How to Research Your Competitor With Quick Competitive Intelligence

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How to research your competitor with quick Competitive Intelligence

This article offers tips on how to research your competitor with quick Competitive Intelligence. The process does not need to be onerous or time-consuming to start with. The trouble with Competitive Intelligence, the more you do, the more time it takes. Because the more you do, the more you learn, the more certainty you have and Competitive Advantage is soon found. 

1. Get up to speed quickly

Subscribe to trade magazines, newsletters and relevant publications. Buy back issues of the most valuable publications. You will be astonished at what happened in your industry you did not know about. Do your homework. Expand your industry thinking and find general business trends, as well as industry trends. And scan the table of contents from two publications, one from an indirectly related industry. Get ones from totally different industries.

2. Listen to your staff

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.

They are the eyes and ears. Feedback and opinion are vital. Start a suggestion box. Introduce an award for the best idea. Your sales team can provide tremendous competitive information. They have the contacts. New employees will offer an excellent external naive perspective. They ask silly questions, but they will likely point out a copy that isn’t clear or functions not convenient. They may come up with the next big thing. Clever solutions come from unexpected places. Give the people in your organisation who spot obvious weaknesses the opportunity to share. And entry-level employees are the obvious ones.

3. Creative dissent

Creative dissent can enhance business. Listen to it.

The propensity to maintain silence is widespread and damages your company. You should not cut people off due to their certainty of the decision taken. Decisions that are seldom better because the disserting voice has been silenced. Host regular mandatory quick meetings to feed the company’s mindset and collaboration of information. Write dissenting papers. Be the devil’s advocate. Vigorously put forward the argument against approval. If proven the greater confidence and support from staff and alert to problem areas

4. Use technology

Google alerts for blogs and news. Maybe some monitoring software. But never sign up to a database or CI software unless used daily. 

  • Monitor conversations about your brand
  • It’s tempting to dismiss comments as mere opinions. And that viewpoint is irrelevant. Opinions are precisely what people hear and pass on.

5. Reevaluate what you have known for years

  • Have your new competitors entered the market?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What features or products have they introduced
  • Can you identify what makes them unique
  • Do you know which end of your market are they targetting
  • Have some existing competitors fallen out
  • What are the implications for you
  • Has the market changed? If so how
  • Have your customers changed? If so how
  • Do customers still buy from your distribution channels
  • Are your distribution channels unchanged?
  • And are there some channels emerging?

6. Examine your products and identify the needs for future improvements and resolve inevitable inefficiencies.

Establish Excellent Communication lines with customers, suppliers, and distributors. They expect you to communicate and to be easy to reach. The lack of transparent and open communication channels is rarely discussed. But it creates an undercurrent of annoyance and a decreased desire to do business.

7. Monitor the Market for Any Shifts- and Don’t Dismiss Anomalies without Checking them out

  • Market shifts are your opportunity to keep up with your customers.
  • While examining the customer and the marketplace, note any disturbances in the water.
  • And, don’t be too hasty to dismiss those aberrations that don’t fit preconceived notions of what the answer should be.

8. Go beyond data collection

When we are asked for data, we probe the company to determine the purpose and use for the data. It’s often clear that they don’t need data; instead, they need Intelligence. Remember, data only reveals the past, never the future. And go beyond your usual horizon. You’re not alone, and others have an interest in your market.

  • In an increasingly tumultuous marketplace, you have to keep seeking and learning. 
  • Because the more you learn, the more likely you are to stay ahead of change and implement changes when and where necessary.
  • Also, have a voracious appetite for knowledge from anywhere and everywhere that ultimately Leads you to improve the depth of your understanding.
  • Do all this to pursue different ideas, concepts, and changes affecting your product, market, and customers. Explore the larger world to identify tomorrows opportunities for your business and so that you are not blindsided

How to research your competitor with quick Competitive Intelligence

This article offered tips on how to research your competitor with quick Competitive Intelligence. And the more you conduct Competitive Intelligence, the more you learn, the more certainty you have and the greater Competitive Advantage you have. 

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What is competitive intelligence?

The collection and analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening, what's next, and what you can do to enhance your competitive advantage.

This is a drawing of the Octopus Intelligence Logo By Octopus Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence, Competitor Analysls, Market Analysis, Competitor Research and Strategic Business Development to beat your competitors, increase sales and reduce risk

Want to know more about market and competitive intelligence and how it can help you beat your competitors?

We find the answers to beat your competitors, make better decisions, win more business and see what’s next. Since 2008, Octopus has been at the forefront of people-powered competitive intelligence solutions, helping brands, enterprises, high-growth SaaS companies, and startups. Globally, we have undertaken hundreds of competitive intelligence projects, providing straight-talking, actionable intelligence and cutting through the clutter with clear, concise deliverables.

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