Marketing Intelligence: Types, Definition, Examples

Developing several types of market intelligence to build strong customer relationships is an integral part of any successful business.

Marketing intelligence types and solutions provide an in-depth understanding of the consumer behavior, preferences, and intentions.

Moreover, the competitive intelligence approach aids your business in monitoring competitors and planning your own business decisions.

On this page:

  • What is market intelligence? Definition, meaning, and goals.
  • Types and examples of market intelligence.
  • Infographic in PDF.

Let’s define it:

Market intelligence is collected data that provides a broad view of the company’s existing market. This view includes information and insights about customers, competitors, problems, regulatory authorities, the potential for new products and any other market information you can guess.

Furthermore, in our new era of innovations, market intelligence has expanded to incorporate data analysis methods that can help you improve your business modeling.

The goal of marketing intelligence

the goals of market intelligence - a short infographic

The meaning of market intelligence consists of answering actual questions about your customers and competitors and thus help the company perform successful data-driven decision making.

Examples of questions that market intelligence can include:

  • What are the key strengths and weaknesses of your competitors?
  • What is the optimal price for a concrete product?
  • Who is currently purchasing your products?
  • What are the key reasons for not buying your products?
  • What updates or changes could be made to your products to make it better?
  • Into what marketing segments can you push new or existing products?
  • What sets you apart from competitors?
  • What benefits do your customers want?

The answers to questions like above ones can help you manage your customers, develop pricing strategies, create marketing plans, boost upselling opportunities, predict competitors’ moves, identify gaps and etc.

How to gain information needed for your market intelligence?

Gathering and keeping track of all the information needed for market intelligence can be very time-consuming. This is where the modern software tools enter the scene.

Over the past few years, some online tools and techniques have become marketer’s best friends for finding new opportunities.

In our post about marketing intelligence tools, we collected 20 of the best free and premium marketing and competitive intelligence tools you can start using right now.

In addition, there are a wide variety of data collection tools and comprehensive software solutions for business intelligence such as Pentaho and Sisense. You can compare different solutions on comparison websites like G2 Crowd and Software Advice.

Market Intelligence vs Market Information

Market Intelligence vs Market Information - a short infographic

Before digging deeper into the types of marketing intelligence system, we need to explain what is the difference between intelligence and information.

Collecting information is just the first step in the marketing-intelligence process. Information is created by numbers and some statistics about your customers, products, and competitors.

For example, the time and date of customer’s purchases, the geographic location of your customers, and their age are just information.

This information needs to be analyzed in order to gain valuable insights from it.

Information becomes intelligence when it’s analyzed. Analyzing information involves activities such as using appropriate software systems, dashboards, data visualization tools, BI reporting tools, different types of graphs and charts and etc.

This way, companies can use marketing intelligence to take important business decisions and to make business strategies.

Types of Marketing Intelligence

Marketing intelligence covers a whole world of data and information. As we mentioned above, it includes information and insights about customers, competitors, problems, prices, and etc.

Depending on the sources of the data to be gathered and analyzed and on the nature of your industry and market, there are many types of marketing intelligence. Here we will see the main of them.

Competitor intelligence

Nowadays, competitor intelligence is a critical instrument for effective marketing and business success.

As you already guess, competitor intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing information about competitors.

However, competitor intelligence isn’t the act of spying on the competition. It’s based on the ethical gathering of different types of information, including government records (that are openly available).

The Society of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) even provides a code of ethics for its members.

Typically, competitor intelligence activities help you form a picture of the competitive environment in which your business works, as well as build comprehensive competitor profiles.

