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Why do businesses need competitive intelligence?

competitive intelligence

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. This is a 42 percent increase as compared to 2016. Achieving this growth will require prioritization of business drivers like operating costs, capital investment, increased efficiency and most essentially, competitive intelligence (CI). Internal business challenges are manageable but acquired, actionable competitive intelligence can help businesses focus on growth while ensuring market validity.

 

What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence focuses on your competitors, their capabilities, current activities, plans, and intentions. It allows a company to be agile and pre-empt or react to their competitor’s actions. They can adjust pricing, introduce new products, and discontinue products that competitors are offering, depending on the needs of their businesses.

So how do you obtain competitive intelligence? Information including competitor information is available from multiple sources. Appropriately, analyzing the raw data available from all sources and generating actionable information from the data is a key success factor on the path to acquiring competitor intelligence.

 

What questions does competitive intelligence help answer?

Accurate CI can help compare your organizations business strengths and risks vis-à-vis your competitor’s capabilities. With a combination of extensive primary and secondary research, you can have access to granular information that will augment your key business decision capabilities.

Competitive intelligence can provide answers to many business questions including:

  • Who are your current competitors?
  • Who are your potential competitors?
  • What business capabilities does your competitor possess?
  • What current and impending business strategies is your competitor contemplating?
  • What is your competitor’s market share?
  • What are their product and service lines? How similar or differentiated are they from yours?
  • How are their finances? Are their risk-taking abilities better?
  • How does your competitor pipeline look?
  • Are they filing for patents and getting more innovative solutions in the market?
  • What are their digital and marketing strategies?
  • How is their social media presence?
  • What are their short-term and long-term business goals?

These are but a few questions that you can get insights on. Depending on the level of detail required, the research can cover multiple data points. Geographical spread, leadership team and decision makers, and key clients are some of the other insights that can be gleaned from a detailed competitor intelligence report.

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 continuous competitive intelligence, as we understand that the market and competitive landscape changes quickly. Our insights are holistic, combining multi-dimensional data sources, including market, investment, patent, and social media data, to help you figure out how you’re positioned against your competitors. As a result, you work smarter and look better to your clients and customers. To learn more, reach out to us at info@netscribes.com.



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