Competitive Intelligence Template
Competitive intelligence, at its core, allows us to take a step back from our internal operations and take a look at the industry as a whole. By learning about competitors we can see all their strengths and weaknesses and how they compare to our own strengths and weaknesses. You can be reassured or anxious, depending on your current situation. Regardless of how you stand in your industry, you will be able to have a better plan for the future afterwards.
The following chart allows you to better visualize your efforts in comparison to some of your closest competitors. Depending on your company goals and current efforts, we are able to look at your industry and see where your progress is at.
Market share is one of the more forefront comparisons when it comes to competitive intelligence. Simply put, how much of the market does each player have? Are you at the top? Are you at the bottom? And where do the competitors fit into the equation. Once you know the numbers and see where everyone stands we can look and see what these businesses are like. Are those at the top long established companies who’ve held dominance for decades or are they new startups who’ve shaken up the industry. Market share is a good starting point that can tell a lot.
Where is everyone located? Are your competitors regional? Do they have national coverage? Maybe International? Which geographic markets do these competitors spend most of their time in and are they overlapping with your efforts. By mapping out where your competitors are operating you might be able to find some new areas that aren’t being addressed.
What is the staple product or service that each competitor offers. While you all operate in the same industry you may have different areas of expertise. Once again, is there overlap or are there gaps in the market demand? Knowing that one of your competitors is a long established expert in one subject may provide you with the forethought to not explore that subject, unless you truly believe you can overtake them.
All of us hope to reach as many people as possible but what is your target market? What is the demographic you market most heavily towards? By figuring out you and your competitor’s target markets we can see where overlap and gaps may exist.
What do consumers think of your company and your brands? Are you family friendly? Environmentalist? Luxury? There are so many different ways to appeal to consumers, even if you’re looking to fulfill the same need. Maybe there is a common thread within your industry where competitors all share some specific brand traits. If everyone in your industry is perceived as a sustainable, green company it might be time to make sure you won’t get left behind due to consumer trends.
If your company and competitors are publicly traded, looking to the market/index value can offer a lot of insight into the current standings of everyone in your industry. The best thing about market/index value is that it’s easy to assess and compare companies with one correlating number. Knowing why those numbers are the way they are is a different story. Luckily, there is enough reporting and cataloging of news headlines that correlate to shift in the market to allow us to comprehend the numbers reported.
How big is your labor force? Learning how big a competitor is based their staff allows for us to know how many employees are needed to operate on a certain level. If a company is doing well and has a large staff it might mean that the only way to increase business is through a large workforce. Likewise, if a competitor is consistently growing in the industry and is doing so with a smaller than expected workforce it would be beneficial to look into other variables as to why this company is doing so well.
There are so many different ways to market a product which methods are prevailing in your industry and how can you counteract them? What goes into the pricing and distribution of products in your industry? Is your current strategy a success? By taking a deeper look into how you and your competitors market yourself we can try to map out some plans for the future.
How much is being spent on advertising and what is that money going into. Advertising is a part of the marketing strategy but there’s so much that happens in advertising that it should be given its own focus. It’s important to remember the size of an advertising budget isn’t the tell all of marketing success. Great campaigns have been pulled off with limited funds and millions of dollars have been wasted on failed attempts.
Social Media Presence
It’s more than just having a social media presence but rather having, a well kept, engaging social media method. Social media can help influence nearly all other aspects we look into in competitive intelligence. With more and more of our time being spent online, brand perception, marketing, and advertising are all heavily influenced by a company’s social media. It is also an easy benchmark to measure competitors on. The point of social media is that it is publicly available and easy to find. Looking at a competitor’s social media allows for us to get an easy and concise view of who the competitors are and who they want to be.