Many companies use the term “market intelligence” interchangeably with the term marketing research. So is market intelligence the same thing as market research? Absolutely not!
Market research is a well-defined discipline with a long history of application in the business world. It takes many different forms, and its ultimate goal is to enhance a firm’s understanding of the market and customer, but it is not market intelligence. Market intelligence is a much broader term that can be defined as an ongoing, holistic knowledge of all aspects of the marketplace.
One way to visualize market intelligence is to picture a pyramid. Each face of the pyramid represents an aspect of market intelligence. The three faces of the pyramid are information, communication, and people/processes. Each of these faces is built upon a foundation of basic capabilities, with movement “up” the face of the pyramid representing increasing capabilities and proficiency. Market intelligence is the culmination of each of these areas at their highest levels.