When you meet someone new, you generally introduce yourself by name and, eventually, by profession. My friends and family have it easy. “My name is Anik, and I’m a teacher!” “My name is Alan, and I’m an engineer.” “I’m Andrea; I’m a stay-at-home-mom.” These are all worthy and easy to define professions. No further explanation needed.
But when I started in Market Intelligence, I would simply say: “My name is Elizabeth, and I’m a researcher.” Easy right? But ‘researcher’ is such a broad word; I always found the title lacking. I think simply saying ‘researcher’ minimizes the interesting and important things I do every day. I love my job and feel it is rewarding. So I decided to share more, with interesting results.
I started saying: “I’m a Market Intelligence Analyst.” Nineteen times out of 20, I get a blank stare. I smile and say, “It’s also called Competitive Intelligence, or sometimes Business Intelligence. It’s just like the title says, I intelligently analyze markets and competitors!” Eighteen times out of 20, I get crickets and tumbleweeds. So I move on to layman’s terms: “Non-profits, governments, multinationals, SMEs, or law firms hire me to research their markets and competitors. I then tell them what I find in a smartly-bundled daily or weekly report. I tell them what the latest trends are and what their competitors are doing.”
In truth, I think many still only grasp part of what I do. However, I find more and more people understand the importance of market intelligence. I think people and businesses increasingly realize the importance of understanding what is going on in their industries. In order to survive in today’s fiercely competitive markets, businesses need stay on their toes. I like to think that what I do can help them stay on top, and even help them evolve.
Although I may be using this quote out of the author’s original context, I find on its own it makes sense in our business. Early twentieth century poet and writer, Khalil Gibran, said that: “A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” If I take this quote and apply it to market intelligence, it tells me knowledge is there, but you need to act on it for it to be worth anything. Maybe I should just start introducing myself by saying “I’m the person who helps bring knowledge to your business.”
This article was originally published on ShiftCentral, now part of LAC Group.