Market Intelligence

If you operate internationally through distributors, middlemen or agents, you'll know how important it is to keep these channels running well as sales canals. However, you should never limit yourself to seeing these channels to market as merely functioning one-way.

Yes, they are channels you sell through and there's no doubt about the importance of maximising revenues. As a marketer, however, the more you know about the end user market place, the stronger your position is likely to be.

You should use your channels to market not only for sales purposes but also as marketing intelligence channels. Middlemen can certainly provide invaluable information about what they and their sales teams experience "in the trenches". This will give you good, if sometimes biased, data about customer feedback, changes in needs and requirements, competitive intelligence, trends, and so on.

Channel surveying is a good place to start, and it's fairly straightforward. You can survey a number of dimensions -- marketing support, pricing, market position, etc -- and this can give you good information about your channel partner situation.

Yet, it's chancy to rely solely on what your middlemen tell you. Undoubtedly, it's necessary to work with your channel partners, but is it sufficient?

It depends. Good marketing intelligence allows you to take appropriate action. It should be practical, action-oriented and close to the market -- both in customer and competition terms.

For many issues, it's fine to rely on semi-anecdotal evidence. To really gauge what's going on, however, you're often better off carrying out actual research. That will take you out of the pitfall of making decisions based on opinions.

You know how it is: everybody has opinions and everybody has a view on how to run marketing. When you check your market situation directly with your customers, you get fact-based data.

As soon as you have fact-based data, you can make sound decisions -- and make your case for it as well.

Get more info...

If you want more information, or if you have any questions or comments, call us now at 0870 745 6899, email, or use the form.

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