What It Means to Gather Competitive Intelligence
Developing a competitive intelligence strategy can help your organization get ahead in your industry. This article will walk you through the competitive intelligence research process. Then you can start using it to your organization’s advantage.
Why You Should Care about Competitive Intelligence
Information about what your organization’s competition is planning to do next is critical to a strategic marketing plan. 90% of businesses report that their industry has become more competitive over time. In response to the heightened competition, 94% of the same businesses surveyed also reported investing in competitive intelligence to keep them ahead of their competitors.
The average business once faced around 25 competitors, but most of the businesses surveyed reported seeing that number rise to 29 over the last year. As the industry becomes more competitive, it’s up to your organization to claim your spot and win over more customers.
This can be an intimidating task. Luckily, Archintel is uniquely suited to meet your organization’s needs by helping you craft a successful competitive intelligence strategy. The professionals at Archintel will work with you to find out what your competitors are planning to do before they do it. Archintel translates insight into action by helping you respond to competitors’ market strategies with your own informed business plan.
Competitive intelligence professionals analyze information from a variety of publicly available sources. They do so to figure out what strategies your competition might start using. They then help you create your own strategy to make sure you stay at the forefront of your industry.
Sources of High-Quality Competitive Intelligence
Since competitive intelligence professionals rely on a variety of strategies, it’s important to know how they find some of their top sources. Here are some of the key ways the professionals track down the information that can help give your business a competitive edge:
The competitor’s website
One of the first places to check is the website of any direct competitors. Websites can be full of valuable information you can use to inform your business plan. This can include your competitor’s new products, recent promotions or deals, partnerships, or branding changes.
You can also evaluate their overall marketing strategies. How do they describe their products? Have they recently released a new advertising campaign? Do they have a blog where they go into more detail about their business and related topics?
Once you have a better understanding of how your competitors are marketing themselves, you can reevaluate your own strategies. Customer needs, feelings, and behaviors are constantly changing. Insight into your competitor’s recent news and changes can give you a better idea of how to structure your own response.
Social media trends
Social media is an incredible tool for competitive intelligence professionals. Because of the high volume of content and the direct interaction with customers, you can gain a great deal of insight into your competitor’s marketing strategy.
You can also get a better feel for how customers feel about your competitors. Social media is often a platform for customer questions, praise, and complaints. The professionals at Archintel can help you turn this information into a profitable transformation for your own organization.
Online forums like Quora and Reddit are often goldmines, as well. Forums like these allow customers to talk openly about their experience with businesses and the products they have purchased. You can review these conversations to see how your business measures up to the competition. Then determine where you might be able to optimize your customers’ experience.
New hiring patterns
Companies will often recruit new talent when they’re looking to make changes to their marketing strategy. Recruitment and open applications can be strong signs that your competition is about to make broad changes to their business plan. Whether they’re investing in product development or technology or marketing, you can get a better sense of what direction they are heading.
Monitor your competitor’s website, social media posts, and online recruitment service updates. Then you will know which areas your competition thinks deserve more investment. Based on an analysis of your competition’s hiring changes, you can figure out what makes the most sense for your own organization.
Looking through patent databases is another clever strategy to figure out what your competitor might be planning. Competitive intelligence professionals can analyze new patent trends to see which direction your industry is moving.
Industries are constantly evolving and require innovation to move forward. You don’t want your organization to fall behind. In-depth analysis of patent databases and recent product development can help you foresee where your industry is headed before it gets there. The professionals at Archintel will gather critical patent information to evaluate what new products the competition might be planning to unveil.
Like social media, product reviews on your competitor’s online store or ecommerce platforms like Amazon can help you get an idea of how customers feel about your competitor. You can use that information to better meet the needs of customers in your industry.
It can be hard to know exactly what the customer thinks of your competitor. Just like how reviews of your own products can inform your strategy, you should look to those of your competitor to see what their customers really care about or want to see.
Original market research
Competitive intelligence professionals will often conduct their own primary research to get a better understanding of your industry’s market conditions and customer sentiment. Original research can include customer surveys and interviews, data from industry experts, surveys of suppliers and distributors, and observations from trade shows or other corporate events.
An analysis of the data gleaned from these sources can inform your business strategy. Such a wide variety of sources ensures that you will have heard about many different potential areas for improvement. Having a larger data sample can help you optimize your business from all angles.\
A comprehensive competitive intelligence strategy can make sure your business is more closely meeting the needs of customers as your industry evolves. It’s critical you stay informed to keep your organization up to date in the face of a competitive market.
Get in touch with Archintel today to get started on the perfect competitive strategy for your organization!