Competitive Intelligence in Product Marketing And The Missing Pieces

Competitive Intelligence in Product Marketing And The Missing Pieces

Competitive Intelligence in product marketing and the missing pieces

The focus on Competitive Intelligence in product marketing often revolves around data collation. Data is represented in neat tables, charts, and good old battle cards. However, Competitive Intelligence can be used in so many more ways than this. This article is called Competitive Intelligence in product marketing and the missing pieces. Using Competitive Intelligence properly, you can uncover insights about your competitors. The Insights about their current and future products that you may not have known existed. Additionally, Competitive Intelligence help makes better strategic decisions.

Creating comparison tables with ticks and crosses and SWOT

We read articles about using Competitive Intelligence in product marketing. They tend to focus on creating comparison tables with ticks and crosses and SWOT. Two-page battlecards, benchmarking and understanding about where a product can win. The focus can be on these reporting tools and not the insight itself. Reporting tools that are incredibly important to quickly take in current information. Salespeople need to know what’s going on and how they can get a deal over the line. 

Some in product marketing Competitive Intelligence miss the critical fact. That Competitive Intelligence is all about understanding what will happen next. 

Benchmarking is not the only answer

Benchmarking and battlecards are great to isolate the current situation. Knowing how well your product is competing against rival products. But just using benchmarking encourages us to just keep up with competitors. Benchmarking should be renamed to something like “howtoblowtheirproductoutofthewaterwithournextoffer marking”. Ok, a more catchy name may be needed. 🙂 But Competitive Intelligence has to focus on future-looking insight and:

  • What are they going to be doing next?
  • What can we do it beat their next product release?
  • And what opportunities and threats will their future development?

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence is the creation of insight to give you more certainty, competitive advantage and knowing what’s happening next

Analysis of what’s going on

Competitive Intelligence in product marketing can also neglect the most crucial aspect. The analysis of the information. Find secondary and primary information, collate and sort it into fresh data. Then there is the analysis of what’s going on and the search for patterns. Look at what the data is telling you and what is going to happen to turn it into Intelligence. Some product managers confuse looking through data with real insightful Competitive Intelligence. And there’s also too much reliance on data and secondary sources. But that’s a different story explained here. So we believe there needs to be more focus on planning, collection and analysis part efforts. 

All Competitive Intelligence should start with the isolation of the problems you are facing. Then the definition of Intelligence questions. These are good questions to see if you are on the right track:

  • Have you defined the right questions?
  • Are you asking the right questions?
  • Are the questions useful for decision-makers and, yes, sales and marketing teams?
  • And are the questions a good mix of the forward-looking and tactical current situation facing?
  • Where will you find the information, and who will know the answers. 
  • What are the sources of information? Yes, G2 et al. may give you some insight. But your competitors will/may know that too. And usually, that’s the “nice to have” information, not the “need to know”. 
  • Are you analysing the information just taking the information as it comes?

Competitive Intelligence in product marketing and the missing pieces

So, in conclusion. Competitive Intelligence in product marketing and the missing pieces may have revealed flaws. Competitive Intelligence can give you a significant advantage over your competition. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses can develop a marketing strategy. But only by looking to the future and trying to exceed what your competitors do. Yet, this process is not easy, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. So, using Competitive Intelligence in product marketing can be effective. 

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