Strategic Insights: Takeover Rumours in Competitive Intelligence

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Addressing Takeover Rumours in Competitive Intelligence

Here is an example of how discreetly talking to the right people helped a banking tech company. This is called primary research, or Humint, if you want to make it sound more exciting and dark art. This is the first of a number of articles offering an example of what you can do with competitive intelligence. This article is called Strategic Insights: Addressing Takeover Rumours in Competitive Intelligence.

What’s happening

An international open-banking platform wanted to confirm or rubbish rumours about one of its competitor’s takeover talks. If true, and such a takeover happened, it would mean the creation of a new global player who could easily compete with them on many fronts worldwide. It would make them a formidable foe and make themselves a potential acquisition target.

This subject dominated conversations with the senior management team, and speculation compromised their focus on the business and associated meetings. It risked them taking their eyes off the ball.

What could be done?

Competitive intelligence could be used to conduct several global conversations with decision-makers, their firms and competitors, governmental bodies and industry experts, and industry analysts, just offering them a platform to share their ideas and thoughts. It is rare for a single conversation to provide a complete picture, and many refuse to entertain a conversation, even off the record. Even if you get the full picture during the first conversation (you won’t), you will still need to verify with other sources. 

It’s important for an intelligence company not to reveal its sources. Even if the client insists that analysts never reveal names. 

But taking bits of information from each source or talking to others recommends that you begin to build a picture of what is happening. 

What was happening?

In this example, the information and subsequent intelligence suggested that the merger was indeed under consideration. It also revealed that it was not imminent, and there were some indications that negotiations were not going well. 

The result

As a result of the insight gleaned, the firm monitored developments but focused attention back on in-house campaigns. A good competitive intelligence company should suggest ways forward and options, one of which is to do nothing, keep watching, or take some action. 

Actions and next steps

There are many actions they could do. These could be:

  • Slapping each other on the back, having dodged a bullet
  • Commence merger talks with either party.
  • Start dropping the merger rumours into conversations with industry peers and potential recruitment candidates.
  • Use a PR agency to make the rumours public, forcing either party to come clean, pushing them into a bad deal or getting them to walk away entirely.
  • Analyse the consequences of a merger and what you can do about it. Long before it happens
  • Determine which customers would not like a merger and implement a plan to ensure they hear the news.
  • Create “actions on” to be ready for a merger or no merger. Develop a set of signals so you can see when something happens. So, if X happens, we will do this, that and other. And if this happens, we do nothing. 

Months later, when media reports alerted them that the negotiations had been kept secret but had fallen apart, the senior management team could carry on with their actions.

Strategic Insights: Addressing Takeover Rumours in Competitive Intelligence

In the realm of business strategy, Addressing Takeover Rumours in Competitive Intelligence plays a pivotal role in shaping a company’s forward trajectory. Being vigilant about competitors’ market movements, especially potential takeovers, can be the key to proactively anticipating market shifts and adjusting strategies. This method of intelligence gathering allows businesses to stay ahead of the curve, identify opportunities, and mitigate risks associated with unforeseen competitive activities.

This article showed how discreetly talking to the right people helped a banking tech company. This is what’s called primary research, or Humint if you want to make it sound more interesting than it is. This is the first of several articles offering an example of what you can do with competitive intelligence. 

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Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

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