As a business owner or a company leader, you tend to spend a lot of hours dwelling on your company’s marketing tactics. You must have encountered terms like ‘Marketing intelligence’ and ‘Competitive marketing’. So, what is Marketing Intelligence, and what is Competitive Intelligence?
Marketing Intelligence is the day-to-day information collected from a company’s market, this data or development metrics are then analyzed and put together to make crucial business decisions such as recognizing important market opportunities, and identifying market penetration strategies that enable the business to boost their revenue in the end.
On the other hand, when we talk about competitive intelligence, we mean analyzing the data gathered by studying the company’s market competitors. How can someone map out their company’s process of competitive intelligence? Well, that question may have an elaborated answer.
As we dug into several studies and saw various competitive intelligence reports, we found several parameters such as KPIs, goals, and resources, etc. We found out that different companies had a distinct process or a different mechanism behind building their competitive intelligence.
The process of building Marketing intelligence emphasizes more on knowing what the rest of the market is doing. It allows you to know about the audiences you can target and tells you the current strategies of your market leaders. Nowadays parameters like CRMs, social media website analytics, audience segmentation tools, etc are helping businesses to grow at a greater pace than ever before.
When we talk about investing in Marketing Intelligence, we talk about investing in enhancing your company’s marketing. If you are a business owner, marketer, or company leader, then you must go through these six steps to succeed with effective Marketing Intelligence for your company.
1. Identifying Your Competitors & Benchmarking
What is benchmarking? When you measure the quality of your product against the quality of those products that are produced by the current market leaders, it is called benchmarking. You need to set your standards and identify your competitors. Competitors can be both direct and indirect competitors.
Identify Your Direct Competitors –
- Do Market Research – Analyze the market of your goods or services. See which companies are selling the same product as you. Which market competitors do you often see in the sales process? Watch out for their products and marketing strategies.
- Customer Feedback Is Vital – Once you build a decent customer base, make sure to take their feedback on your services and products. You can also ask them about the products they usually prefer to buy from a competitor. They may reveal some new competitors!
- Social Media Community Posts Or Forums – A recommendation from a friend or a family member influences our buying behavior. In today’s digital world, customers take suggestions from social media websites and online forums like Reddit or Quora. You can dig into such posts because they’ll tell you more about your competitors.
Identify Your Indirect Competitors
- Keyword Research – Perform a competitive SEO analysis to find out which brands or businesses are competing with your business in terms of content on Google. Every query on a search engine begins from a keyword. You have to be aware of the keywords that your indirect competitors are using.
- Analyze Google SERPs – Your indirect competitors might be choosing the same topics that might be valuable for your products or website too. Recognize those keywords that are closely related to your products and services. Analyze the SERPs to spot websites that have similar content or keywords, those websites are your indirect competitors.
- Paid Data – Go into Google AdWords to evaluate the keywords that are crucial for your brand. Is the competition high for those keywords? If yes, then spot the businesses that are buying ads on those keywords. These paid ads might be competing with your content. Paid data will let you know about the competitors that you weren’t aware of.
2. How To Select The Right Metrics to Measure?
Choosing The Metrics to Measure
Choosing the correct metrics to measure your brand and performance depends upon your business objectives and your digital marketing strategy. Your strategies must be a mix of both, brand-based marketing and performance-based marketing.
But it is not possible to consider everything during the process of building marketing intelligence for your business due to limited resources, therefore, you can focus on the following metrics.
Brand-Based Metrics –
- Demographics of your audience.
- The shifting behavior of your audience across the web.
- The intent of your audience and major trends in the category.
- Performance of your competitors and their tactics on social media platforms.
Performance-Based Metrics –
- Your competitors’ keyword rankings (non-branded).
- Your competitors’ website traffic and acquisition channels.
- Your competitors’ budget for digital advertising on all platforms.
- Your competitors’ strategies for email marketing, SEO, paid ads, display ads, CRO.
