The world of business is a universe of risks that either results to failure or success. The reason behind this is not only the threat of economic inflation, but also because there is absolute uncertainty of sales. There are plenty of competitors in the market and one or two strategies may not be enough. The use of market intelligence measuring tools gives managers a sigh of relief, at least in terms of coming up with good decisions. No, it is not a way of spying on the competition, but it is more of a business approach. Many large companies have been using the time-tested market intelligence scorecard since 1958.

The term market intelligence is almost the same with business intelligence. While the latter subject covers a broader spectrum, market intelligence focuses on three specific areas. Thus, there are three approaches or types of market intelligence metric systems. The three systems center on competitor analysis, market research, and benchmarking. In reality, these three areas are all about analysis since market intelligence is really about analysis.

The competitor analysis scorecard is one of the most important aspects of measuring and analyzing market intelligence. Most of the time, the best way to define a business or even a brand is not through its products and services, but rather by its competitors in the market. This type of scorecard involves three groups of responders: the company, customers, and the competitors. In order for the company to position itself properly in the market, it should have a good grip on what the customers know about the company brand and the competitor’s brand. In the same way, the company should also consider the methods and marketing strategies of the competitor.

The second aspect of measuring market intelligence is marketing research. The focus in this aspect is the customer. This is where surveys, product tests, brand recall, product position, and even product packaging come to play. One of the most effective ways of making a product successful is not capturing an already established market but creating one. Through careful research, the company can even come up with a new market from an already existing one. Market research may take time and resources, but the results are worth it.

The third aspect in measuring market intelligence is benchmarking. Benchmarking is to company what market research is to customers. It involves four types of benchmarking strategies: internal, competitive, functional, and generic. Benchmarking within the business units of the organization is an internal strategy. Benchmarking becomes competitive when there is a process efficiency or performance check with the competitors. Functional benchmarking, on the other hand, involves operations within a similar industry. And, generic benchmarking involves the comparison of processes between different industries.

Many companies are behind in terms of technological facilities. But as long as they keep a close hand on market analysis, these companies are still right on the game. The use of market intelligence scorecard may be producing nothing less than just numbers. But once these numbers are processed, business leaders could make decisions that are synonymous to success.