Purpose: Retailer loyalty card marketing intelligence presents actual customer purchasing preferences, competitor activities and performance. Typically, extant literature implies that larger firms with formal marketing planning approaches will be more able to leverage it, structured as it is within a formalized statistical format. Small business literature on the other hand emphasizes their more informal approach to marketing planning. The purpose of this paper is to consider, for the first time, the potential relationship between retailer loyalty card marketing intelligence and small business market orientation. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual model is developed which diagrammatically interprets how retailer loyalty card marketing intelligence can relate to small business market orientation. Propositions provide a basis for further discussion with applied and research implications. Findings: A pertinent aspect of the conceptualization is the role of small business owner-manager insight and intuition within an experiential learning context. A complementary relationship is posited in the leveraging of retailer loyalty card marketing intelligence to enhance small business market orientation, which with higher levels of entrepreneurship orientation can lead to positive organizational outcomes, such as facilitating more successful and informed engagement with larger suppliers. Originality/value: The paper addresses the increasing pressure small businesses face in dealing with retailer loyalty card marketing intelligence. Generally, literature has yet to adequately address marketing planning implications for firms. The informal/formal tension when considering small businesses presents a particularly interesting area of conceptual development, integrating market orientation literature and also recent developments which point to interaction between market and entrepreneurship orientations. This paper therefore provides a basis for a new small business research agenda in an area which is highly topical and important, with a synthesis of the extant literature in developing a conceptualization and propositions. The conceptualization and propositions can facilitate the development of new research and thinking in this potentially fruitful area of future enquiry. Â© Emerald Group Publishing Limited.