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The B2B Market Intelligence Playbook: Chapter 1

By April 22, 2024May 3rd, 2024No Comments

A playbook for Executives in small & fast growth B2B organisations, to establish Market Intelligence processes and/or build a Market Intelligence Team.  This guide is Chapter 1, covering The Business Case for Market Intelligence.

Chapter 1

The Business Case for Market Intelligence

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • This guide is designed to act as a primer for executives in smaller or fast-growing organisations interested in better informing their MI approach. This section focuses on building a business case for MI—why, when, and how much to invest, measuring success.
  • Market Intelligence can have an impact across an organisation, but for smaller organisations, we recommend splitting Strategic & Operational needs and aligning the business case with a functional area, such as Revenue, Solutions and Risk.
  • Generally, we advise that organisations developing an initial Market Intelligence budget should seek to spend 1-5% of Gains (annual cost + revenue uplift) and grow from there as metrics are achieved.

Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.

W. Edwards Deming

Why Invest in Market Intelligence?

What the Data Says

In November 2023 AMPLYFI surveyed 1500 knowledge workers about the role of information in their decision making.

  • 97% told us their decision-making was negatively impacted by difficulties in searching for information.
  • 48% admitted that there has been a time when greater access to information could have prevented a business risk
  • 78% of decision-makers believe that further investments in making information more accessible and easily consumable could yield additional benefits to their organisation

Market Intelligence is fundamentally about enabling organisations to use information (in this case from external sources) better. With the average knowledge worker spending 1.5 hours per day, just searching for information, investment can have a two-fold impact of saving time and increasing the effectiveness of various business functions.

Business Areas that Market Intelligence Can Impact

Market Intelligence is not the first department you should create when building a business. This is because the actual value of Market Intelligence has to be seen through the lens of other functions, and without this connection, Market Intelligence is just a cost centre. When executed correctly, though, the value of investing in Market Intelligence can be disproportionate to the costs – good insights can create exponentially better decisions across your organisation.

For early-stage organisations, we define the functions of a business into three categories – Revenue, Solutions and Risk. This gives a good starting framework to measure where Market Intelligence can have an impact – creating insights and influencing decisions.

AMPLYFI Tip: We tend to focus customers on “Actionable Insights,” those that can be used to create measurably better decisions, as opposed to “generally interesting” things. Framing it this way forces the question of “what is actionable” and “how can we measure it,” which, we believe, leads to better use of Market Intelligence.


Function Actionable Insight Better Decision
Revenue – Sales, Marketing, Accounts, Consulting “The US Gov’t is investing heavily in subsidising Renewables, while the EU is taxing polluters” We should explore Gov’t funding in the US, not in the EU
Solutions – Product, Engineering, Innovation “The water shortages in Taiwan are linked to inflated computer chip pricing globally” We should seek to diversify our technology stack so that we can use alternative CPUs
Risk – Investing, Lending Procurement, Compliance “North Korea is actively seeking to hack banks in developing nations to increase its revenue” We should security audit our Banking Customers in India and provide more support

It is also essential to define the kinds of decisions that Market Intelligence (MI) will first impact – to understand the cadence of the value and type of Market Intelligence solution that will best fit. We define two types of decisions in organisations:

  • Strategic – fewer, larger, complex and expensive decisions
  • Operational – more frequent, smaller, generally similar decisions

Strategic MI tends to be transformational, with a one-way (or at least expensive to reverse) decision. Operational MI is more about efficiency and needs more flexibility in its deployment. Some examples could include:

AMPLYFI Tip: Most organisations have some elements of each of these areas, but one dominates right now—its best to start with the area with the clearest value, that you can solve. This may not be the “most valuable” as sometimes harder problems require more mature MI solutions.

Operational Market Intelligence

The earliest forms of MI in organisations are people analysing as “part of their day job” – though ironically, this is often work that is left to evenings and weekends or rushed at the end of a quarter. This never goes away; however, resourcing these users and potentially professionalising the process can have disproportionate benefits. What this looks like in practice:

  • Revenue Teams targeting the wrong organisations with the wrong messaging or losing accounts but spending time on account research
  • Solutions Teams ignoring market signals and building things that compete poorly with rivals, but spending time on Competitor Battlecards
  • Risk Teams being slow to respond to changes and allowing capital to remain in the wrong place at the wrong price, but spending time on Credit Risk Monitoring

AMPLYFI Tip: Operational Teams investing in MI should never be 0, however, these are signals that your teams need better insights but are unable to serve themselves – this can be through outsourcing, upskilling, building teams or investing in tools that enable the process.


