The primary goal of a competitive intelligence process is to enable businesses to better understand their market, make stronger strategic decisions, and ultimately increase revenue. But, what exactly does that mean for someone who wants to get started with competitive intelligence, and how to build a competitive intelligence process? Let’s find out!
According to the 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence Report, many companies have a different approach to the competitive process and not everyone is well versed in the process of collecting competitive intelligence. In fact, many companies are still struggling to get their competitive processes done right and some of them are looking for competitive intelligence companies that offer the best services to help them improve their competitive intelligence process.
Five Steps to Design a Successful Competitive Intelligence Process
To help businesses get started, here are the five steps to design a competitive intelligence process.
- Identifying Competitors
Identifying competitors is the first step in the competitive intelligence process. Start with your top five direct competitors. You should identify your indirect competitors, aspirational competitors, and your perceived competitors. WHAT ABOUT ACTUAL COMPETITORS? ARE THEY PART OF THESE THREE CATEGORIES? OR SEPARATE?
- Indirect competitors are key players within your industry but likely don’t compete with you for customers.
- Aspirational competitorsare those leading companies within your industry that you don’t necessarily compete with, but you can pull inspiration from to benefit your own business.
- Perceived competitors are those companies that may come up during the sales discovery process, but that you don’t necessarily compete with for business.
Identifying competitors is the key to start your competitive marketing intelligence and diving deeper into your market to understand your competitive landscape.
- Track Competitors’ Digital Footprints
After identifying your competitors, you should choose major focus areas for the data you need to collect. Consider all of the data accessible online about each of your competitors and their internal knowledge from your front-line teams. Narrow down the types of information you care most about, data points that align with recent initiatives so it will be easier to digest the data.
- Gather Information
Gathering information can be the most time-consuming step of the competitive intelligence process. This step is where you have to take the time to explore your competitors’ online presence and gather information about their products, websites, social media engagements, content, and more. You want to gather the most important information about each of your competitors so that you can dig in and evaluate the data to pull out valuable insights.
- Design a Competitive Intelligence Analysis
Designing a competitive intelligence analysis is where your analyst or CI manager breaks down the data, pulls out the key trends and vital pieces of information, and organizes the findings so that they can be easily communicated throughout your organization. Making a competitor analysis can be done in various ways. One practical way is to do a baseline analysis, which will allow you to collect data and generate a competitor profile.
- