Market intelligence is the monitoring of specific data streams in order to provide stakeholders with a holistic view of an industry segment or customer base. Market intelligence gathers existing information from various data sources so it can be used to understand product viability, consumer behavior and competition. The term market, in this context, is a specific category of potential buyers and intelligence is a synonym for information.
Market intelligence involves gathering information from external and internal sources to help create opportunities for company growth through increased revenue, market share or profit. Data sources for market intelligence include information about rival companies, economic trends, customer preferences and supplier capabilities.
The goal of market intelligence is to help stakeholders understand where problems and opportunities exist in specific segments of a marketplace before competitors can do so. The intelligence gathered helps support data-driven decisions and enables companies to lower risk by dealing proactively with customer demand and potential problems in the supply chain.
Market intelligence vs. marketing research
Market intelligence and marketing research both involve gathering and interpreting information about a company's market. While the primary goal of market intelligence is to assess the ability of a product to be successful in a target market, the primary goal of marketing research is to optimize product promotion and ensure that inbound and outbound marketing initiatives are cost-effective.