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Market research vs. market intelligence

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What's the difference between research and intelligence? Technically, market intelligence is still part of the domain of market research . But there's a very important distinction between the two. Market research is scientific and purposive. It seeks to discover something abo ut the market, and the researcher then devices scientific ways to arrive at thi s information. You know what you want, and you set about trying to get it. But market intelligence? It's more serendipitous than anything else. Intelligen ce is about getting leads, getting info from various sources, and picking up th ings with your "ears" (which, aside from your actual ears, include your network of informants among others). Example: A few years ago, it became "fashionable" for companie s to hire investigators to rifle through the garbage of their competitors. They didn't know what they were going to get, but if they did get something, it may be a goldmine of information. Years ago, a big beer company pirated the brewmaster of its competitor, with th e hope of stealing the secrets as to how the competing brand was formulated. Ta lk about "buying intelligence." And here's a typical tactic done by many large firms: they come out with ads fo r very high corporate positions. For instance, "Looking for a VP for Operations . Must be familiar with high-volume beverage production..." The requirements wo uld be so specialized that the only person who can possibly qualify is, surpris e surprise, the person who happens to run the competitor's plant! It doesn't end there. Chances are, the scheming company doesn't really need a n ew VP. They simply want to gather intelligence. So they'll offer an astronomica l salary and hope that the VP does show up. Once he does, the interviewer prete nds to be unimpressed, leading the hopeful VP to begin tossing in more and more information about the way his company works. The interviewer then starts askin g very specific questions, getting a rich pile of intelligence about the compet itor! And of course, the company never calls back. And the VP, defeated, never tells anybody about how he applied and failed. Moral of the story: Um, is there one? Well, perhaps the best moral for this is to take care of your employees. Because if they are not happy, then there is AL WAYS a way for someone else to get crucial information about your company.

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 22, 2007 11:55 PM.

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