Today webinars, polls, barometers and white papers provide access to a lot of information on the competition. Competitive intelligence, in a world that is moving faster and faster and which sees innovations emerging every day, remains essential. With communication that is always finding new niches, it has become a must for any company, which, far from turning a blind eye to the competitive environment, must take into account the competition in order to stay ahead of it.
Competitive intelligence involves researching, analyzing and using information related to a company, its sector of activity as well as its competitors, in order to develop its competitiveness and productivity but also to know the new regulatory requirements that will lead to modifications. These will, for example, have an impact on manufacturing, changes in consumption patterns (e.g. eating organic), technological developments, etc.
If the metro becomes free overnight, the companies that make the crossing turnstiles need to consider how they are going to convert their products and create innovations. Competitive intelligence will allow them to see that far from being a utopian idea, Luxembourg has already applied this measure and to think that the Paris metro will escape this development would be showing optimism with serious consequences. Competitive intelligence is not limited to monitoring the competition but also to knowing all the aspects of its market and its environment. Climate change is forcing heating and air conditioning players to study developments in order to be ready to offer new products in line with current issues.
Competitive intelligence, what is its key word?
Information plays a crucial role in the development of a company because it allows to see not only the competition but also the trends to come. How many times have entrepreneurs been beaten by a competitor who is quicker to bring their product to market? The competitive intelligence Above all, it allows you to be acutely aware of the ideas that circulate and to find the right strategy to never get ahead of a competitor or a new trend.
How to carry out a competitive intelligence? What are the main points?
- keep abreast of new developments. For example the Las Vegas CES, trade shows, even virtual fairs are sources of information from established competitors but also new trends and those that could become promising markets.
- Find out about offers made by competitors.
- keep abreast of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors without ever underestimating them because your objective will be as far as possible to do better or to achieve an attractive communication.
- be on the lookout for publications, press releases, newsletters and not postpone their reading until the next day.
- carefully observe customers, alliances, buyouts, partnerships, contracts or agreements that may open up to you, or that your competitors are facing that may put you in difficulty or offer you an opportunity
- anticipate customer requests by careful observation of social networks
Consult online sources of information
There are many online sources of information and they are Ali Baba’s caves:
- internet (blogs, forums, social networks, company websites, Google alerts, RSS feeds)
- the press (specialized, professional)
- RSS feeds and Google alerts from the specialized press: Google alerts allow you to save precious time in your information research. Configure your email and you will be alerted at the desired time.
- company directories
- social networks and discussion forums
- blogs or official websites of competitors.
Use competitive intelligence tools
You can also use software from competitive intelligence as for more efficiency. Many providers also offer watch services, and all have a website. Do not hesitate to ask.