Building a World-class Market Intelligence Function

If you were asked to build a world-class Market Intelligence (MI) function within your organization, then, you need to understand the 6 key dimensions of a MI program and its associated elements first.

The first dimension is the Scope. It is not possible to do everything for everybody in the organization. Scope attempts to define the stakeholders – the Corporate or the individual Business Units? Which User groups you will serve – Sales, Pre-sales, Operations, Marketing, or HR? Where are your users in the organization hierarchy? What decision making powers do they have? How many companies are to be tracked and analyzed? How much detailed intelligence is required on the different companies and the topics of interest? How much focus the program should put on the anticipated future developments against an analysis of the past developments and the current market situation? A clear definition of these elements will help you say a clear ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. It will help you say ‘What you will do’ and ‘what you won’t do’.

The second dimension is the Process. The processes need to be defined for Reactive Research requests and Proactive Research inputs. The processes need to be defined for collection, analysis, documentation, and communication of information and insights. The processes need to be defined for identification of new information sources, managing relationships with existing vendors, procuring ad-hoc research reports, and dealing with the research vendors for primary research. The processes need to be defined to know the effective utilization of research output and to collect the feedback on the different projects and the MI program as a whole. While the Scope will help you address the ‘What’ question, Process will help you address the ‘How’ question.

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