The purpose of any Marketing research is to provide information, at a specific time on customers, or trade or competition and the future trends in each of them. Most of these research exercise help strengthen an enterprises and assist it in strategic decision-making. But marketing is a war that requires continuous surveillance of markets (customers) and competition as also other structural components of the market like government policy. Based on this continuous surveillance, successful enterprises evolve their tactics to win smaller battles, which together at the end help it win the war, namely, market shares. The entire concept of market intelligence is based on military sciences where it is a known fact that no army can win a war without a good, effective and timely information on enemy forces and the terrain in which the war is going to be fought .In marketing, the intelligence system has two components :
- Customer intelligence
- Competitor intelligence.
Customer intelligence provides useful information on customer’s business ,preferences or loyalties ,personal demographic details and whims and fancies too .A good intelligence system will even tell a marketer what to do and not do when he or she is with the customers. Like what words to use and which to avoid; or the dress to wear or tendencies to watch like alcoholism in the customers, etc This information becomes useful in planning sales calls on customers. It is also useful in evolving advertising and promotion programs. Most often this data is collected by sales people either as a separate stand-alone exercise or as a part of their regular sales call.
Competition intelligence gives information on strengths and weakness of each competitor in the territory, the strategy and tactics being used by them , and how the customer procures competitor brands .This also provides input on the key persons in competitors firm. Once again this information is collected on a regular basis by sales people. It is continuously updated.
Customer intelligence Format1.Name Title
2.Company name and address
4.Telephone :Business | Home
5.Birth date and place
10.Children ,if any, names and ages.
11 Children’s education.
12.Children’s interest (hobbies, problems, etc)
13. Previous employment; (most recent first) Company Location Dates Company Location Dates.
14.Previous position at present company : Title
15.Any status symbols in office /
16.Profesional or trade associations/Office or honors in them.
17.What business relationship does he/she have with others in our company?
18.Is it a good relationship/Why?
19.What other people in our company know the customer/
20.Type of connection Nature of relationship
21.What is the client’s attitude toward his/her company ?
22.What is his/her long-range business objectives?
23.On what subjects(outside of business) does the customer have strong feelings?
24.Does the customer drink? If yes, what and how much?
25.If no, offended by others drinking?
26.Does the customer smoke ? If no, object to others
27.Favourite place for lunch Dinners
28.Favourite items on menu
29.Hobbies and recreational interests What does the customer like to read/
30.Type of car owned(if any)by the customer
32.Whom does the customer seem anxious to impress?
33.What objectives would you use to describe the customer?
34.What do you feel is the customer’s long-range personal objective?
35.What do you feel is the customer’s immediate personal goal?
36.What moral or ethical considerations are involved when you work with the customer?
37.Does the customer feel any obligation to you,your company,or your competition?
38.Is he/she primarily concerned about the opinion of others?
39.Or very self centred? Highly ethical?
40.What are the problems as the customer sees them?
41.What are the priorities of the customer’s management? Ant conflicts between the customer and the management?
42.Can you help with these problems? How?
43.Does your competitor have better answers to the above questions than you have? The above is one type of format suitable for a particular company. There can be changes in the format based on requirements of different companies manufacturing different products. The company Market research experts design the format suitable to the company needs considering products manufactured, season (if applicable), current trends, short term and long term consumption pattern.