Examples of topics, areas, and key points that your competitor profile should contain:

  • Competitors contact information (such as emails, website, addresses, phone numbers and etc.)
  • The company structure – is your competitor individually owned, incorporated, etc?
  • Mission statement – what are your competitor’s philosophies and beliefs?
  • Are they direct or indirect competitors?
  • What are their products/services?
  • How high is their quality? How do customers perceive their quality? Are their customers satisfied?
  • How loyal are your competitor’s customers?
  • What is the competitor news? Following your competitors on social media is a must-do thing.
  • How does their product development process work?
  • What are their available resources (both internal and external)?
  • What are their sales? What is the revenue? What is their sales team like?
  • What are their current and potential target market?
  • How do competitors distribute their products and services?
  • What are their customer service level and skills?

When it comes to collecting information about your competitors, it a best practice to uncover as much as you can. This will not only show you their profile but it will also help you learn how to be greater than them.

You can also collect valuable understandings and insights into industry trends.

Customer intelligence

In today world, only a deep customer understanding can drive your sales and revenue.

Customer intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing information about your customers. The goal of it is to understand customer motivations, beliefs, intentions, preferences, and perceptions.

Customer intelligence is all about gaining insight into customers that is both valuable and smart.

It’s the understanding of why customers buy (or not buy) particular products that allow you to meet customer demands and expectations.

Customer intelligence helps you create your customers’ profile which includes geographic, demographic, psychographic, and socioeconomic characteristics. Also, it consists of creditworthiness and buying patterns.

Examples of topics and points that your customer profile should contain:

  • What is the age group of your customers?
  • What is their level of education?
  • What is their occupation?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their marital status?
  • What are your customers’ hobbies and interests?
  • What problem are they solving by using your product?
  • What are the concerns that may customers have about your company and business?
  • What can make your customers recommend your products to other people?
  • How much are they willing to spend on your types of products?
  • What are the best channels to reach your customers? (emails, social media, TV, in-store promotions, etc.)

Customer Intelligence is a must-needed approach that provides actionable business insight.

To succeed, you must know the various sources of customer intelligence and the clear answers to questions like above ones. They will help you get closer and closer to your customers.

Geopolitical Intelligence

The business environment is complex and globally interconnected.

Geopolitical intelligence is a process of collecting and analyzing information about the regional and/or global geopolitical aspects such as languages, culture, history, law, trade policies, and business practices typical for a country (or countries).

Geopolitical intelligence is more common for multinational and global enterprises that operate on several countries and need data and insights into different markets and locations.

To perform this type of market intelligence, large global companies may create an in-house team that performs geopolitical intelligence functions. Smaller companies often use outside services.

Examples of topics and points that your geopolitical intelligence should contain:

  • What is the risk of a major movement in the exchange rate in a country?
  • What are the political stability and the overall political system?
  • What are commercial laws and business regulations?
  • What is the domestic security environment? Is there encompassing war, crime, terrorism, or other security issues?
  • What are the business environment and the influence of societal and structural factors?
  • What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP, Nominal) of the country?
  • What are the major International and regional organizations in the country?
  • Who are some of the country’s leaders?
  • What are the country’s major exports and imports?

Geopolitical intelligence helps businesses to understand the dimensions of global markets and environments so that they can identify opportunities and avoid risks.

Business leaders realize that understanding the complex geopolitical picture is an important element, requiring interpreting the impact of changing economic conditions on business success.

Social Media Intelligence

Social media has transformed the way people communicate and interact with each other. Now, when people go looking for more information about a company or a product, they go to check the social media profiles.

These are good reasons why social media intelligence is becoming one of the key types of marketing intelligence.

Social media intelligence (SMI) represents the process of monitoring social media including social conversations. The information is then analyzed and used to make business decisions and take actions.

Social media intelligence goes far beyond just looking at and monitoring conversations that go online (including ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’). SMI gives you deep insights into how your consumers perceive your company, products or brands.

Examples of topics and questions that your social media intelligence can help you answer:

  • What are your competitors doing?
  • What are your customers biggest problems and pain points?
  • What content is getting the most engagement?
  • What business opportunities are you missing? Is there something you hadn’t considered about your customers?
  • Which customers are not happy with your products and why?
  • What are your customers’ interests?
  • Which audiences love your products and why?
  • How can you gain new ideas?
  • Who are the key influencers in your industry?
  • How can you offer a better customer experience?
  • Who is talking about your company?

