MarketsandMarkets Competitive and Market Intelligence Summit – Speaker Interview – Jessica Williams

MarketsandMarkets Competitive and Market Intelligence Conference

Chicago, US March 29, 2019 – MarketsandMarkets recently interviewed Jessica Williams, Research and Strategy, Market & Talent Intelligence, Microsoft regarding MarketsandMarkets Competitive and Market Intelligence Summit taking place on June 13-14, 2019 in Chicago, USA.

Jessica is a strategist who loves to build the latest approaches for talent and business decision. Her specialities are Market analysis, consulting, business intelligence etc.

1) What is the significance of Market and Competitive Intelligence role in an organization in today’s era?

A – Market Intelligence is crucial for a company’s success in today’s environment.  Microsoft is very outspoken about being a customer obsessed company.  The first step in being customer obsessed is to make sure your business decisions are aligned to the market.  The market is a voice of the collective customers- what is it saying?  Competitive intelligence is then going a step further to take a pulse on how well competitors are servicing customers- are there gaps?  Or have they delighted customers in a way your company has missed?  To deliver a winning business model, it requires customer obsession that is first grounded in Market and Competitive Intelligence and then built on from there.

2) What role does Market and Competitive Intelligence team play in your organization?

A – Market and Competitive Intelligence teams are built into almost every organization within Microsoft.  It is crucial for conducting business as a data driven company.

3) How important is Competitive Intelligence support from executives and managers? Is as commercial CI and MI tools necessary? If yes, what kind of tools?

A – The value of Competitive Intelligence can be proven from the ground up if it needs to be.  If a team provides insights that can’t be answered by anyone else in the company, executives will take notice which will cause managers to come on board.  I say this to give hope to those who may not have top-down executive orders to conduct CI/MI work.  When you’ve uncovered insights, you’ll be able to inform and impact decisions that can’t help but excite your leaders.  You can create your own value by being the “soothsayer” of the company if you know how to deliver insights and consult on what actions should be taken based on a reliable depth of data.

Regarding commercial CI and MI tools, one of the biggest obstacles for internal intelligence teams is being able to translate what is going on externally to internal lingo and priorities.  Doing intelligence well, means being able to be that translator between internal insights and external movement (and vice versa).  Tools are essential but they will be worthless if you don’t have someone sitting at the edge- straddling the company and the external market to make those correlations.  To do this well, an intelligence team needs both internal data as well as multiple viewpoints of the market.  This is best accomplished with a combination of tools and data sources that range anywhere from market penetration and news tracking to sentiment and talent.

4) How to employ Marketing insights to identify trends, develop products and innovate?

A – My area of expertise is in identifying horizon trends before they get to the marketing layer.  By starting with people- their roles, their company, and the skill rapidly developing in the market- it is possible to see trends before they happen and influence product innovations that lead the market.

5) What are your views on the agenda and how helpful it is to the targeted audience?

A – The summit will be immensely useful to anyone in a market or competitive intelligence role.  It will dive into topics that will help you wherever you are at in your intelligence journey- whether growing your team, increasing your impact, or honing cutting edge practices in the field.

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