Marketing and Market Intelligence: what is it all about?

The definitions of what Marketing and Market Intelligence include and what not, show a great variation and are sometimes not that clear. In the below article, Philip van den Berg shares his thoughts about this topic, where the two overlap each other, and for both provides a definition, that he thinks works best.

A great variety of Marketing definitions

Definitions of Marketing range from narrow ones, limiting it to planning and executing promotional activities, to broader ones, that include applying the complete marketing mix, exploring potential customer needs and defining the go-to-market strategy. Some discussions on the definition of what Marketing covers even want to include Sales into it. Originally Marketing was a company-centric term that tried to order market opportunities, customers and partners around the own organization. For a selection of definitions, see the list below.

In the last decade the maturation of e-commerce has shifted marketing towards Customer Experience, Loyalty and Advocacy. Consequently, attempts have started, to more successfully organize the company and its partners around the customer, in order to interact at all points of the Customer Journey. Direct customer-vendor touch-points concern not only Marketing but also Sales and Services. Indirect touch-points include partners, regulators, customer advocates, and other external and internal stakeholders. To ensure consistency and effectiveness in Customer Satisfaction and serving stakeholders, Marketing needs to cover all these groups within the own organization and in its ecosystem.

A comprehensive definition of Marketing

With the above in mind, I have come to this definition of what Marketing is:

Marketing is the discipline that, across the different functions of the organization and its ecosystem that have direct or indirect customer touch-points, aims to deliver exceptional customer experience and customer value, that attract and retain customers and create customer advocates by:

a) ensuring full understanding of the market potential, the customer needs, and competition
b) delivering the strategy and the plan of how to profitably realize that potential and fulfill those needs
c) executing the strategy and plan in an agile way, while reporting progress and final results

How about Market Intelligence?

Market Intelligence is the discipline that gathers, organizes, and analyses external data and delivers insights with the aim of supporting strategic or tactical decisions. It is an umbrella term that covers markets, competition, and customers. Intelligence of Markets, Customer Intelligence, and Competitive Intelligence use data to create insights. Therefore the term Market Insights would be better. For the best insights, external Market Intelligence should be combined with internal Business Intelligence.

Dax Sorrenti defines Customer Data as ‘the raw material of information about customers.’, Customer Intelligence as ‘the holistic and flexible understanding of customers that comes from gathering, contextualizing and analyzing data.’ and Customer Insights as ‘the deep understanding of customers that comes from gathering, analyzing and synthesizing customer intelligence. Insight goes beyond the “who”, “what”, “when” and “where” to tell us “why” customers behave as they do, guiding better business decisions and delivering results.'[1]

The number of definitions on Market Intelligence is much smaller than those on Marketing (see some definitions below), but all agree that its scope is quite wide. It includes gaining knowledge and insights on markets and market players in all areas. Market players include competing vendors, customers, partners, suppliers, government and regulators. Market Research, Marketing Intelligence, and customer feedback or reviews may all be seen as part of Market Intelligence. Therefore there is a big overlap in the areas covered by Marketing and by Market Intelligence.

A definition of Market Intelligence

These observations about Market Intelligence have led me to define Market Intelligence as follows:

Market Intelligence is the discipline that, across the different functions of the organization, aims to deliver meaningful insights for strategic, operational and tactical decision making, that allow delivering exceptional customer experience and customers value, outperform competition and bring structural business value and profitability.

Let me know if you have another view, have additions or simply agree!


Marketing Definitions

Philip Kotler: Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services .. .. the most important concepts of marketing .. are: segmentation, targeting, positioning, needs, wants, demand, offerings, brands, value and satisfaction, exchange, transactions, relationships and networks, marketing channels, supply chain, competition, the marketing environment, and marketing programs. These terms make up the working vocabulary of the marketing professional. Marketing’s key processes are: (1) opportunity identification, (2) new product development, (3) customer attraction, (4) customer retention and loyalty building, and (5) order fulfillment. A company that handles all of these processes well will normally enjoy success. But when a company fails at any one of these processes, it will not survive. [2]

Matt Blumberg: Marketing when done well is (a) the strategy of the business – its value proposition, go to market strategy, and brand positioning and image to the world. … Marketing in the twenty-first century must be (c) largely, but not entirely, measurable and accountable around driving business goals. Marketing when done brilliantly is driven by (a) includes a small, disciplined subset of (b), and is steeped in a culture of (c). [3]

Hubspot: Marketing is the process of getting people interested in your company’s product or service. This happens through market research, analysis, and understanding your ideal customer’s interests. Marketing pertains to all aspects of a business, including product development, distribution methods, sales, and advertising. [4]

AMA (American Marketing Association): Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. [5]


Market Intelligence definitions

Elli Mirman: Good market intelligence requires getting a complete view of a market, from marketing campaigns to product details to hiring activities. This includes: News: the latest announcements and mentions in the news, Team Intelligence: including job openings, employee reviews, and key leadership changes, Product Intelligence: product and pricing details, whether from product pages, help sites, app store updates, or other sources on or off a company’s website, Discussions: unfiltered discussions and feedback from customers and prospects on solutions they’ve tried, Marketing Intelligence: including content marketing, social media campaigns, and promotions across channels. [6]

KPMG: Market intelligence is the process of gathering, organising, managing, digesting, and finally delivering information with the aim of supporting a decision. … The scope of what market intelligence encompasses will vary from company to company, for example covering strategy, marketing, technology or other areas. We take a broad view of this scope, believing that companies’ needs and cultures vary widely, and therefore different organisations may benefit from different approaches to market intelligence. … Market intelligence covers one, some, or all of these topics (non-exhaustive list): regulatory changes, news, companies/competitors, technology trends. Depending on which topics it encompasses, market intelligence is also sometimes called competitive intelligence or marketing intelligence. Generally speaking, these functions are alike in technique, but pursue different goals. [7]

Adi Bhat: Market intelligence is defined as the information or data that is derived by an organization from the market it operates in or wants to operate in, to help determine market segmentation, market penetration, market opportunity, and existing market metrics. Market intelligence is a vital aspect to understand the state of the market, as well as helps collect competitor intelligence which in turn aids towards becoming profitable. … Market intelligence gathers data externally providing you a holistic view of the entire market and not just your organization. However, incorporating market intelligence with business intelligence processes will enable a company to have a holistic view of the ongoing corporate performance in specific market conditions. .. Market intelligence is closely associated with market research and can be explained in three simple parts as follows: Competitor Intelligence, Product Intelligence, Market understanding. [8]


Notes

[1] https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/the-difference-between-customer-intelligence-data-and-insight

[2] https://kotlermarketing.com/phil_questions.shtml#answer3

[3] https://www.recoveryview.com/Topic/TabId/107/ArtMID/657/ArticleID/1366/What-Marketing-Is-and-Is-Not.aspx

[4] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-marketing

[5] https://www.ama.org/the-definition-of-marketing-what-is-marketing/

[6] https://market-intelligence.io/leadership/what-is-market-intelligence/

[7] https://home.kpmg/lu/en/home/services/advisory/management-consulting/business-effectiveness/market-intelligence.html

[8] https://www.questionpro.com/blog/market-intelligence/

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