Function Operational
Revenue – Sales, Marketing, Accounts, Consulting Prospecting, Key Account Planning, Competitors
Solutions – Product, Engineering, Innovation Suppliers, Technology Partners, Innovators
Risk – Investing, Lending Procurement, Compliance Portfolio/Book, Partners, Supply Chain, Legal Issues

Strategic Market Intelligence

Strategic Market Intelligence tends to reside with leadership rather than a dedicated strategy team in smaller organisations. It is most valuable when an organisation or the markets it operates in are in a state of change, driving new commercial Opportunities and Threats. Two signs that Market Intelligence can have an impact:

  • Missed Opportunites – Competitors taking market opportunity earlier than your organisation can react
  • Avoidable Threats – Market Changes punish organisations that fail to move fast enough to avoid threats

Opportunities and Threats are often connected. For example, climate change presents an existential threat to many organisations, but early adopters of Clean Tech can use this to drive market share in the shorter term and cost efficiencies in the longer term.


Area of Business Strategic
Revenue – Sales, Marketing, Accounts, Consulting Market Entry, Exit, Positioning
Solutions – Product, Engineering, Innovation Supply Chain, IP, Technology Stack
Risk – Investing, Lending Procurement, Compliance PESTEL Market Forces

A large modifier of the value of Market Intelligence is whether the strategic decision is a “one way, or two-way door”. One-way doors are decisions that are too complex, expensive, or conceptually complicated to undo. For example – if we commit to building our solution with this technology, we are locked in for the long term. Two-way doors are more easily reversed. Market Intelligence has a larger value than the former. If an organisation faces many “one-way doors” in its strategy, then the case for investing is usually a more significant portion of the Decision Value than normal.

AMPLYFI Tip: Strategic decision-makers prefer summaries over raw information and are often more time-poor than operational teams. Therefore, Strategic MI Solutions often benefit from being low-effort and consultative, such as regular analyst briefings or insight emails.

Valuing Market Intelligence

Market Intelligence Metrics

To value Market Intelligence, you will want to quantify its impact through the Functions. This will require working with these teams to understand where and how better Insights would serve them.

AMPLYFI Tip: Strategic value can take a long time to measure. It is often hard for smaller organisations to benchmark performance and see through plans to completion. However, Market Intelligence can have an immediate, though ad-hoc impact on leadership confidence – meaning many organisations start with a one-time Market Intelligence investment, followed by more systematic operational support longer term.

Example Metrics

Function Operational Metrics
  • Improve Engagement Rates from Prospects
  • Improve Win Rates Against Competitors
  • Reduce Cost of Customer Acquisition
  • Improve Key Account Health (Upsell/Churn)
  • Identify & Track more Technologies/Solutions/Innovators
  • React Earlier to Competitor Changes
  • Reduce the cost for Buy/Build evaluation
  • Identify better/wider investment opportunities
  • Reduce the cost of Due Diligence/Origination
  • React Earlier to Customer/Sector Risk
  • React earlier/better to regulatory change

 Calculating an Initial Market Intelligence Investment

Market Intelligence should support any decision, but this avoids the cost of creating actionable insights. In short, when the cost of MI is lower than a portion of the gains it creates, invest. How much to invest depends on the portion of the gains that MI can impact. To break this down:

  • Gains – Operational & Strategic decision improvements impacted by Market Intelligence
  • Portion – how much of an impact on how many of the decisions you expect

As a rough guide to calculating the Gains, we use current operational costs + the revenue uplift for the next year. To estimate the Portion, we use a range of 1% (low, best for stable organisations) to 5% (high, best for disruptive organisations). This means that a larger, more stable organisation should invest less than a smaller, more dynamic one.


Smaller, more Dynamic Larger, less Dynamic
Current Costs $1m $10m
Revenue Uplift $0.5m (+50%) $2m (+10%)
Portion 5% 1%
Investment £75k £120k

This calculation should be seen as two things:

  • Base – as the impact grows, this should increase investment proportional to the value
  • Core – this should be dedicated Market Intelligence, with some MI work still handled by other teams – but with reduced emphasis and increased support

AMPLYFI Tip: You can apply the same calculation to a department and a whole business. This can be useful for some larger organisations underserved by centralised MI Functions.


You are Started!

Now you have the tools and frameworks to develop a Business Case for Market Intelligence – one that is pragmatic and sustainable over the longer term. Market Intelligence can add value to any organisation, but much like with any business function, building knowledge and capabilities can take time. If you need further support you can reach out to us at AMPLYFI via any of the normal channels:

Actions Checklist

To make it simpler to action the advice here, we have created simple checklist and framework that you can use to develop you business case. It forms the first section of our B2B Market Intelligence Playbook.


Action Done (✓)
Engage with Operational Teams in Revenue, Solution, Risk to understand current MI Needs
 – How much effort (time, budget, frequency) are they spending currently?
 – What impact is it having?
 – What impact could better insights have?
Engage with Leaderships to value Strategic MI Needs
 – How much effort (time, budget, frequency) are they spending currently?
 – What impact is it having?
 – What impact could better insights have?
Prioritise Needs based on time to impact versus effort
 – Roadmap stakeholder engagement overtime
 – Define success metrics for initial areas
Create a starting Market Intelligence budget (gains x portion)
Start planning your MI work

Further Reading

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