Manufacturing and Industrial Sector One of the Top Spenders on Market Intelligence, But Capabilities Still Trail Behind

July 12, 2013. Companies in the global manufacturing and industrial sector will spend an average of US$3.4 million on market intelligence* in 2013, making the sector the fourth biggest spender after the healthcare, consumer and IT sectors, according to M-Brain (formerly GIA)’s 2013 Global Market Intelligence Survey.

With the millions of dollars that are invested in market intelligence, do industry executives think that the time and resources they have put into intelligence have been useful? How efficient is market intelligence in the manufacturing and industrial sector?

According to M-Brain (formerly GIA)’s 2013 Global Market Intelligence Survey, in which 179 respondents from the manufacturing and industrial sector responded to an online questionnaire in early 2013 that involved a total of over 1,200 respondents;

  • 79% in the manufacturing and industrial industries say their company’s investments in market intelligence have paid off.
  • 61% agree that their “decision-making is very efficient”.
  • However, only 34% say that “information is always readily available”.

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In a ranking of 20 industries in the study, the manufacturing and industrial sector ranked 14th in terms of its market intelligence capabilities. By comparison, executives in the media and entertainment sector consider their market intelligence to be very advanced, placing them number one overall, but interestingly; the perceived return on investment (ROI) in these companies is the lowest. The industry with the highest perceived ROI for market intelligence is instead in environment and renewables, where budgets are only slightly higher.

The study also shows that large budgets are also no guarantee of more advanced market intelligence functions. For example, medical devices and healthcare companies spend more than twice as much on market intelligence than manufacturing and industrial companies on average, yet their market intelligence capabilities are ranked 17th in the study.

All in all, it appears that more can still be done to raise the market intelligence capabilities at manufacturing and industrial companies, particularly as only 34% say that “information is always readily available.

To rise above the competition, industry executives can look to how global companies with world class market intelligence have performed.

According to benchmarks used in the research, companies that have the most advanced market intelligence functions have only grown from strength to strength. They have increased the amount of market intelligence delivered directly to their top management to 46% since 2011, compared with only 36% for an “˜average’ company. Such world class market intelligence companies have been proven to be 28% more efficient in decision-making.

Their market intelligence executives are also 33% more likely to be viewed as trusted advisors to top management and serve 50% more internal clients using efficient software tools.

* Market Intelligence refers to the corporate function where companies gather and analyze information that affects their businesses, which they then turn into market insights to support decision-making. It covers areas such as customer interviews and insights, technology analysis, competitor analysis or strategic analysis. In order to conduct market intelligence effectively, corporations invest in business information management tools and conduct research projects and workshops to help them forecast megatrends and plan ahead.

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