What’s the difference between market research and market intelligence?

Market intelligence: Information relevant to a company’s markets, gathered and analyzed specifically for the purpose of accurate and confident decision-making in determining strategy in areas such as market opportunity, market penetration strategy and market development.

Market research: Research into the size, location, and makeup of a product market

The terms “market research” and “market intelligence” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is a critical difference between the two. That difference is perhaps best illustrated through a driving analogy.

Let’s say you pull up to an intersection. You see the aftermath of a car accident, and all the cues (sirens, broken glass, stationary cars) give you information you can interpret from experience – namely, you now know that you will be at that intersection for a good ten minutes or more until you are given an okay to navigate around the accident.

Now let’s say before you ever got to that intersection you received an alert on your phone telling you an accident has occurred ahead, and that you should take an alternate route that will only delay you five minutes. This allows you to make a plan ahead of time.

Market research describes what is occurring as it occurs, so you can react tactically. Market intelligence provides situational insight and interpretation, so that you can anticipate strategically.

Why knowing the difference matters

Why is it important to distinguish between market research and market intelligence? Because one is tactical and one is strategic, combining the two approaches can help you increase your sales potential.

The Center for Digital Government and the Center for Digital Education provide both tactical sales insights and strategic market intelligence to inform your sales and marketing activities, helping you to understand:

  • Market sizing
  • Distinguishing market segments
  • Market share trends
  • Customer preferences
  • Drivers of customer behavior
  • Developing sales opportunities
  • Messaging


Our research divisions offer market intelligence services as well as market research. In fact, e.Republic – the parent company of Government Navigator and Education Navigator – is the only company that focuses exclusively on the state and local government and education markets to help you effectively position your product to the right buyers both tactically and strategically.

Our deep experience in these markets ensures you not only get the most informed market intelligence available, but also actionable data to help you pinpoint your most high-value opportunities.

For more information on the Center for Digital Government and Center for Digital Education’s market intelligence offerings, contact one of our market analysts. We can help you determine the best ways to approach these markets and get you moving in the right direction.

Contact us here!