Why Looking Back at Your Competitive Intelligence Performance is Important

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Why Looking back at your Competitive Intelligence performance is important

The article explains why Looking back at your Competitive Intelligence performance is important. The new year is here, and you are probably thinking about 2022 planning. Many things happened in 2021. Businesses stalled in many sectors have started to grow again after all the problems. Some haven’t yet, and others have been flying throughout. And you don’t need us to tell you about the obvious challenges we are have faced last year and the year before. That subject has been done to monotony. And it’s not over yet. 

So, how are you going to use Competitive Intelligence throughout your organisations? What key Competitive Intelligence goals do you have for 2022? What do you want to find out? And what do you want to increase your certainty on?

Look back at the market

Before looking at what you want to do in 2022, it’s essential to review what you did in 2021. To understand what went well and what you could have done better. To define where the market was performing, isolate any patterns and how you have performed yourself.

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.

Competitors 

Which competitors became more influential on the market and your performance against them. What have they done to increase their influence and affect your business? Alternatively, was it a decrease in their impact that positively or negatively affected your performance? They may seem simple questions and could be answered; who cares, but knowing why you succeed or fail is very important. Typically theirs lots of back-slapping when things go well and sackings or new training when they dont. But how many times do company bosses ask why?

  1. Why did they increase in prominence?
  2. Why did that happen? 
  3. Was it because we were tremendous or did that competitor struggle with a new product launch, and their customers came to you? 

So, looking at point three, reacting to a new competitor launch by copying them will not have the desired effect. Just the opposite, and all because no one asked why.

  • Which new competitors popped up in the market? 
  • How did you first find them? 
  • Could you have isolated them quicker?
  • What do you know about them?
  • What do you need to know about them? 
  • How will they affect you in 2022?
  • Did any competitors drop off the radar, merge or even close down? 
  • And how will this affect you in 2022?

List the events

What were the significant events from the previous year, and how did they impact you and your market? Write down and discuss events like competitor product launches, acquisitions and changes in the competitors’ management teams. Look at yourselves too. It’s not just looking externally. Take a good long look at yourself too. 

Ask questions about these events like:

  • What impact did they have on revenues and profits?
  • Was there a defined change in market share?
  • What is the perception of the brand?
  • How did the market and customers react to these events?
  • Did these changes improve or reduce your operations performance?

Look deeper at your performance

Looking deeper at your performance and understand how your competitive strategy performed.

  • What decisions were made?
  • How were any actions carried out?
  • How successful do they appear to be?
  • What actions failed or were not carried out
  • And what investments were undertaken, and what sort of returns did you get. These are significant investments like buying a competitor to the utilisation of a Competitive Intelligence agency.

Isolate patterns

During the previous year, were their patterns and actions? Indications suggesting your competitors’ possible direction? How clear are the signals of their future plans, and what do you need to know about them? What are the competitor red flags you have isolated that will tell you where your competitor is along their new path to success?

  • Are they investing in new equipment, recruiting different people, or within alternative geographical regions? 
  • Are these hires a sign of something other happening or a problem with retention?
  • And are they bringing in new senior people? 
  • Is there an indication of new products and new technology? 
  • Is their tone of voice and market message changing? 
  • Are they looking to move into new markets? 
  • What else do they seem to be doing to get an edge? 

Are they watching you?

What do your competitors think of you and your plans? Are looking to copy you, identify and take your customers. Or do they see you as irrelevant to their growth? Or are they not looking at you at all? If not, why not?

Why Looking back at your Competitive Intelligence performance is important

Analyse, collate and summarise the things you have found out. Look for patterns in these and isolate the decisions and actions you need or could make to take competitive advantage of 2022. Determine your key priorities and define the aligned metrics you want to measure your success on. This article was why Looking back at your Competitive Intelligence performance is important. Hopefully it shows that Competitive Intelligence is very much a forward-looking process, but even when you drive your car, you still have to use the mirrors. But not exclusively. The problem arises when you just use your mirrors to navigate that bend. Looking back here will help give you a view into those competitive shifts and strategies required to win more in your market.

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