When it comes to gathering marketing intel, only 56 percent of small businesses with 11 to 50 employees dedicate someone to the task. And only 32 percent of businesses with 1 to 10 employees do so.
In its 2018 State of Market Intelligence Report, provider Crayon highlights the importance of market intelligence in a world where massive amounts of data are being generated by consumers and organizations alike. The report looks at the field of market research and intelligence along with the best practices, challenges and opportunities for making better use of the technology.
Importance of Market Intelligence
Intelligence tools in today’s business ecosystem are not reserved for big enterprises. Because of the way small businesses are connected, there is a lot of data being created in interactions with customers, vendors and partners. Therefore, having a business intelligence solution in place is not a luxury.
In a post on the Crayon site, company CMO Ellie Mirman says the data is there because of the online presence companies have. She goes on to explain, “Market Intelligence is quickly becoming indispensable for successful businesses, and understanding its importance can make you or break you in today’s ultra-competitive market.”
The State of Market Intelligence survey was carried out from October 18 through December 11, 2017, with respondents in 54 countries. However, 81 percent of those were in the US. More than 700 individuals involved in different aspects of market intelligence for their organizations participated in the survey.
What is Market Intelligence?
According to Crayon, market intelligence is the use of data to help companies achieve their marketing goals so they can make tactical and strategic decisions. The data can be about partners, competitors, consumers or other factors influencing the success of a business in its market. Competitive intelligence is also a key area within market intelligence focusing on competitors.
Here are Some Key Takeaways From the Report
Holistic competitive intelligence is important when it comes to winning. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said holistic intel on competitors is necessary for successful market intelligence programs. Another 79 percent stated it is just as critical to gather the data in a timely manner.
When it comes to the type of data they tracked, 93 percent identified competitor websites, while 88 percent identified content accounts, 87 percent identified social media accounts and 84 percent identified news sites as the things they tracked the most.
What Can Small Businesses Learn From Large Companies?
There remains a wide gap between small and large businesses when it comes to investing in market intelligence. This is despite the fact market intelligence gets results, especially in today’s business environment.
When it comes to investment, the report says companies with more than 1,000 employees have a higher engagement in market and competitive intelligence. A whopping 80 percent have whole teams dedicated to the task compared to just 13 percent in the case of small businesses with between 1 and 10 employee. Meanwhile 89 percent of these large companies reported dedicated headcount — compared to 32 percent in the case of small businesses. Another 94 percent of these larger businesses have some sort of investment in market and competitive intelligence compared with 67 percent in the case of small businesses.
The report concludes small companies will struggle to invest in market and competitive intelligence. But it is important to remember there are solutions in the marketplace catering to small businesses. The one thing you can’t do is avoid using such a valuable tool because your ability to compete, grow and succeed will be hampered.
You can download the full 2018 State of Market Intelligence Report here (PDF).
Which means that people who focus on marketing have an edge over their competitors. That is good news.
And yet it is so important. A website or online store will not be able to sell much without marketing. So there is a desperate need for it.
This may be because market intelligence can also be quite expensive. So they dismiss the idea and just allocate the money somewhere else.