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marketing intelligenceinformation about developments in a firm's market environment that can assist executives in formulating marketing plans. Such intelligence could include details of new products being introduced by competitors, and price changes, or more general economic and social statistics published by government and other bodies.
Various techniques may be employed to gather market intelligence. Field studies may be undertaken among samples of the population employing personally conducted or postal QUESTIONNAIRES, telephone and personal interviews, and group surveys; focus groups, which involve detailed discussions among small groups of invited respondents called together on one or two occasions; desk research can be employed using secondary published information and reports from government or other sources; finally, information about existing products or prototypes can be gained by recruiting panels of consumers who report regularly on their experience of using products, by setting up controlled experiments to test consumers' reactions to products and advertising messages, and by direct observation of customers who are buying or using a product or service.
Intelligence gathering is undertaken to seek out new market opportunities and identify possible threats to the sales of existing products. See MARKETING RESEARCH.