What is the Difference Between Market Research and Business Intelligence?

Learn about the differences between market research & business intelligence & how they help companies understand & develop marketing strategies.

What is the Difference Between Market Research and Business Intelligence?

The main distinction between market intelligence and market research is objective. Market intelligence focuses on the company, while market research is done to gain insight into customer preferences. Both are used to help companies comprehend and create marketing strategies.

Business intelligence

and competitive intelligence are essential for improving the performance of your organization.

Competitive intelligence collects data from secondary sources about competition, markets, and the external environment (think Porter's 5 forces) so that you can understand critical information. Market intelligence assists companies in deciding which marketing strategies should be employed to reach marketing objectives. Taking the previous example of the cereal market in the United States, General Mills can understand its market potential (the company is only 3% away from becoming a market leader) and evaluate options to select the best option. It is clear that market intelligence is a broader concept than market research, where the approach to market research depends on market intelligence.

Market research provides multiple alternatives to achieve the marketing strategy, while market intelligence provides a vision and interpretation of the situation so that the company can anticipate which strategy to use. Both market intelligence and competitive intelligence are environmental (externally oriented) assessments that consider external forces on the company. We have updated the publication to explain in more detail the main differences between business, market and competitive intelligence. An analysis that used business intelligence techniques and internal company data would have estimated the impacts of such integration on price and, ultimately, on profitability.

Market intelligence (MI) involves studying a broader field and is generally much broader in scope with long-term implications. Business intelligence (BI) is generally considered to be the means by which an organization obtains its own operational and performance information: sales, website visits, returning customers, new customers, costs, deadlines, etc. Value chain analysis is an analytical technique that is commonly used to assess a company's core competencies. An example of this could be what your competitors are doing, not just new product launches but also marketing campaigns, hires and layoffs, financial reports, news, etc.

Successful business development tools can be created and important product launches can be offered that highlight and respond to market needs. Rather than simply focusing on competition and direct customers, it broadens your vision to other aspects that can have an impact on your business.