How to Gather the Best Market Intelligence
Typically, sales departments use market intelligence to move their product. But market intelligence is useful for many other professionals as well, including workforce development professionals, economic development officers, municipal council members, and decision makers in your community. Instead of selling a product, you are working to improve your local community, and helping citizens understand and support your vision.
Often, this vision is not wholly your own. As a community builder, your vision is based on the collective priorities of the people who live and work in your community. And the solution that you present is for the benefit of your community, to help it to prosper and grow well into the future.
Table of Contents (6 minute read)
- How to Gather the Best Market Intelligence
- What Is Market Intelligence?
- How Can Workforce Development Use Market Intelligence
- How Can Economic Developers Use Market Intelligence
- How Can Municipal Representatives Use Market Intelligence
- Explore Ways to Use Workforce Market Intelligence for Your Community
What Is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is a collection of insights about your community that is extrapolated from data collected from your community members about different topics. Data from representative surveys can be interpreted to create generalized statements about what your community members value; the data can measure true citizen satisfaction. You can collect data from your constituents about almost any topic that your council may need to make decisions about. This information can help you and your council focus on key issues that impact citizen satisfaction, and develop strong strategies with measurable KPIs for municipal objectives.
There are many different ways to collect market research data, which can then be used to create market intelligence that helps you understand what matters to your community. Social media is one way to monitor, communicate with, and connect with community members. But it doesn’t provide an unbiased or representative dataset to illustrate citizen satisfaction, because not everyone in your community is on social media, or feels compelled to speak up.
How Can Workforce Development Use Market Intelligence
Market intelligence is relevant to your workforce and labour market strategies, and it can help you make crucial decisions about your local labour market. Workforce development professionals have the resources to influence the labour market in their community; they just need the right tools. Reliable labour market intelligence (LMI), key to any workforce development initiative, encompasses many areas of labour market data, including:
- locations of businesses that are actively hiring,
- jobs and specific skills employers in your area are looking for,
- training and education requirements for local jobs,
- industries that are actively looking for new employees,
- problems preventing those positions from being filled now, and
- outside industries that may be looking to put down roots in your community.
Where to Look for Labour Market Intelligence Providers
Government sources like StatsCan offer nationwide and province-specific information, but not regional data — and their information can often take a long time to become available. Time is not always a luxury you have when planning a much-needed workforce development strategy.
You can look to workforce development boards for further LMI but, again, the information those boards offer may not be as timely or unique to your specific community as you’d like. Organizations like the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC) are working hard across the country to improve the LMI that is available for municipalities, employers, and employees, to help close the gaps between talent and jobs.
MDB Insight Provides Accurate, Real-Time Labour Market Intelligence
With MDB Insight’s Regional Labour Demand Report™ you get instant information about job postings in your community. This allows you to follow trends on a macro scale, so you can make informed decisions about the active industries in your area and which workers to attract based on that information.
You can then develop education and training programs to match the available jobs, catering to the actual needs of the community. The Regional Labour Demand Report™ compares your region to others so you can see what makes your community truly different. This is what will allow you to highlight your community’s strengths.
Available in monthly or quarterly reports, with three subscription levels, you can get the labour market data you need to gather the best labour market intelligence and truly get a bird’s-eye view of talent supply and demand in your community.
How Can Economic Developers Use Market Intelligence
Economic development officers can use market intelligence to their advantage as well. Market intelligence can help guide strategic decisions and development for all sectors, from cultural to economic to community development. Information about what your community wants, needs, and is willing to support can help you develop a holistic approach to economic development and economic growth in your community.
Many municipalities have the expertise and knowledge among their staff to do market research and analyze data to extrapolate market intelligence. But finding the time for them to complete that work can be challenging. You need real-time data when you're working on economic development strategies. You need to make decisions based on data that is current, not from a year ago when the economic landscape in your region may have looked completely different. In many cases hiring a firm for market research can be more cost-effective and deliver results faster than having it done in house.
Can Market Intelligence Help Me Attract Site Selectors?
Indirectly, market intelligence about the priorities of your community can help you develop strategies to create a community presence and brand that will attract site selectors. Using market intelligence, you can bring investment to your community that is critical for economic growth.
How Can Municipal Representatives Use Market Intelligence
Municipal representatives can use market intelligence to speed up the decision making and budgeting process for the council. Market intelligence makes the process of prioritizing projects and initiatives much faster because you can make decisions based on real-time data. Additionally, you have the data to back up Council decisions to any potential objectors.
Completing the process of market research in house, and then developing the market intelligence in house, can be quite time consuming, especially since most municipal administration is already busy with many other tasks. To get current data to support upcoming decisions it may be best for the council to outsource market research to a specialist firm.
It's important to choose a firm with plenty of municipal knowledge and experience to do market research for projects. Bringing in a consultant can also help identify new ideas and perspectives about the data and the opportunities it presents. When you’re choosing a market intelligence platform, make sure that the system is based on high-quality data sources, like StatsCan, and uses up-to-date technology to collect data. Ask for a demo of the product before you decide if it's right for your community.
Market intelligence can make it easier to find practical solutions and ideas for municipal budget problems. With solid data, you can clearly identify the most important priorities to keep your community growing and strong. Market intelligence can support decision making about almost any type of project. Here are just a few examples:
Using Municipal Intelligence to Measure Tax Sensitivity
Arguably one of the most useful ways for Councils to use market intelligence is to measure tax sensitivity. With a specifically designed tool, you can measure the willingness of your residents to fund different community initiatives. MDB Insight’s Tax Sensitivity Calculator™ really engages your citizens in the municipal budgeting process by showing them in real time how funding different programs and projects would affect their personal tax levels. Residents gain a better understanding of the municipal budgeting process, and of how their tax dollars are allocated.
Do Our Citizens Want to Pay for Bike Lanes?
Cycling is becoming a more and more popular transportation method, and many communities are interested in adding bike lanes to their roadways. But, it can be a controversial topic. People who ride bikes will really appreciate it, but do the people who don’t ride bikes care about paying for it? Public opinion polling about what your residents think of bike lanes can give you the data to make a data-backed decision about whether or not to use the municipal budget to pay for bike lanes in your community.
Our Water Infrastructure Needs Upgrades; How Can We Afford It?
Aging water systems across North America are in desperate need of upgrades. It's an extremely expensive and complex process. Market intelligence about what your options are for upgrades, what the costs could be, and what sorts of upgrades your community values, can help your council get the best value possible for your community.
Could Our Public Transit Operate More Sustainably?
Public transit is an important asset for many communities, large and small. Market intelligence about more efficient green transit options could help your municipality save money on the transit budget, and meet sustainability goals.