aware that data and information about their customers are the cornerstone of business strategies, especially at a time when more and more companies are striving to be customer-centric.
However, in recent years, both marketing and data analytics have progressed enormously. Data being a fundamental resource for the smooth running of a business is no longer in doubt and both clients and business owners have access to more information and data than ever before.
Customers do not only have far more purchasing options, but they also have more information about products, services and the brands that sell them. According to recent studies, 81% of people research a product and compare it with those of the competition before making a purchase.
Because of this, companies are starting to pay attention to customer-centrisc strategies such as marketing intelligence, which promotes the analysis of consumer data to achieve better business decisions.
What is marketing intelligence?
Marketing intelligence is a marketing trend that, more than a technique, is a philosophy that applies customer-centrism to marketing. Especially used in digital marketing, marketing intelligence places the customer at the centre of the marketing strategy and action plan, promoting, at the same time, the adoption of a customer-centric strategy by all the other departments.
In marketing intelligence knowing the customer is paramount. Thus, strategies to generate knowledge about consumers —customer segmentation, customer journey, customer experience, etc.— are essential. Ultimately, marketing intelligence focuses on acquiring a comprehensive view of the customer's behaviour and needs in order to satisfy them and provide the right customer experiences, services and campaigns to each customer.
- Learn how to carry out efficient customer segmentations with Kale Tips: How to segment customers?
Beyond customers, marketing intelligence also studies the environment, the market, the competition, the business sector and the organisation's stakeholders to generate business intelligence —hence the name—. Therefore, techniques such as market research, go-to-market strategies, predictive analysis and analysis of the digital ecosystem are also part of this business philosophy.
Obviously, all of this is based on the analysis of our customers' data —customer intelligence & analytics— to obtain valuable insights that help us make decisions and build better strategies based on the data. In other words, data-driven marketing.
The analysis of customer data together with other knowledge techniques such as surveys or focus groups help marketing managers to build comprehensive marketing strategies, more focused on customer needs and based on content personalisation. Thus, marketing intelligence goes a step beyond marketing, applying data analysis, BI and the customer-centric perspective to marketing for the development of actions based on intelligence and knowledge.
This makes it easier for companies to achieve their marketing objectives, improve their relationship with customers and optimise sustomer-related business statistics such as sales, customer lifetime value (LTV), customer retention rate, etc. Marketing intelligence can also be the key to discovering new business opportunities beyond customers. As mentioned above, a fundamental aspect of marketing intelligence is the exploration of the market, stakeholders and competition. Many organisations have used marketing intelligence to find new revenue sources during a difficult period
How to apply marketing intelligence?
Study your positioning
To carry out an effective and complete marketing intelligence strategy, the first step is to study your positioning considering what you want to sell, to whom you want to sell it —who are your Buyer Persona—, what are your short-term goals, what are our long-term goals, what is your value proposition, who is your competition and whether or not your objectives are in line with the market reality. Before taking action it is essential to make sure that your marketing intelligence strategy covers all these aspects.
Study the competition
In marketing intelligence it is essential to be clear and understand who our competitors are, not only in terms of the products or services we sell, but also in relation to content positioning and marketing campaigns. Therefore, we must focus our efforts on identifying both our direct competitors and the key players in our area of activity and analyse what they are doing without losing sight of our target customers. It is also wise not to exactly copy what our competitors are doing, but focus on analysing what they are doing wrong or what could be done better.
It is also important to look at the platforms and technologies our competitors are investing their resources in, as well as the channels they are using. We can, for example, find out if a competitor has information about new customer engagement tactics on social media or if they are using a marketing platform we don't know about. However, we should always consider the logic and particularities of our business and bear in mind that just because our competitors are investing in a specific platform, that platform may not work for us.
Pick your keywords
Once we know what we want to sell, in which channels, who our target customers and competitors are and the strategy we are going to follow, it is time to determine what keywords we want to position.
In the digital world, choosing the right keywords and creating content to position them is essential.
To choose efficient keywords, looking at what keywords the competition is working with and how much it will cost to position them is always a good idea. Often, choosing the most searched words is not the smartest thing to do, as these types of keywords are very difficult to position.
Marketing intelligence brings traditional marketing closer to customer-centrism, basing the marketing strategy on the generation of intelligence about customers, the market, the competition and the operating environment.
As Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, once said: “The first rule of fishing is fish where the fish are.” In this sense, marketing intelligence is the most efficient marketing strategy for companies to identify where they need to fish in order to catch the fish they want to catch.