Marketing Research Defined: Not Synonymous with Market Intelligence

The differences between marketing research and market intelligence are as follows:

• Market intelligence is all-encompassing. Data gathering is just one aspect of market intelligence. It is a key building block for the information face of the pyramid, but it is not the only building block.

• Market intelligence analysis requires different skills versus marketing research. Market intelligence analysis requires a broad set of analytical skills including business analysis skills. It requires integrating a broad array of information, which extends beyond traditional marketing research data. The analyst must understand the market, key competitors, the financial dynamics of the industry, and the entire business value chain. Often, the best market intelligence analysts have a financial or product management background, whereas many of the best marketing research analysts come from behavioral science or mathematical backgrounds.

• Market intelligence requires integration with all aspects of the business. Whereas marketing research is highly focused on customers, market analysis encompasses the entire view of the market and requires integration into the companies forecasting process, product development process, and other business systems.

The best way to discuss the difference between marketing research and market intelligence is to focus upon each face of the market intelligence pyramid. The information face of the market intelligence pyramid is built upon a foundation consisting of four basic areas: competitor information, product information, market information and customer information. Hopefully by defining marketing research, and the differences between marketing research and market intelligence, you'll have a better understanding of different types of studies.
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