This article looks at a way of starting Competitive Intelligence projects. You may want to participate in Competitive Intelligence and are looking for an excellent place to start. Answering these questions may get you starting Competitive Intelligence:
- Look at the competitors’ product or service
- Get as many people to give you ideas
- Buy the product or service then determine:
- How does it work?
- How is it put together?
- What’s the dosage?
- How is it priced?
- And how good is the after-sales support?
- How were you dealt with by the sales team?
- What is the contract like they provided you for their service?
- Who are your competitor’s customers?
- Who are your competitor’s suppliers?
- Also who has the information you are after and why?
- Are there any associated issues with your operating plan or strategic execution?
What do you want to achieve?
Before you start collecting and analysing competitors’ information, ask yourself what, ultimately, it is that you want to achieve. It may be useful to consider the following questions:
- Why do you need to know the intelligence?
- How will you use the results? Who will use it?
- What are the immediate and long term decisions you want to take?
- What information is relevant, who needs it, and how will you monitor it?
Approach each CI project from four different perspectives:
Situation (where are you now?);
Drivers (what threats do you face?);
The players (who will be involved?).
Outcomes (what do you want to find out and by when?).
Also, would a battle card be useful?
Focusing on the problem you need to solve will enhance your chances of success
Success should not be measured by the amount of information you uncover on the competition, but the intelligence you derive from it and the subsequent actions you take. Then, identify and develop two or three questions you feel need answering, incorporating them into the model:
- How will you use the information?
- What information do you need to know, and when do you need to know it by?
- Do all parties understand and agree?
Remember, Competitive Intelligence does not need to be us v them – but it usually is.
Starting Competitive Intelligence projects
This article looked at a way of starting Competitive Intelligence projects.