SMI is a powerful weapon in your hands. A successful social media intelligence strategy allows you to reach the right people at the right time with a great and insightful content and offers.

It opens many doors to marketing, research, and sales professionals. In so many ways, social media makes market intelligence more relevant and vigorous. You just need to know how to integrate it rightly.

Technology Intelligence

Leading companies have a very comprehensive structure of different types of marketing intelligence (including not only competitive, customer, and social media intelligence but also technology intelligence) to gather and analyze deeper information on environmental changes in order to improve their decision-making quality.

Technology Intelligence (TI) is the process of identifying and analyzing the technological opportunities and threats that could affect your business development.

TI involves a specific type of information and insights into the technology environment. In other words, TI helps you explore what’s going on in the technology world and how this information can be applied in your company.

With the new technologies coming faster than ever before, you need to know which ones can give you the most competitive advantage. You not only have to know what the new technologies are but how effective they can be.

Examples of questions that technology intelligence can help you answer:

  • What are the technology trends in your industry?
  • When is the best time to deploy new technologies?
  • What new technology skills need your employees to learn?
  • What are your competitors doing in technical aspect?
  • How innovative are your products and services in comparison with your competitors?
  • What are the biggest technology providers (such as universities, research institutes, national labs, etc) in your industry?
  • What are the current technical requirements and expectations of your customers?
  • What are the upcoming technology solutions that will dominate the market over the next years?
  • What are the key challenges of the innovation cycle of a product?

Technology intelligence allows you to identify and evaluate trends, perform historical analysis, estimate market demands, understand specific regulations, and even make technology predictions.

The good technology intelligence can provide you with a solid knowledge and support to plan and create your innovation path. Moreover, it can connect you to partners and project ideas beyond your geographical boundaries.

Product Intelligence

Product intelligence is gaining a strong popularity among marketers and sales professionals, especially those who are involved in the retail industry today.

Product intelligence is a process of collecting and analyzing information about your company’s products and those of your competitors. The goal is to provide data-driven insights to your management team for product development decisions and innovation activities.

Although it covers areas from competitor and customer intelligence, product intelligence is considered as a separate type of marketing intelligence due to its primary focus – the product.

Product Intelligence is about a deep understanding of product features such as prices, ratings,  promotions, attributes, distributions, availability, and etc.

Product Intelligence helps you sell more to existing customers, provide better customer service, support your other departments, testing concepts, tracking success, and more.

Examples of questions that product intelligence can help you answer:

  • What features are attracting users to your product at most?
  • In which geographic markets will а concrete product be the most successful?
  • How do customers like your product relative to competing ones?
  • What products are trending down?
  • What products are bought the most and why?
  • What stores are struggling and why?
  • What is the best price range for a particular product?
  • What are the best distribution channels for a product?
  • What are the best suppliers?

There are cutting-edge software solutions for product intelligence that combine data from different company’s systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), product lifecycle management (PLM) and other data resources into one data place for analytics and insights.

Sales is the machine that drives your business growth and optimizing your product understandings can lead to a great effectiveness and revenue results.

Download the following infographic in PDF for Free

Market Intelligence - an Infographic



If your company can’t adapt to the ever-changing market dynamics, there are real risks of getting out of the market.

One of the key reasons the leading businesses (such as Amazon) are so successful is their collection, analysis, insights, and right use of data for the decision making.

The above types of market intelligence can provide you with a broad view of customer needs and behaviors, competitor’s threats, potential markets, technology solutions, suppliers, prices, and many other critical market aspects.

Big data and marketing intelligence play a variety of roles in the modern business world, for all levels of management and for all types of organizations.

When used effectively, the different types of market intelligence reveal crucial information, such as the hidden patterns, latent correlations, and trends. This undoubtedly leads to increased business productivity and revenue.

One Response

  1. Jibrilla Adamu

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