Magazine article Information Today

Market Intelligence Is Now More Socially Engaged

Magazine article Information Today

Market Intelligence Is Now More Socially Engaged

Article excerpt

Imagine you're on LinkedIn, and you notice that your competitor's business development manager mentions a new competitive expertise area that he has developed in-house. Is this something your boss needs to know?

Social media has certainly changed the way people communicate. In general, there is a greater willingness to share knowledge openly in the public domain and to do so in engaging ways. For example, Cisco Systems bought 300 iPods for its higher-level managers to plug into podcasts and videocasts on the latest market developments and analysis that are produced by its in-house intelligence team.

Market intelligence directors are tasked with acquiring and analyzing information that will impact the current and future market environment of their businesses in order to make the right business decisions. How will digital sharing portals, social network platforms, and wikis change the way they conduct market intelligence?

Social technology platforms can be useful for collaborative information gathering and analysis, while news alerts and images can be sent via smartphones to captive audiences instantaneously.

Sharing Platforms

Blogs are an excellent source of continuous information on industry issues, customers, and competitors. People with similar interests tend to cluster into different online communities for information exchange, and they no longer feel as though they have to be experts to express their observations and opinions through blogs and forums.

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Material from YouTube can also be used to increase background knowledge on the competition. One automotive company features competitors' commercials taken from YouTube as the opening screen of its intelligence portal. This helps staff members see what the company's customers are watching in different markets, and it encourages them to think about ways to position the company's brands. This also helps market intelligence become more visible to the company, making it an integrated part of everyday business life.

Wikis can be useful as internal platforms for developing Hans Hedin shared knowledge and com petitor profiles, as people might be more open to providing their own knowledge in this format. The knowledge management aspect of intelligence hopefully has much to gain here.

Networking Platforms

LinkedIn is a popular networking site that has made it easier to identify sales leads as well as to identify experts from all over the world. It is sometimes possible to get an indication of a competitor's future direction through the projects and work employees present on their profiles or in their latest professional networks.

Employees are not always careful with corporate information that should not actually be seen in the public domain. Nowadays, profiles from LinkedIn can be used to conduct network analysis, such as how the employees for a competitor are linked to specialist research companies, new business partners, or even their best customers.

LinkedIn communities can inform competitors and can be a hassle for employers as well. As such, companies have started to provide disclosure policies to employees on how they can participate in social media and how to comment on professionally related issues.

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Crowd Forecasting

Social media applications can also play an important role when it comes to analysis. …

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