Whether an experienced contractor or new federal market entry having the right information on federal spending trends and upcoming acquisitions is key. The federal market is too big for a shotgun approach to marketing. Companies must be able to focus business development opportunities in areas where they are most likely to win. There are several services providing market intelligence assistance among which contractors can choose to help focus their sales activities. Despite the ready availability of both historically-based and future-opportunity looking services, some companies choose not to use them. A common complaint is that everyone who subscribes to a service has access to the same information. While that is debatable based on how search priorities are set-up, it misses a fundamental point that we recently covered: What separates successful companies from others is what they do with the information. Expecting an on-line search tool to do all your BD work for you is unrealistic. Contractors must dedicate the resources necessary to use the information a service provides to determine which opportunities best match their abilities and then develop a capture plan on how to win that business. Companies that don’t have access to even basic information on prior spending trends or that follow only FedBizOps are at a competitive disadvantage. Market intelligence services can be an important part of a company’s federal business strategy if they are properly used. These services may not be a GPS directly to business, but they will make sure you stay on the best road.