The key to a great strategy is Competitive Intelligence

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This article is called the key to a great strategy is Competitive Intelligence. So why is it that when it comes to it, Competitive Intelligence is often overlooked or not even thought about it in the first place? We offer our thoughts on what, where and why using Competitive Intelligence is excellent for strategy.

Some questions

If you don’t know, you have to realise there is a mountain of content out there and you have you be seen as the thought leaders for your sector. Even digital marketing strategist tend to ignore Competitive Intelligence or buy access to a platform which neither Competitive, Intelligent or useful. But what is Competitive Intelligence?

What is competitive intelligence?

What isn’t Competitive Intelligence?

It’s called Competitive Intelligence, not Competitor Intelligence

Using Competitive Intelligence to keep track of more than just your competitors will allow you to see patterns and make the most of new opportunities that present themselves.

Where to use Competitive Intelligence

How to avoid Competitive Intelligence

Sensible thinking can go out of the door once the company has grown and experienced some success. Even companies who have transformation directors and Insight Managers on their books, Competitive Intelligence can become diluted to the point of uselessness.

Why? Well if you have been in the industry a long time there is very little you can learn from a Competitive Intelligence project. This is the situation when we are told that a company has no competitors. Only to find with the most rudimentary Google search revealed 20 plus competitors, including three many times bigger than them. These sort of broad-brush statements are widespread.


Blockbuster knew all about the threat from streaming services but did nothing about it. Streaming services did not creep up on Blockbuster. Netflix and its predecessors wandered down Blockbusters garden path, took a leak on the roses, kicked over the trash cans and shouted into the letterbox. Blockbuster knew better and chose to close the curtains and stick their expensive popcorn in their ears. It was a whole board of directors in Blockbusters case. What stopped Blockbuster from moving into streaming? They were too comfortable and lacked any foresight and drive to do something about it.

Incidentally, another company that is often given as an example of failure to see the future is Kodak. But guess who invented the digital camera? Yep, you guessed it. Kodak. Why did they not see their problems coming? There are many reasons, but the key one was that they did not see themselves as camera makers. They saw themselves as a chemical company. Even when they moved into printers, the critical reason for doing so was to sell more ink.

Now in the case of Kodak, it is debatable if they actually failed. They are still leaders in certain types of chemical markets but have moved from B2C to B2B. They are specialist and market-leading in photography related chemicals. Maybe they got out of the B2C market at the right time?

Too expensive

Focus on the internal data

You focus on how your customer speaks to and as you get bigger and you have lost sight of your industry and customer’s needs years ago. Things change, and new competitors come along, and you ignore them or decide they are irrelevant. Then you start to suffer a bit from cheaper upstarts, and you clamour for more data to tell you what to do. You find all the internal data you need to weather the storm. You cut your prices and sales go up. Then you find your profits are taking a hit and you are on a slippery slope. Hey, you need Competitive Intelligence. Where is that transformational insight manager?

What you can get with Competitive Intelligence

  • What your current and prospective customer needs
  • isolate what you competitors are doing about their needs
  • Be up to date on what’s happening in your industry
  • Where opportunities and risks are before they show through evident through a lack of results
  • Offers a clear picture of reality rather than biased, dated, or limited view of your market.
  • Gives you are reality check of your market
  • Provides an internal bais check
  • Raise red flags to the senior team about evolving trends, topics, tone of voice and new products and services in your space
  • Provide invaluable insights to your entire business and ensure your market teams remain relevant and a key to your business success.
  • listening actively to what your audience wants so you don’t miss out and allow your competitors in


About Octopus Intelligence

We understand we live in an increasingly uncertain, competitive and ever-shifting world. And what you need is an active real-world business development strategy.

The UK based Competitive Analysis consultants with a global client base. Offering Competitive intelligence-based growth-focused actions. To answer the what and the how for the now and the next.

So we help you beat competitors, increase sales, be disruptive, enter new markets and invest with more certainty. As Competitor Analysis and Market Intelligence consultants, we offer Strategic Intelligence. Competitive Intelligence and background checking.

We are Octopus the global Competitive Intelligence service company.

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We help you beat your competitors, increase revenue, protect equity investments, reduce uncertainty and risk with Competitive Intelligence & Due Diligence

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