For organizations, the focus on business growth, profits, and margins has increased exponentially, year on year. According to a recent survey of 388 CEOs by Gartner, Inc., growth is the No. 1 business priority for 58 percent of CEOs. Achieving this growth will require prioritization of business drivers like operating costs, capital investment, increased efficiency and most essentially, competitive intelligence (CI). In competitive markets, gaining competitive intelligence can help companies understand the competitor’s present behavior. However, a true strategic advantage comes from the ability to predict their future moves to plan effective counterattack strategies. That’s where predictive CI can help.
What is predictive CI?
Predictive CI focuses on analyzing competitors’ past and current activities to pre-empt their future moves. Through this intelligence, companies can plan their counter strategies more effectively, for example, by making changes to their business structure, introducing new products in the market, acquiring competitive IP, building new capabilities, and so on.
So how do you obtain predictive CI? Information about competitors is available from multiple sources. Analyzing this information to understand what exactly gives your competitor an advantage, as well as what factors drive their decisions, is the key to predictive CI.
What questions does predictive CI help answer?
Predictive CI involves comparing your organization’s strengths and risks vis-à-vis your competitor’s capabilities. With a combination of extensive primary and secondary research and analytics techniques, you can have access to granular competitive insights that will augment your key business decision capabilities.
Predictive CI can provide answers to many business questions, including:
- Who are your current and potential competitors?
- What business capabilities does your competitor possess?
- What current and impending business strategies is your competitor contemplating?
- What is your competitor’s current and projected revenue growth rate?
- What are the key factors driving their growth?
- How similar or differentiated are their offerings from yours?
- How are their finances? Are their risk-taking abilities better?
- How does your competitor pipeline look?
- Are they filing for patents and investing in emerging technologies?
- What are their key growth markets?
- What are their digital and marketing strategies?
- What are their short-term and long-term business goals?
Gaining such sophisticated competitor intelligence can enhance strategic planning operations. It can help operating managers within strategic business units (SBUs), product managers, as well as to those involved with product development, new business development, and mergers and acquisitions.
There is no denying that companies need competitive intelligence to survive. Competitive intelligence can provide business insights into opportunities as well as potential risks. For instance, if your biggest competitor suddenly and unexpectedly went out of business, would you be able to take on their customers? Or if a smaller competitor was acquired by a firm twice your size, what would be your business risks? What if your firm’s most important supplier decided to cut out the middleman-you-and became a competitor? Or go to another competitor? A well-researched, developed and proactive CI can provide you the vital insights to manage these unexpected scenarios. These and hundreds more critical events are places where effective CI, which can give you an early warning, can be a powerful tool for you.
Netscribes provides ongoing market and competitive intelligence, as the market and competitive landscape changes quickly. Derived from multi-dimensional data sources, our insights are holistic and forward-looking, to help you figure out how you’re positioned against your competitors and stay better prepared for what’s on the horizon. To know more, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.