This article is called Competitive Intelligence’s six stages. Competitive Intelligence is the tactical analysis of markets, competitors and industries. Allowing you to make informed long and short term decisions. And take advantage of gaps in the market. So you can exploit competitor strengths and weaknesses. Make your competitor’s act the way you want them to.
We will now look at the processes involved with Competitive Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence has many components. Some which you may already do at a tactical or strategic level. You may scan public records, track the internet. Talk to your customers, suppliers, employees and former employees. And industry experts, academics associated with your industry.
With all the internal and external data, you are likely to get lots of data. There is every chance you will have too much information, and it is a skill in itself to determine when to stop collecting data.
The basic Competitive Intelligence process is broken down into six stages:
- The definition of your Key Intelligence Questions is based on your needs. And the planning of your activities to meet your requirements.
- Collection of information from secondary (web and print) sources. Collection information sources, from within your organisation and from the outside
- Collecting information from primary (people) and data relationship management
- Analyse your information, generate findings and create a scenario
- Disseminate the Intelligence to a relevant audience
- Reviewing your actions, receiving feedback and managing your future Key Intelligence Topics
Key Intelligence Topics
The creation of Key Intelligence Topics starts by discussing it with your team. These discussions will form a framework for defining your intelligence requirements. And developing a strategy to move the intelligence process forward.
It is essential before moving on you need clearly defined Key Intelligence Topics. And subsequently, the Questions. Otherwise, you will spend much time collecting irrelevant information revealing poor Intelligence. No one can focus on every topic or angle that affects business. As a team, explore the key factors, sources, and topical areas that align with your business model.
Develop a top-10 list, which can easily be amended on an on-going basis—creating an action plan to address each situation. This article was called Competitive Intelligence’s six stages.