What are market insights? Why do you need them? What should you do next? Find out in this post.

Analytics has become a standard part of business intelligence – companies routinely gather and analyze data to understand market conditions, customer behavior, upcoming trends, and more. Why add market insights (MI) to the mix? To answer this question, we’ll discuss three things anyone starting their MI journey needs to know:

1. Why Do I Need Market Insights?

You’re probably already familiar with the business definition of an insight: it’s a piece of information, hitherto unknown or unrecognized, that can be used to drive change. Market insights are all that and a bag of chips; UMI defines market insights as “the discovery of a relevant, actionable and previously unrealized reality about a target market as the result of deep, subjective data analysis. [It] benefits both parties, meeting your target audience’s true needs and wants while simultaneously profiting [your company].”

In other words, market insights take things to the next level, offering a holistic view of your consumers’ needs. Adding MI to your existing analytics endeavors can improve margin and revenue growth, translate insights into actionable recommendations, and maximize sales productivity. The underlying technology can also enhance your existing analytics’ performance, recommend how and where to deploy resources, and simulate what-if scenarios.

Instead of thinking of market insights as an upgrade or an add-on feature, consider it the next logical evolution of the business analytics you’ve already been using.

2. What Questions Can MI Answer?

Now, let’s get into the specifics. What questions do businesses rely on market insights to answer? As you’ll see, MI can provide recommendations on both big- and small-picture decisions:

  • Based on our business priorities, what’s the best allocation of investments across sites?
  • How do my competitors impact my business? And how do our actions impact them?
  • How does my brand perform in its category/segment?
  • Which stores/sites generate the most reviews?
  • Which are the most productive site clusters in a city/region on any given day?
  • What’s the impact of one cluster’s change in plan on another cluster? What’s the impact of that change on our competitor?
  • Which base and new SKUs should we push to each store? In what quantity?
  • What’s the rationale behind these SKU recommendations?

Businesses have been striving to accurately answer questions like these since before the dawn of analytics. What makes MI so powerful is that is offers a comprehensive view of the market, your company’s position and offerings, and customer demands. And this picture is not as the market was two months ago; it’s drawn with current information in near real time.

3. What Do I Need to Start a Market Insight Journey?

Finally, let’s talk about what kind of technological framework MI needs. If you’ve already invested in Artificial Intelligence or machine learning, you probably have some of these capabilities.

  • Enhanced analytics: The foundation is an analytics framework with machine learning algorithms and self-learning capabilities.
  • Automation: To provide up-to-date access to data, the data ingestion process needs to be automated. Similarly, the AI recommendation engine also needs automated access to the latest info.
  • Data source: Data should be stored in a place that guarantees anytime, anywhere access.

There is one other necessary component to market insights, and it’s not strictly technological. It’s the ability to incorporate business understanding into the process. We call this context or the man-machine model; without an expert understanding of human factors built into the equation, it’s difficult to train algorithms properly.

Where Are You in Your Market Insights Journey?

Understanding consumer behavior and macro trends, creating resonant new strategies, and powering timely innovation are still the goals that most businesses are working towards. Getting there is a technological and organizational journey, but it’s one that can be done.

At this stage in your market insights journey, information is your closest ally. Keep learning. And consider subscribing to our blog for the latest content on advanced analytics. You can also get in touch with our AI experts to develop a customized, scalable market intelligence platform for your business.

Authored by: Rajat Narang, Director, Labs at Absolutdata and LK Sharma, Director, Technology Services at Absolutdata

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