How Competitive Intelligence Helps Understand How Decision Makers Think

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How Competitive Intelligence helps understand how decision-makers think

This article describes how Competitive Intelligence helps understand how decision-makers think. Often this is where people looking at Competitive Intelligence for the first time go wrong. They direct their efforts into what information is required. They look and worry about how to find the information. Which websites or expensive databases will reveal what they are looking for.

Just subscribing to a costly database or platform without understanding what you really will provide with everything other than a hefty bill and something else no one will use. Any database or platform will not provide you with any Competitive Intelligence at all. It’s what you do with the information on a consistent basis. Competitive Intelligence analysts should initially ignore the required information. And target their thoughts on what the decision-maker needs to make their decision. 

Be strategic not tactical

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding, sorting and critical analysis of information. To make sense of what’s happening and why. Predict what’s going to happen and give the options to help you control the outcome. Competitive intelligence offers certainty, competitive advantage, insight, growth & security.

It’s essential to understand the decision they need to take so you can offer the options open to them. The possibilities are based on the Intelligence you are going to find. Many use Competitive Intelligence just to collect sales, marketing and pricing information. But these sorts of tactical actions are only a fraction of what the activity can do for you. 

Look at what your competitors are going to do. How are they going to do it, and what decisions will they need to take:

  • Are they looking to enter a new market, or indeed leave the market they are in? 
  • Are they worrying about new competitors entering their sector? 

Take your decision-makers thinking into account and that of your competitors primary decision-makers. As well as the decisions do they need to make, you also need to know:

  • What timeframes are they working to?
  • Are there any constraints are a decision-maker working to?
  • What is a decision-maker trying to do?
  • Are the decision-makers team capable of carrying out what has been decided?

But remember they are not the same as you so they may not think like you. 

Put the problem and the necessary decision into another persons point of view. Try and get to understand the decision-makers from your point of view. But never assume that they think like you. Without believing they have your resources, ambition, capability and ways of doing things. 

Finding out their resources, capabilities, ambitions, and how they do things will help you. Try and think like them as them with their capacity and capability, not yours:

  • Then move one step further by taking the view of their customers and suppliers?
  • What challenges do they see coming, and how will they tackle them?
  • What are they likely to want to do to beat you?
  • And what will they do in response to the decision you eventually make?

You should, of course, know these sorts of things about your own company. If you don’t, you may struggle to understand your competitors. 

How Competitive Intelligence helps understand how decision-makers think

This article was called how Competitive Intelligence helps understand how decision-makers think. We hope we have helped you understand that CI is more than collecting information. It’s also about getting into how your competitors think and how they make decisions. 

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