Market intelligence is the information relevant to a company's market that is gathered and analyzed specifically to improve decision making in business strategy.
A few simple ways to gather current and relevant intelligence is to utilize sources readily available. One of the simplest ways is to utilize the news media to share information about what your potential customers and competitors are doing in the market and adjust your strategy accordingly. This can be overwhelming, but setting google alerts you can focus in on what's most important.
In addition to the news, utilizing sources that are more difficult to track can yield more powerful results providing a competitive edge. At Curate we gather discussions between municipal and school board committee members to uncover what is important to them. Two easy examples: If you're responding to an RFP for a school project it would be helpful to know that the school board members are especially concerned about bringing the science lab into the 21st century. Another example is finding that a local manufacturing facility is planning to expand in the next two years and wants some financial assistance from the city. These discussions don't necessarily make the local news, but they can be the difference between winning and loosing a project.
It's important not to get overwhelmed with market intelligence, but tracking the right types of things in a timely manner can positively impact business growth.