It has become harder for brands to stand out in all industries due to heightened competition. On average, businesses face 29 competitors, an increase of 16% from 2019. A survey released in 2020 supports this finding. Marketers target specific audiences, sales reps use persuasive tactics to persuade consumers, and companies offer competitive prices to catch the attention of consumers.
Keeping a brand competitive when so many new companies are launching every day can be difficult. In order to stay competitive and drive revenue, competitive intelligence (CI) is a useful tool. In addition to reviewing what CI is and what it isn’t, we will discuss how it can be leveraged by brands.
Competitive intelligence: why it matters
A competitive intelligence consultants program monitors, gathers, and analyzes data legally and ethically about your competitors’ industries and determines who is performing better than you. In addition to finding a way to identify and fill strategy gaps, it can also be used to find new growth opportunities.
Perspectives on competitive intelligence
The number of enterprises investing in CI has decreased, but enterprises are increasingly investing in CI. Just 37% of companies in 2017 had CI employees dedicated to the function. It is expected that that number will increase by 20% by 2022. Now that so much information is available online, it’s easier for small businesses to implement continuous improvement tactics without having to spend a lot of resources.
As well as offering insights for senior executives, competitive intelligence provides other benefits. The sales team receives more accurate information from CI. By using CI, sales representatives can gather objections and address them. In addition, marketing can better target its messaging for a more targeted approach. Product managers can better understand how competitors price and package their products.
What marketers should know about competitive intelligence (CI)
Work must be done in a step-by-step fashion to be successful, and CI is no different. If you apply these techniques in the correct manner, there is a possibility that they will work for you.
Your competitors are your opponents in CI, as your industry is treated as a game. To determine the next step, you can use their plays as a guide. If you know your competitors, it will be much more difficult to gather information about them. To begin with, pinpoint your top direct competitors. The consumer demographics of similar brands target identical merchandise and services.
The second list of indirect competitors should be compiled. Even if a company provides a different service or product than your target audience, you may still reach them. Rather than focusing on competitive advantage, concentrate on inspiration.
Identify your goals
Before you begin your research, determine your research objectives.” By deciding what direction to take and what sources to examine, you will be able to make the right decisions.
Imagine Amore’s goal is to understand the marketing strategies of its competitors, including their campaigns, messaging, and promotions. In this regard, you have provided very clear direction to your CI team. This information can then be used to devise a plan to locate the data.
Develop a data collection strategy
As soon as the CI team knows the end goal, the data collection tools can be set up.
As part of Amore’s goal of understanding its competitors’ marketing strategies, the intelligence team is likely to review websites, landing pages, blogs, and downloadable offers.
Social monitoring and social listening will also be used to evaluate how consumers react to More’s competitors’ content. The CI teams keep up with data collection plans. Casting a too-wide net can be confusing when you don’t know where to begin.
Analyze the Collecting data
Your competitors have been identified, as have your goals and your research plans, so it is time to get started. It may take you weeks or even months to gather data, depending on your objectives. Utilizing a CI tool while collecting your data will allow you to categorize it for analysis in the future. The more information you have, the more interesting things become. Your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can be identified through patterns.
Provide stakeholders with insights
In order to begin this process, you should identify themes within your research. Next, you must consider stakeholders for whom you will present your findings. They will be able to use the data to grow the business and raise revenue.
Whenever you analyze data, you are the storyteller just as you are when you analyze data. In addition to analyzing the data, it is your responsibility to frame it so that it is clear why it matters. Without that important component, it will be difficult to decide what is next.
It is also important to tailor the reports to the team. In sales, battle cards may be preferred, whereas, in marketing, visual reports may be preferred. When you are not sure what would work, don’t be afraid to go straight to the source. Collaborate with your team to communicate your findings.
What motivates you during competitive intelligence
You’ll benefit more from these things if you are headed toward the CI and would like to do this job in the future.
Verify the legality of everything
It may sound strange to have a term for competitive intelligence, but it can leave the wrong impression on market intelligence services.
In order to access information illegally, such as via hacking or phone tapping, it is considered “spying” which does not work in competitive intelligence. In case you have any questions about CI, talk to your legal team. Unless you have an internal legal team, reach out to a corporate lawyer for advice.
Ethics are essential
Legality should not be the only factor to be considered. Assume that your team has just discovered another competitor’s former employee has recently resigned and knows a lot about the company’s five-year strategy.
While reaching out to an employee is not illegal, it may be unethical since it could result in the employee divulging sensitive information. Make an informed decision. If you feel it’s not the right time, do not approach an employee.
Studies by Crayon show that companies transferring customer details at least once a week see twice as much revenue growth as those who don’t. Insights should therefore be shared often and often. Implementing CI is not a one-time act, but an ongoing process. Your business must continue to grow if you want to stay competitive.
Last but not least
Those wishing to enter the field of competitive intelligence or marketing should keep these best practices in mind when reading this article. Whether you need help with competitive intelligence or marketing intelligence flow, we are happy to help.