Companies of all sizes use marketing intelligence to help them make the best business and investment decisions. Marketing Intelligence Tools combine market research and competitive analysis to help businesses target customers and position themselves competitively. They can also help build awareness of user sentiment regarding competing products. In short, these tools are designed to give organizations the information they need to match customer expectations ahead of the competition.
For small businesses and freelancers who may be on a tighter budget, having access to quality free marketing intelligence tools can be a game-changer, as automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities become increasingly widespread. Larger companies can also use freemium versions to test the software solution, acquiring premium packages if the product integrates well with company workflows. Here are some of the best free tools for marketing intelligence in 2022.
Best Free Tools for Competitor Analysis in 2022
By tracking competitor activities, businesses can gain a broad understanding of what they’re up against. Competitor analysis leverage business intelligence and product intelligence to give you an accurate assessment of the competitive landscape. Competitor analysis tools can help you answer the following questions:
- How am I performing against the competition?
- How are products and services being priced in my target market?
- How are rival companies targeting consumers?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of software buyers, and how do I stack up against competitors?
Important metrics to consider include revenue growth, profit margins, ad spend per new customer, and conversion rates. Review sites are also becoming increasingly important for understanding customer perceptions of competing products. User feedback on key aspects like use cases, ROI perception, and usability can help buyers match their pain points with the best solutions.
Keyword planning and link tracking
Limited free features
Cost of premium version
Fast data uploading
|Depth of competitor analysis
Crowd sourced data subject to inaccuracies
Integrations with third-party data providers
Data can be outdated sometimes
Free version limited firmographic data
Ahrefs: the Best Customer Support and Feature Set
Ahrefs offers competitive intelligence tools that specialize in analyzing competitor keywords in organic and paid search, backlinking strategies, and domain authority. You can also see updated search engine rankings of competing products. However, to make the most of Ahrefs’ award-winning customer support and feature sets, users will need to upgrade to a premium account.
Owler focuses on identifying current and potential competitors, but also helps you prospect potential customers. Useful features include news updates via email, press releases made by companies you follow, and copious amounts of data on competitors. The free tool allows you to track up to 5 companies, while top-tier premium accounts allow for unlimited research.
Crunchbase provides users with firmographic data including company profiles, financials, and product lines. Tech stacks, mergers and acquisitions, and even venture-capital funding rounds can all be tracked on Crunchbase.
Customizable filters can target specific companies, investors, or even individual employees at other companies. Data feed integrations with CRM software like Salesforce have also been highly rated by buyers.
Paid versions provide more detailed information on companies and financial transactions, as well as enhanced collaboration and higher data export capacity. The categorization of companies can be slightly odd, with companies listed in areas they are extremely tangentially related to. Because of this, working knowledge of the industry is vital.
Customer Discovery through Market Research
Businesses use market research to help define their target audience. This includes identifying needs, wants, pain points and the product features that address these issues. Marketing intelligence tools that specialize in market research can help you zone in on consumers who might be interested in what you have to offer. You can also acquire actionable insights that can help you keep current customers engaged with your brand.
Location and predictive analytics
Customer journey analytics
Mobile app capabilities
BI standard reporting
|Limited free features
Pricing transparency for subscription service
|HubSpot Marketing Hub
(Make My Persona)
Dynamic customer profiles
Drag and drop templates
Reporting and Analytics
Alteryx specializes in business intelligence, product intelligence, and customer journey tracking. This software is powered by machine learning and offers a wide range of analytics features. These can include location, product usage, and predictive analytics. Through the customer journey mapping feature, users can track cross-channel customer behavior online from start to finish.
Alteryx has the capacity to gather large amounts of data on customers, prospects, and competitors. This is helped by highly rated data integration capabilities with third-party stats packages. Real-time data feeds also provide users with a broad view of their target market.
SurveyMonkey is trusted by over 350,000 organizations worldwide to generate customizable surveys for gathering feedback on consumer preferences and opinions. The basic plan is free, offering surveys of up to 10 questions with as many as 40 answers. With premium plans users gain access to more advanced features such as collaborative survey-building, survey, piping, and skip logic, as well as integrations and improved cross-channel functionality.
HubSpot Marketing Hub (Make My Persona)
Simple and user-friendly, HubSpot’s free Make My Persona feature allows you to build buyer personas using templates that incorporate market segmentation techniques. The main objective of Make My Persona users is to gain a better understanding of the target customer by constructing an ideal customer profile. This makes it easier to identify customer needs, wants, and general preferences. While Hubspot is free to start, there is a very steep price increase if you’re looking to grow at scale, though premium versions do offer more insights and data points.
Marketing Intelligence with Web Analytics
Web analytics can show you how engaging your content and product pages are compared to your main rivals. Using web analytics as an intelligence tool can help you make sure that you present yourself well and have a better understanding of what your competitors are up to online.
Report limits on free version
Tracking overall market trendsLocal search settings
Data updates in real-time
Back-end data transparency
Lacks data export option
Reporting and Analytics
High price of paid version
Traffic source data
Attribution modeling for a limited number of reports
Semrush opens a window for you to peek into your competitors’ web-based marketing strategy. The free version is capped at 1 project and 10 analytics or keyword reports per day. Business users with broad research requirements will find this very limiting.
This software is ideal for understanding how your URL domain, blogs, and web content are ranking on search engines. Users can identify popular search engine keywords, audit their web performance, and access market intelligence based on consumer internet activities. Paid search and social media reporting can also make it easier for marketing teams to forecast ad spend budgets.
Semrush also offers in-depth competitor analysis tools, though these require a premium subscription to make full use of. Organic search, search engine optimization, and even social media performance can be tracked and compared. This includes keeping tabs on your reputation and that of competitors. The ability to generate paid search and social media reports allows you to compare spending, click-through rates, and website traffic.
Google Trends gauges the popularity of products and services by analyzing related search queries and topics. Results are broken down by regions and sub-regions, making it easier to focus on specific markets and target customers locally.
Famously, Google search algorithms and data sourcing are closely guarded secrets, so visualized data will need to be taken at face value. Happily for users, Google Trends is completely free to use, making feature gaps conspicuous by their absence.
Google Analytics is widely regarded as the best tool on the market to track website metrics and the performance of digital marketing campaigns. Information on your visitors can include how they got to your site, demographic profiles, and total browsing time on each page.
The clean UI, infographics, and reporting analytics also give you a complete picture of how your marketing efforts are coming along. This allows you to make campaign and content adjustments to zero in on target customers.
A little-known but highly appealing feature of Google Analytics is the ability to filter for competitors on engagement reports. Not only can you see which competitors are visiting your web pages, but you can also track how they interact with them. Knowing what competitors are looking at on your site can provide several clues into feature sets that they value highly and may be seeking to enhance. This effectively makes Google Analytics a marketing counter-intelligence tool.
The free version of Google Analytics has a very complete feature set, and the expensive premium plan, set at $150,000, is only recommended for enterprise clients.
Optimize your Marketing Intelligence Tech Stack
To get the most out of free marketing intelligence tools and optimize business outcomes, software buyers need to find the right combination of tools that encompass the features they require.
This means going beyond aspects like functionality and integrations to consider software scalability. Where do you expect to be in the medium to long term? If a free version of a key tool outlives its usefulness quickly, subscription models and the future cost of upgrading should be considered when making the decision to buy.
At TrustRadius, we specialize in helping software buyers choose the best tools for their business through feature comparisons and thousands of unbiased, verified, and independently sourced reviews of software products. Check out our website for a comprehensive list of the best Market Intelligence Tools of 2022.
Was this helpful?