My competitive intelligence guide will explain the process of monitoring, gathering, analyzing, and sharing intelligence about your competition, products, services, customers, industry. A comprehensive CI plan will increase the competitiveness of your business, relative to its entire domain – competitors, technologies, customers, distributors, and macroeconomic data.
This article is a summary of my recently published Competitive Intelligence Guide. It walks you through:
- The definition of competitive intelligence
- What CI will bring to your company
- How to harvest intel effectively
- Which metrics to measure
- Competitive intelligence tools
- CI examples, techniques, templates
Your goal is to gather data that relates to your competitors, products, customers, and industry. The insights you reveal will help you make strategic business decisions.
What are the benefits of a competitive intelligence program?
The data that you collect should be shared throughout your organization. All the teams will benefit – R&D, sales, HR, PR, marketing, customer support, product. The data will help them:
- Identify new markets
- Increase presence in existing markets
- Improve product development with UGC
- Beat the competition to market
- Target customer interaction
- Identify what consumers want, and give it to them
- Uncover new products and technology
My competitive intelligence guide is not a spy manual
You’re not spying. There’s nothing sneaky going on. All the information that you’ll be harvesting is widely available to the public. Info about your industry, products, customers, shareholders, financial reports, press releases, blog posts, social media networks, government databases, etc.
How to gather your competitive intel
First up, identify your competitors. Newbies, those you might consider insignificant, well established. Chat with your teams. The customer facing ones – sales, customer support – will have intelligence that you may not have collected.
Metrics to track
Keep it simple. Trying to monitor and analyze all the traffic to your website at the same time will be a mammoth task. Segmentation of traffic will make it manageable. Organic, social media, referral, email. Then segment again – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Competititive intelligence tools
With the overwhelming amount of online content, you need tools to track, collect, and analyze that you find.
Quick Search – Pepsi vs Coca-Cola for a 30 day period. Coca-Cola has a 9.4% market share in South Korea, which Pepsi could move in on.
Talkwalker’s Quick Search is a powerful social media search engine. It’s idea for competitive intelligence. You’ll be able to identify content ideas, find new influencers, spot trends, and a whole lot more:
- Compare multiple brands or topics
- Identify KPIs
- Unlimited searches and results for the last 13 months
- Global coverage of social media channels, blogs, news, and forums
Competitive intelligence techniques
There are several techniques that you should employ in your CI program. My competitive intelligence guide explains them in more detail. Take a look!
- Porter’s Five Forces
- SWOT analysis
- TOWS analysis
- STEEP analysis
If you’d like to learn more, check out my Competitive Intelligence Guide. Let me know your thoughts.