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Every up-to-date marketing department these days has to have Big Data analysis and visualization tools. Market intelligence provider FirstRain has released a new suite of tools in this category, a solution called Market Insights that builds on the company's existing Big Data analytical offerings and integrates with Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud, Microsoft’s SharePoint and other platforms.

Market Insights provides real-time analysis for developments impacting business's go-to-market strategy, including new or priority product areas, target growth markets, top customers, emerging competitors and what FirstRain calls "the strategic intersection" of these areas.

Go-to-Market Events

FirstRain CEO Penny Herscher said in a statement that the company's earlier suite of sales-focused Customer Insights tools has been "a trusted tool for enterprise sales and marketing teams looking to uncover the key developments driving their top customers and end-markets." Now, she added, Market Insights provides "a clear and continuous view into the events impacting each company’s go-to-market strategy," going beyond customer intelligence to market-focused intelligence.

In its announcement, FirstRain cited the experience of Zunesis, an IT solutions provider in the southwest U.S. Evan Escobedo, practice principle for Cloud, Big Data and Social Business at Zunesis, said in a statement that his company has provided Market Insights to over 3000 marketing, product and sales professionals at a Fortune 100 technology company, resulting in "an extremely sophisticated and fine-grained view of their target markets and buyers."

FirstRain said that Market Insights utilizes “patented algorithms to extract critical developments and visualizations” from external information and from social media. The model is designed to address each company’s specific market strategy without relying on such techniques as keyword searches.

Keyword Searches - So Old-School

Keyword searches to discover market and customer intelligence is becoming so old-school. For example, Nova Scotia-based market intelligence firm LeadSift recently released its software for comparing social conversations with existing customer databases in order to find the best customer prospects, which it said is more efficient than using keyword searches to track and find leads.

FirstRain suggested that Market Insights’ real-time visualization of market trends as they intersect with a company’s strategy might be used by, say, a computer software company to discover that emerging trends related to software security are within its target energy market and are focused on South America.

For information about buyers, FirstRain said Market Insights could allow a company to find online commentary or conversations from key customers, who might be revealing plans for new technology investments. Market Insights could also show developments driving a company's key competitors, or how a business’ major product lines compare in specific product areas against the competition.

In April, FirstRain released a set of integrated customer analytics for Salesforce.com, and in March it unveiled a new app that allowed enterprises to utilize Salesforce’s Touch development platform for creating their own customer intelligence apps for any device.