The competitive landscape is changing, and it has become more challenging to get a leg up on the competition. The days of simply having a good product or service and waiting for customers to come knocking are long gone. Companies need to be proactive to stay ahead of the curve, which means they need tools that provide them with insights into their markets to make better decisions about how best to invest resources.
But What Exactly is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is a methodology for gathering and analyzing information about the market, competitors, customers, clients, and other stakeholders.” In short, it knows what people want and how to give it to them. Doing this will help your product or service stand out from the competition while also taking some of the guesswork out of marketing plans.
As a business owner, you need a reliable source of real-time market intelligence so you can take actionable steps towards increasing sales through effective marketing strategies. Unfortunately, there isn’t an app for that (yet). Still, several valuable resources are available for free or at minimal cost to give you the market intelligence insights you need to take your business to the next level.
We’ll review some of those resources focusing on how they can help with marketing strategy and tactics. There’s no guarantee these resources will give you an exact picture of your market, but they’re an excellent place to start looking for answers that you might not have considered before.
1. Free Marketing Tools from Google Analytics
There are a lot of great tools available from big companies like Google that offer free analytics and other valuable data that can be used as part of a comprehensive market intelligence plan. One such tool is Google Analytics, which provides insight into more than 50 key metrics related to paid search, organic search traffic, and website visitors.
These key metrics include:
– Bounce Rate (the percentage of visitors who only visited one page before leaving the site)
– Demographics (interests, age, gender, etc.) – Page views (how many times a page was visited)
– Countries (where your traffic is coming from)
– Keywords (which keywords are driving traffic to your site) the data provided by these metrics can be used to determine what customers want and how to market it efficiently. For example, suppose you’re trying to determine whether your customers want more product photos or simply better descriptions of products that would help them make purchasing decisions. In that case, this tool will provide insight into which pages have been viewed most frequently and what the bounce rate is for those pages.
2. Social Media Monitoring Tools
Social media has become an important communications channel for businesses of all sizes and industries. Not only is it a place where customers can interact with brands, but it’s also a valuable source of data that can be used to understand customer sentiment and preferences. This is where social media monitoring tools come into play. While many options are available, some of the most popular ones include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer. All three of these platforms offer free versions with limited features, so they’re a good option for small businesses just starting.
Each platform offers different features, but generally, they all allow you to:
– Monitor all your social media channels in one place
– See which posts are getting the most engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.)
– Analyze your audience by location, demographics, interests, and more
– Schedule posts ahead of time
By using these tools, you can better understand what content is resonating with your audience and adjust your social media strategy accordingly.
Marketing is the lifeblood of every business, but understanding what your customers want and need can be challenging if you don’t have access to real-time information. Fortunately, some valuable resources can give you this insight for free or very low cost. Google Analytics provides 50 key metrics related to site traffic. Social media monitoring tools provide real-time data on customer engagement with your content. Most importantly, these tools are accessible to small business owners who might not otherwise afford expensive market research studies.