Understanding the Difference Between Marketing Intelligence & Marketing Research

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Creating a sound marketing plan requires market intelligence and market research. Marketing intelligence and research are two terms often used interchangeably. However, the meaning of the two is entirely different. 

Market research focuses mainly on your business, marketing plan, and product line. Market intelligence is information about the market, not necessarily a particular positioning. These are two separate things, though a diligent marketer will combine both when formulating a strategy, evaluating ongoing campaigns, and suggesting new goods and services to add to the range.

What is marketing intelligence?

Everyday information essential to a company's marketing endeavours is known as marketing intelligence or market intelligence. This information can be examined and used to make smart decisions about the actions of competing businesses, consumer patterns, and potential markets.

Various things influence an organisation's ability to stay ahead and its position in the market. Some crucial factors are the capacity to understand competitors in-depth, market conditions, and evolving consumer needs. CMOs can use this data to assess their strategies and improve future advertising efforts by considering both their views and those of the entire industry.

Market intelligence refers to all your company's market elements, including rivals, customers, and goods. Access to those sources is essential because market intelligence data is continuously collected and updated from various sources. 

What is marketing research?

Market research, also known as marketing research, assesses the commercial viability of a new good or service by investigating the business's markets, rivals, and clients. It is done to keep track of consumer buying trends in your business and the needs and desires of your target audience. It is crucial to any choices made regarding brand building and product growth. 

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When a company or organisation wants to know how consumers make expenditures or whether they are likely to pay a particular price for a product, market research assists in reaching valuable conclusions.

Market research is particular to an organisation, focuses on a single question, and is typically concerned with client requirements or preferences. An excellent example of market research is focus groups and in-person surveys, which are one-off projects independent of prior data.

Key differences between marketing intelligence and marketing research

Even though the two terms are similar, here are some points of difference that set them apart. 

Market Intelligence Market Research
Market intelligence is data that is essential to understanding a company's markets. It is collected and evaluated to help decision makers grasp the market chance and business potential. The systematic process of collecting and evaluating data pertinent to a particular marketing plan is known as market research. 
Compared to marketing research, market intelligence is a more comprehensive notion. A specific exercise performed as part of a marketing plan is market research.
Market intelligence is used to determine marketing strategy. Marketing strategy affects how marketing research is executed.
Analysts with backgrounds in business analysis, financial management, and product management analyse market intelligence because it calls for a wide range of analytical skills. Analysts who analyse market research should ideally have training or expertise in behavioural sciences and mathematics.

Importance of marketing intelligence and marketing research 

Today, gathering marketing information is a necessity. Thanks to the information it offers, organisations can make decisions based on comprehensive information rather than hunches and speculation. 

Here are some reasons why gathering market information is crucial:

  • Informs businesses about their market opportunity, growth potential, and target audience
  • Aids with competitor research
  • Helps in creating a plan to achieve future objectives
  • Simplifies decision-making for your company by sifting through market chatter
  • Offers a consistent flow of data about the target market, the competitive landscape, consumer trends, and particular buyer personas
  • Enhances the position of your business by assisting with selecting profitable initiatives to invest in

In contrast to marketing intelligence, which is a continuous process, marketing research is a one-time activity that aims to provide answers to particular questions. 

However, its significance shouldn't be ignored because it aids businesses in achieving the following goals:

  • Identify marketing possibilities by assisting in defining the target market
  • Reduces company risks by locating weak points in your marketing plan
  • Develop your go-to-market strategy
  • Produce pertinent marketing material
  • Select the most effective platforms for marketing and advertising
  • Discover neglected clientele
  • Determine client requirements
  • Outsell rivals by focusing on unsatisfied clients


Depending on how they impact the marketing strategy and help achieve market goals, market research and marketing intelligence differ from one another. While marketing intelligence provides situational insights and interpretation so the business can foresee which strategy to use, market research offers a variety of alternatives to achieve the marketing strategy. 

Check out Imarticus’ Strategic Chief Marketing Officers course to learn more about the topic. This IIM Raipur CMO course has been designed considering market trends to make you ready for the industry, offering the best CMO training by esteemed faculty. This Chief Marketing Officer certification course can help you get a head start in your career. 

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