Due to globalization and technological developments, markets have now become international. This has led to increased competition and consumers now have a variety of companies to choose from while purchasing any specific product. It is therefore very important for businesses to keep a sharp eye on the competition and upcoming trends regarding consumer requirements in the industry it operates, in order to operate effectively and gain or maintain its share and reputation in that particular industry market.

Furthermore, if a company is looking forward to target a specific industry or market, it has to gain knowledge about the existing competitors in that particular segment and also the customer requirements and relevant opportunities and threats in that particular market. This led to the creation of a method/technique called Market Intelligence which refers to obtaining and evaluating the data related to a market and its competitors, in which a particular company participates or wishes to participate.

Elements of Market Intelligence

Market Intelligence usually consists of two main elements:  the development of an understanding of the dynamics of the market and an understanding of the competitors in that particular market.

For a business to develop an understanding regarding the market it operates/wishes to operate in, the first step is to understand the specific requirements of the consumers in that particular market and to consider the fact whether the company has reasonable resources to meet these requirements or not. Secondly, the company may also evaluate factors such as the potential opportunities and threats and also the relevant market shares of the existing competitors in order to gain an understanding of the level of competition that exists in that particular market.

Second comes the understanding of the market competitors itself. To gain this, a company may extract information about the strategies that are being implemented by the competitors, For Instance whether they are following a strategy of product differentiation or cost-leadership. Moreover, information related to the particular products/product range offered by the competitors can also be gathered and analyzed in order to reach an understanding about the competition that the company is facing or will face in a potential market.

Sources of Gathering Information

There can be several sources of collecting data related to market intelligence, these mainly include competitor websites, newspapers and customer questioners. A company can also evaluate the different features offered by a particular product of a competitor by buying that product itself and assessing its technical aspects.