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The Difference Between Market Intelligence vs. Market Research 

The Difference Between Market Intelligence vs. Market Research  

Both market intelligence (MI) and market research help companies understand customer behaviors and aspirations. Understanding the difference between such practices is crucial to ensure that your business makes data-informed decisions. This post describes the comparison of market intelligence vs. market research. 

Conceptual Differences Between Market Intelligence and Market Research 

Discussion about marketing intelligence vs. marketing research indicates different practices using distinct datasets to arrive at unique conclusions. Both share some identical operations, but their overarching concepts are not the same. 

1| What Do Market Intelligence Solutions Provide? 

Market intelligence or MI collects already accessible data on market dynamics, industry, customers, and competitors. It finds out their market positions and target audience data. Market intelligence services provide insight into their needs, wants, and expectations. 

You can use this information to refine your products or services continuously and surpass your competitors in terms of the client satisfaction rate. Also, market intelligence solutions help you perform competitive analysis. 

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2 | What Is the Context of Market Research Services? 

However, market research involves discovering new insights into your corporate market datasets. You find new market opportunities and business ideas through market research consulting services

Market research concentrates its resources on answering specific questions concerning your business and its offerings. It is company-centric and uses primary/secondary research routines. 

So, market intelligence covers the entire industry while market research focuses on your company and customer relations. 

Market Intelligence vs. Market Research: Different Focus Areas 

You must know how MI differs from market research in what focus areas it serves. Both market intelligence and market research consulting services fulfil different client needs. 

1 | Market Research Transforms Intel into Actionable Insight 

Market research is about asking questions, gathering information, and transforming it into actionable insight. Businesses learn why customers want a product or service and how they use them to accomplish individual goals. 

Market research is less about the product itself and more about how it fits into the broader landscape of your market and what problems you solve. 

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2 | Market Intelligence Services Discover Industry Trends for Competitive Gains 

Market intelligence focuses on enhancing your competitive advantage by spotting trends before they hit the market. MI uncovers opportunities for your company and gets an early warning if your competitors plan something big that will affect your business adversely. 

MI looks at the big picture by identifying opportunities and monitoring threats, trends, customers, and competitors. Large companies employ vast resources to implement market intelligence solutions. 

The focus area of market intelligence is to provide data on the industry and your competitors in that industry. Therefore, MI facilitates strategic planning in product development or advertisement techniques. 

Terminology Used in Market Intelligence vs. Market Research 

Market intelligence differs from market research consulting services because it analyzes already existing data. On the other hand, market research conducts new primary research. i.e., asking people questions, surveys, etc. Still, similarities exist in the operations of marketing intelligence vs. marketing research. 

  1. The market analysis treats the MI datasets as a starting point to determine the best business strategies for product development. It uses statistical techniques such as regression analysis to predict outcomes based on past performance. 
  1. Market profiling refers precisely to identifying target markets based on demographic characteristics. E.g., age bracket, gender, etc. 
  1. Segmentation divides consumers into groups or cohorts based upon shared traits like income levels (purchasing power) or geographic region. 


Discussing marketing intelligence vs. marketing research reveals how both procedures have salient features. Business leaders believe both MI and market research are valuable practices to succeed in the competition. 

While the two practices share similar tools on the surface, they differ in several aspects. The most notable difference is in the focus area of each method. 

Market intelligence provides information about an entire industry or market; market research focuses on specific questions or topics about your company. Another key difference is that market intelligence looks at all the trends across fixed intervals. e.g., after each business quarter. Market research often focuses on selected events occurring during a specified project period. 

A leader in market intelligence services, SG Analytics, empowers businesses to develop robust MI datasets with scalable data management and analysis systems. Contact us today to uncover the industry trends and consumer interests for business growth. 

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