Market research and market intelligence are two terms that are often used interchangeably; however, the scope and the meaning of these two are different from one another. Marketing strategy is a vital aspect for businesses to attract and retain customers, and thus, adequate market research and market intelligence should be carried out to gain maximum benefit from a marketing strategy. The key difference between market research and market intelligence is that the market research is a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data relevant to a specific marketing strategy whereas market intelligence is the information critical to a business’s markets, gathered and analyzed to make informed decisions to understand aspects such as market opportunity and business potential.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Market Research
3. What is Market Intelligence
4. Side by Side Comparison – Market Research vs Market Intelligence
What is Market Research?
Market research is defined as a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data relevant to a specific marketing strategy. Market research involves research into the size, location, and makeup of a product market. Conducting a thorough market research becomes vital in the below circumstances.
- Developing a new product or product category
- Entering a new market
- Developing a new advertising strategy
Market Research Methods
Gathering successful data affects the accomplishment of the marketing strategy directly, and the below methods can be used.
Surveys are the most widely used and most convenient method of collecting data for market research. This is a quantitative data collection method where a list of printed or written questions with a choice of answers is presented to customers. Surveys assist market researchers to reach out to large samples of customers to gain data.
Survey results can be used for effective decision-making since a large number of data can be collected.
- One to one interviews and focus group discussions
These are qualitative methods of collecting data that will allow market researchers to ask questions about the product experiences, customer expectations, and their suggestions. While very useful, one to one interviews and focus group discussions are time-consuming to carry out.
- Product tests
Here, the potential customers are given the opportunity to try out the products for free, and their views are enquired. This is a very successful method since the customers directly interact with the product.
E.g., According to the below chart, Kellogg’s is the market leader in the USA cereal market with a share of 34%. The market share of General Mills is 31% and the company is attempting to become the market leader. The management believes that if they increase the number of flavors available, they can capture more market share. To identify which new flavors should be introduced, the company decides to carry out a market research and collect data through surveys
What is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is the information relevant to a company’s markets, gathered and analyzed to make informed decisions to understand aspects such as market opportunity and business potential. Market intelligence assists companies to decide the marketing strategies that should be used to realize marketing objectives. Thus, it is evident that market intelligence is a broader concept than market research where market research approach depends on market intelligence. Market intelligence not only recognizes the interdependence of the four P’s in marketing (Product, Promotion, Price, and Place) but prototypes that interdependence in a way that enables the company to consider multiple options and the related risks.
Continuing from the above example, by looking at the chart above regarding the cereal market in USA, General Mills can understand their market potential (the company is only 3% away from becoming a market leader) and can evaluate options to select the best option. Two potential option are,
- Engage in an aggressive advertising campaign to directly compete with Kellogg’s
- Acquire a share of another cereal brand and increase the market share
What is the difference between Market Research and Market Intelligence?
Market Research vs Market Intelligence
|Market research is a systematic process of collecting and analyzing data relevant to a specific marketing strategy.||Market intelligence is the information critical to a company’s markets, gathered and analyzed to make informed decisions to understand aspects such as market opportunity and business potential.|
|Market research is a specific exercise carried out as a part of marketing strategy.||Market intelligence is a broader concept compared to marketing research.|
|Application of marketing research depends on the marketing strategy.||Marketing strategy is decided based on market intelligence.|
Summary – Market Research vs Market Intelligence
The difference between market research and market intelligence depends on their impact on the marketing strategy and their contribution to achieving market objectives. Market research provides various alternatives to achieve the marketing strategy while market intelligence provides situational insight and interpretation so that the company can anticipate which strategy to use. Once the company understands the potential of the market via market intelligence, it can develop plans to implement the necessary course of action.
1. Staff, Investopedia. “Market Research.” Investopedia. N.p., 06 May 2016. Web. 02 May 2017.
2. “Data Collection Methods for Marketing Research.” YourArticleLibrary.com: The Next Generation Library. N.p., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 02 May 2017.
3. Goutham Matta, Student Senate-Stout Student Association at University of Wisconsin-Stout Follow. “Cereals and its products packaging.” LinkedIn SlideShare. N.p., 02 Dec. 2015. Web. 02 May 2017.
4. May 31, 2016 / Justine Brown. “Market Insights.” What’s the difference between market research and market intelligence? N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2017
1. Relationship between data, information and intelligence. By U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff JP2-0, Public Domain, via Wikimedia