What is Marketing Intelligence?

Just as a general would never engage in battle against a region without conducting extensive reconnaissance, a business owner would never attempt to enter a foreign market without gathering adequate marketing intelligence. Market intelligence data is used to develop entry strategies for products or services that are sold in overseas markets, and the data also helps senior leaders to conduct associated risk management activities. Corporate marketing managers usually conduct or oversee these types of data-gathering missions. Marketing professionals emloy investigative skills to identify appropriate data sources, and they also analyze the data to formulate informational reports that support strategic decision making. Here are some of the ways that marketing data is gathered and analyzed by marketing managers.

Review of Market Journals and Publications

Trade journals, reviews and academic publications can be excellent sources of market intelligence. Many business leaders seek to sell goods or services in emerging economic markets, but some of these regions have limited online market data that is publicly available. In these cases, the information about market forces and potential competitors is likely available through specialized market research agencies that employ analysts to gather specific data points about a regional market or industry. These analysts usually have extensive experience researching specific regions, and most of their work products cannot be easily duplicated by simple internet searches.

Communication with Relevant Stakeholders

Most business leaders want their organizations to be trailblazers, but there are likely other companies that have already paved the way for entrance into certain foreign markets. This fact becomes more evident during the market intelligence gathering process. Marketing managers can gain targeted data about prospective customers and competitors in foreign markets through their current business partners. Specifically, suppliers and distributors can often supply this information if they currently do business with other companies that operate in targeted foreign markets. Also, business customers can likely share information about the foreign markets in which they operate. For example, business customers can make marketing managers aware of their suppliers in the targeted foreign markets in which they operate. The described suppliers would be potential competitors to the marketing managers’ employers if they decide to sell their products or services in those foreign markets.

Monitoring and Cultivating Business Relationships on Social Media Platforms

Social media use has grown exponentially over the last decade, and businesses are almost expected to have a presence on one or more of the popular platforms. These social media channels have gained notoriety across the world, and people are surprisingly candid in their online conversations. Marketing managers, who have developed relationships with individuals and business customers worldwide, can request market data and genuine feedback from a number of people. Their online presence affords them a level of trust with the global community of social media users. The information that these marketing managers collect is a type of crowdsourced data, and some companies use this customer-provided data to identify trends and adapt products for foreign markets, according to CrowdSource.

Related Resource: Become a Purchasing Manager


Operating in the information age has made the activities that are associated with data gathering much easier, because nearly all data is available electronically. Additionally, many software systems are capable of gathering data from different sources, and these systems often allow marketing managers to generate customized marketing intelligence reports for their companies’ specific needs.