Competitive Intelligence: What You Need to Know
Every marketer knows that understanding what your competitors are up to is essential, but not every marketer has the best tips and techniques at their disposal. Here are several ideas to ensure you’ve secured the competitive intelligence to come out ahead:
1. Choose more than one competitor. This is important because it allows you to get a more complete picture of the competitive landscape. You should also choose competitors that are both similar to and different from your company. This will help you to identify both your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Ask different departments and senior management within your organization for competitor names. This is a great way to get a variety of perspectives on your competitors. Different departments will have different needs and priorities, so they will be looking for different information. For example, the marketing department may be interested in competitor marketing campaigns, while the HR department may be interested in competitor employee benefit plans and major moves affecting the workforce such as acquisitions/mergers or layoffs. FACT – 20% of employees voluntarily leave a company following a merger.
3. Perform keyword research and monitor Google search ranking. This will help you to understand how your competitors are performing online. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to track your competitors’ search ranking and traffic.
4. Follow industry news or staying up to date with industry trends. This will help you to identify new opportunities and threats. You can subscribe to industry publications and follow industry leaders on social media.
5. Monitoring news or blog posts for competitor mentions. This will help you to keep track of what your competitors are doing and saying. These tools can track your competitors’ website traffic, social media activity, and even product launches. Google Alerts, Owler and my favorite, Signal Insights.
6. Acknowledging what your competitors are doing well. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your competitors’ strengths. Don’t just focus on their weaknesses. This will help you to identify areas where you need to improve.
7. Sharing it with as many diverse groups within your organization as feasible. This is important because it allows you to get the most out of your competitive intelligence. Different departments can use the information to improve their own performance. For example, the marketing department can use the information to develop new marketing campaigns, and the sales department can use the information to develop new sales strategies.
8. Use social media to gather intelligence. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter (renamed “X”) are great places to gather information about your competitors. You can follow your competitors’ accounts and see what they are posting about. You can also use social media to connect with industry experts and get their insights on your competitors.
9. Attend industry events. Industry events are a great way to learn about your competitors’ products, services, and marketing strategies. You can also use industry events to network with potential customers and partners.
10. Talk to your customers. Your customers are a great source of competitive intelligence. They can tell you what they like and dislike about your competitors’ products and services.
11. Analyze your competitors’ websites. You can learn a lot about your competitors by analyzing their websites. Look at their pricing, product descriptions, and marketing messages.
By following these tips, you can gather valuable competitive intelligence that will help you to make better business decisions.