What’s meant by Competitive Intelligence and how to apply it to our business

What’s meant by Competitive Intelligence and how to apply it to our business

As Competitive Intelligence professionals, we are asked What’s meant by Competitive Intelligence and how to apply it to our business. Over the past couple of years, this question has been getting less and less. Especially within major corporations and increasingly middle-market players. And even those who achieved investment 3 to 5 years or so ago have found new major stumbling blocks. Blocks reducing their growth potential long before Covid did its thing to the world.

Some companies don’t really understand who their competitors are. Know very little about them and assume their offering is superior. Based on what? Absolutely nothing. There are many frameworks, models and software offerings out there. And some of them are useful. Still, here are some questions to help you advance your Competitive intelligence activities. The first place to start is a realisation. If you don’t know your competition, how can you plan to beat them and stand out from the crowd?


So the questions to ask yourself and your teams include:

  1. Who are our competitors, and why are you different? Research and analysis will help you stand out from the competition. Providing more benefits, better services and superior customer care. All of which will back up your marketing and win more clients.
  2. What are your competitors doing, and how will they react to what we do. Will they respond to your strategy? Observing your competitors’ activities will help you stay ahead of the game. Surveillance will also allow you to respond to what they are doing. Even better, you can anticipate what they are going to do next.
  3. What do you expect them to do in response to your growth strategy? Look for opportunities and threats in their reactions and actions. And once you have a good handle on the situation, you can test their responses. By “leaking” your future “potential” plans. And other stuff like that.
  4. So you are now looking at your competitors, and the next question is, “how will I know something is happening?” Create some triggers which could reveal a competitor doing something. An activity that could be a threat or an opportunity to exploit. The most fundamental triggers could include: If our competitor reduces its price to X, then… If our competitor recruits these sorts of engineers in this region, then…
  5. Moving onto the “then” at the end of the above sentence triggered. What can you do about it? What actions could you take to reduce potential risks and make the most of any opportunity? Preparation and planning allows a rapid and effective response. And the quicker you are, the more rewards you will reap.

Know who they are

So, know who your current and future competitors are. And how they could behave and understand how you will learn more about them? Hopefully, you will have a competitive strategy already. And you are in a great place. Either way, we can help.

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.

Some of the Competitive Intelligence software is excellent. But, learn how to manually do Competitive Intelligence before investing in a platform. Why? Well, as we speak, we have two choices when selecting a car — manual gearbox or automatic. Well, the CI software car is excellent. But if you want to learn to drive, we are sure you’ll agree that it’s best to take lessons. And pass your test using a manual geared vehicle. Same with Competitive Intelligence.

However, with Competitive Intelligence, an automatic car doesn’t come with a steering wheel. It has no Sat Nav either. And someone has painted the windscreen over.

You need to work on the software, understand where you want to go with it and the questions you need to answer. Get that right then you will have a brilliant piece of software.


What’s meant by Competitive Intelligence and how to apply it to our business

What’s meant by Competitive Intelligence and how to apply it to our business are questions are questions we still get asked. But over the past few years, it’s becoming less and less — especially within corporations and increasingly middle-market players. We offered five questions to help you see how Competitive Intelligence can be used in your business.



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