The Power of Analogue Methods in Competitor Research

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The Power of Analogue Methods in Competitor Research

In today’s digital age, advanced AI and technological tools offer sophisticated means of analysing competitor data. They are excellent solutions. However, some interesting insights can emerge from traditional using analogue methods. Using tools like sticky notes, whiteboards, and coloured markers to map out findings can encourage teamwork. And often revealing unexpected connections and patterns. This tactile, visual approach complements digital analysis, providing a more intuitive understanding of the competitive landscape. This article asks about the power of analogue methods in competitor research.

Visualising Data on a Blank Wall

Methods like mapping findings on a blank wall for a more interactive and tangible approach to competitor research and placing data points—such as product features, marketing strategies, customer feedback, and financial metrics—on a large surface where they can be easily seen and manipulated. Sticky notes of different colours can categorise and prioritise information, making it easier to identify patterns and relationships that might be missed in digital formats.

You could create sections on the wall for each key analysis area: products, marketing, customer service, and financial performance. Use different colours to distinguish competitors or highlight strengths and weaknesses in these sections. Regularly updating and reorganising the wall lets your team dynamically track how competitors’ strategies evolve and how new data fits into the existing landscape. This physical interaction with data encourages deeper engagement and stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving.

Encouraging Collaborative Analysis

Mapping out findings on a blank wall is a collaborative activity involving the entire team. This method encourages collective brainstorming and discussion, leading to a richer, more diverse set of insights. Team members from different departments can contribute their perspectives, ensuring a more holistic understanding of the data.

During team meetings, standing around the wall and discussing the various data points can lead to lively debates and sharing insights that might not surface in a more formal digital analysis setting. This collective intelligence can highlight nuances and subtleties that a single analyst might overlook. Furthermore, physically moving data points around the wall to explore different scenarios and hypotheses can spark new ideas and strategies.

Analog Methods Enhancing Digital Insights

Mapping out findings on a blank wall offer unique advantages, they work best when integrated with digital tools. The insights from tactile and visual methods can inform and refine digital analyses, ensuring a more comprehensive approach to competitor research. For instance, patterns and connections identified on the wall can be further investigated using AI tools, validating hypotheses and providing additional data depth.

The structured data from digital tools can populate your wall, providing a starting point for more intuitive and creative analysis. This hybrid approach leverages the strengths of both analogue and digital methods, fostering a richer understanding of the competitive landscape. By combining the precision and depth of digital tools with the creativity and collaboration of analogue methods, businesses can achieve a more nuanced and actionable competitive intelligence strategy.

Collating and Synthesizing Information

Once patterns have been identified, the next step is to collate and synthesise the information to form a coherent strategic narrative. This involves integrating qualitative and quantitative data to create a comprehensive picture of the competitive landscape. Techniques like thematic analysis can synthesise qualitative data from customer reviews, social media comments, and focus group discussions. In contrast, statistical analysis can quantify trends in market share, sales growth, and financial performance.

Creating a competitive intelligence report can effectively organise and present this synthesised information. This report should include an executive summary, detailed competitor profiles, analysis of key trends, and strategic recommendations. It is essential to ensure this information is descriptive and prescriptive, providing clear guidance on leveraging insights for strategic advantage.


While AI and advanced technology tools are invaluable in competitor research, traditional methods like mapping out findings on a blank wall also play a crucial role. These analogue methods encourage a more interactive, collaborative, and intuitive approach to data analysis, often revealing insights that digital tools alone might miss. By integrating both approaches, businesses can enhance their understanding of the competitive landscape and develop more effective strategies.

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