Apart from these metrics, when it comes to building a robust digital marketing strategy, you must know the essential details about your competitors like – What is their spend on ads?, What amount of traffic are they driving to their website? What type of content do they post and what is the retention rate? etc.
3. Gather Audience And Intelligence Data Of Your Competitors
Intelligence gathering is a prime segment of effective marketing intelligence. Every business or brand collects Marketing Intelligence data in its way. Even local businesses keep an eye on ads that are displayed in the newspaper, on the other hand, large companies create their pool of data by buying data through various platforms.
Almost every business in the world focuses on internal data provided by platforms like Facebook Audience Insights, Social Media Analytics, Google Analytics, Excel. It is very important to recognize your competitors’ online presence. This step is a time-consuming step of the research phase.
Apart from internal data, try exploring their content that is publicly available such as product pages, websites, project teams, social media content, announcements, etc. You can evaluate this data to gather helpful insights.
4. Design A Competitive Analysis
When we talk about evaluating the gathered intelligence data, we talk about breaking down the statistics or information to pull out crucial trends and important details. Once you have these chunks segregated into several other segments, it becomes easier for the whole organization to understand and interpret them. The information can be easily passed on to the whole organization. Design a competitive analysis for your business, it can be done in several ways.
You can perform a benchmark analysis wherein you can gather all the information about your competitors and make a separate profile for each of them. Making such profiles are very beneficial because it allows you to see all the details of all the competitors in a single document. You can also perform ‘real-time’ analysis and track their actions.
One of the most effective ways to keep track of your competitors’ actions is to set up instant alerts on their product changes, new customer feedback, etc. This will allow you to provide a day-to-day analysis to your team.
5. Communicate The Marketing Insights Throughout The Company
Well, it’ll be a waste of time and effort if the gathered marketing intelligence data is not being utilized to enhance your marketing strategies. Therefore, it is necessary to pass on this vital information through some sort of platform to the whole organization.
You can use dashboards provided by platforms like Google Data Studio and Tableau. The only issue with such dashboards is that they need to be updated constantly. Automatic dashboards can be costly and challenging for your team because they require integrations and APIs.
A large number of companies share their marketing intel through email, some still rely on meetings, others use an internal team chat through communication tools like Slack or Campfire to deliver instant messages or updates to the team. You can also use tools provided by companies like intranet or wiki to deliver alerts to your team and store all the profiles of your competitors.
Another way to deliver important updates about your competitors to your team is by choosing the old traditional method of providing slide presentations to them. Slides are simple, shareable, approachable, and can be easily accessed. You can mention your key points to your team and explain to them your objectives in a short time.
6. Convert Data Into Action And Action Into Results
What is the ultimate aim of marketing intelligence? Better marketing performance and results, right? Whether you want an increase in sales, more brand visibility, a larger customer base, etc, there can be several different business goals.
The most important thing is to link your marketing intelligence with your marketing strategies. Well, we still don’t have those software or tools that can magically build a link between your marketing intelligence and your marketing strategies. We can’t automate them. But there’s one thing that we all can do, it is the process of backing our strategies with our data.
The sphere of marketing has evolved significantly. We can now rely on data-driven strategies. Most of the data that was collected in the past 10 years has largely affected the present state of our marketing environment. So whenever you are evaluating or developing marketing strategies, make sure that you come across both, internal as well as external data.
So once you have identified your competitors, collected the data, analyzed it, and passed on the information to your organization, you need to convert your data into actions. For instance, the data gathered can be used to tweak your content marketing strategies, social media strategies, A/B tests or it can be used to develop new marketing plans. The data gathered about your competitors’ products or the pricing can be used by your product team or sales team in their sales processes respectively.
The process of building marketing intelligence for your company is a very crucial step. As we have discussed earlier, marketing Intelligence is the day-to-day information collected from a company’s market. The data or metrics gathered can be very beneficial for a company. It can help a business like yours in making better business decisions. It can help your team in identifying important market opportunities and can help you to figure out market penetration strategies that can boost your company’s annual revenue. Make sure to follow these six steps to succeed with marketing intelligence in 2021.