While it may seem competitive intelligence (CI) and market intelligence (MI) are the same and they serve a similar purpose i.e., aid decision-making, but they are different in practice and make a great equation for the success of any business. In today's rapidly changing market dynamics, no business is unaffected from the developments happening in its connected ecosystems. The business world has turned into a big web with interconnected markets that are impacting each other, and it is likely to get more and more complex in the future. With the increasing complexity and competition among industries, it has become more than necessary to keep a track of not only your competitors but also where the market is headed. So, will it be okay to say that CI and MI are slowly converging? Let’s find out.
The link between CI and MI
Often confused with one another, both MI and CI have similar frameworks for success. CI is all about your competitors, is more tactical, and analyses the external business environment. Whereas MI is all about the larger market that involves an analysis of indirect and unconventional threats.
For example, consumers may prefer your competitors for specific reasons. By identifying and understanding those reasons, you will analyze and understand something about consumer behavior and demand, which calls for market intelligence. However, to apply that understanding for analyzing how the competitor was able to link consumer behavior with specific marketing campaigns and gain loyal following calls for competitive intelligence. An excellent marketing strategy would take both MI and CI into consideration.
Competitive Intelligence –
As we know that competitive intelligence is a strategic study of the industries and competitors to track their moves. It helps identify what your competitive landscape looks like, who are the potential competitors, and how you can supersede them. With CI, you will get a heads up on what your competitor is doing that you are not doing, and is there a convincing reason to do it. Are all or how many of your competitors are launching a new product and what is their spend on it? CI uses research to keep track of the competitor developments that can directly impact your position in the competitive landscape. Thus, competitive intelligence is business-focused.
Market Intelligence –
Market intelligence has a more holistic approach to analyze your entire market scenario and where you stand in it. It involves surveying a larger field and typically is a broader concept as compared to CI that involves research conducted by a company on the external markets, competitors, and customers. In short, we can say that market intelligence is client-focused. It can be carried out either by an in-house team of experts or professional market intelligence company. It is all about identifying new emerging trends and knowing when the market is declining. It is not only restricted to market analysis but also helps anticipate when the turns happen and how to respond when it happens.
While the goal of both CI and MI is to reduce business risks and grow further in the market to gain higher revenue and profit, both require different skill sets. Competitive intelligence, on the other hand, relies more on strategies and analysis. However, both functions work closely together and serve an important purpose in today’s ever-changing and increasingly competitive business ecosystem.
Getting your market intelligence and competitive intelligence teams to work together will drive results and help organizations to focus more on winning when the market is shifting. CI and MI empower decision-makers to stay ahead of the curve and achieve both tactical and strategic objectives, leading to competitive advantage.
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