Top 5 Recommendations for Market Intelligence Teams from GIA Conference Amsterdam

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Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA), a global strategic market intelligence and advisory group, releases a list of five recommendations for global market intelligence teams based on the most hotly debated issues at the GIA Conference Amsterdam, which was held on May 23-25, 2011.

Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA), a global strategic market intelligence and advisory group, releases a list of five recommendations for global market intelligence teams based on the most hotly debated issues at the GIA Conference Amsterdam, which was held on May 23-25, 2011.

With the conference theme of “Creating Business Impact through Strategic Market Intelligence”, over 100 attendees attended workshops, panel discussions and roundtable sessions on topics such as how to improve decision making with market intelligence; how to use market intelligence for revenue generation; and the state of market intelligence in emerging markets etc.. Speakers and panel hosts featured executives from Best Buy, Cintas, Cisco Systems, Electrolux, Nycomed, Procter & Gamble, Rabobank, Randstad, Statoil, T-Systems, TNT Express and TomTom, along with GIA’s own experts.

Based on the many interactive discussions over the three-day event, the five recommendations for market intelligence directors and managers could be summed up in five key points:

1. Outsource and create external networks for better results
Corporate market intelligence teams should turn to external resources, such as expert networks, for some market intelligence needs. Statoil for instance, spend a substantial amount of resources to develop external expertise networks and find that diversity helps to cultivate stronger market intelligence teams, according to Anders Marvik, who heads the intelligence function at the Norwegian energy company.

Some action steps suggested during the GIA Conference include:
1.    Identify low value and time-consuming intelligence deliverables that can be outsourced.
2.    Encourage the involvement of investment relations teams in market intelligence, as they have good connections with investment bankers and industry analysts and can act as “expert resources” in the external intelligence network.
3.    Participate in workshops and forums, such as GIA’s Market Intelligence Benchmarking Circle Program, in order to extend one’s external network through other market intelligence directors and gather ideas for further development.

2. Create clear links between intelligence and business strategy
Carlos Zwikker, Senior Director Insight & Intelligence, Major Appliances Europe for Electrolux stated in his presentation that market intelligence managers need to clearly articulate how their work is directly linked to business strategy.

Some action steps suggested during the GIA Conference include:
1.    Conduct an intelligence audit for the major business processes (strategy, sales, innovation) to determine how market intelligence can support them better.
2.    Ensure that market intelligence is embedded in the decision making process, by identifying when key decisions are to be made, what information is needed and by whom.
3.    Ensure that strategy, innovation, sales teams are involved in the co-creation of intelligence products, through the collection, analysis and/or conclusions through workshops, briefing sessions or report reviews.

3. Take a consultative approach
Market intelligence teams should use a consultative approach to their work so they become trusted advisors to top management. Joost Drieman, Director of Market and Business Intelligence European Markets from Cisco, described how his team has become more consultative in their approach instead of just being research focused.

Some action steps suggested during the GIA Conference include:
1.    Provide a complete suite of market intelligence deliverables; from basic self-service profiles to more advanced strategic workshops focusing on scenarios analysis, megatrends analysis or war games.
2.    Train internal teams on the difference between the research, expert and consultative approaches, and the benefits of having a consultative approach.
3.    Learn and apply management consulting tools and techniques, such as social style mapping, engagement techniques, interview techniques and strategic analysis concepts

4. Tackle issues that can sidetrack your company from its strategic goals and objectives
In an expert panel discussion on market intelligence deliverables, Gary Whitehurst, Corporate Competitive & Technical Intelligence Manager EMEA from Procter & Gamble, said that companies may face issues that executives are not comfortable with confronting. Such issues could be the very ones that market intelligence teams need to focus on and to advise on possible solutions.

Some action steps suggested during the GIA Conference include:
1.    Map the company’s strategic objectives and ensure that the regular market monitoring activities cover them. (This may sound obvious but is not always done)
2.    Conduct scenario analysis projects in order to identify how, why and under what circumstances selected strategies may backfire.
3.    Run War Games regularly to understand how industry players might react to new products or strategic moves, on a tactical and operational level.
4.    Set-up an Early Warning/Opportunity program that also monitors aspect outside the current strategic focus.

5. Promote your function to your colleagues
Drieman from Cisco said that improving the internal awareness of the market intelligence program has made a clear difference to how market intelligence is currently presented and used at the networking solutions company.

Some action steps suggested during the GIA Conference include:
1. Create a brand and communications strategy for your market intelligence program.
2. Create logos for market intelligence deliverables and use an editorial style that is suited to management preferences, ranging from articles to investment bank style reports.
3. Ensure that you have a wide range of formats for deliverables, including videos, podcasts and audio, which can be accessed easily via smartphones.

“We developed the GIA Conference programs so that market intelligence directors and manages have great learning opportunities, and these are just five of the many lessons covered. It’s this sort of learning that is the reason behind why 100% of our participants recommend GIA Conferences. With such positive responses each time, we are pleased to be hosting the next GIA Conference in Chicago, USA, from 14 to 16 November 2011,” said Hans Hedin, Vice President of Business Development and chair of the GIA Conference Amsterdam.

High quality presentation videos and other GIA Conference content are available through subscription on Intelligence Best Practices Online, the premium knowledge resource and online community for intelligence professionals. For pricing and further details, please contact bestpractices(at)globalintelligence.com. For any other information, visit the http://www.globalintelligence.com or send an email to media(a)globalintelligence.com.

About Global Intelligence Alliance
Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA) is a strategic market intelligence and advisory group. GIA was formed in 1995 when a team of market intelligence specialists, management consultants, industry analysts and technology experts came together to build a powerful suite of customized solutions ranging from outsourced market monitoring services and software, to strategic analysis and advisory.

Today, we are the preferred partner for organizations seeking to understand, compete and grow in international markets. Our industry expertise and coverage of over 100 countries enables our customers to make better informed decisions worldwide.

http://www.globalintelligence.com

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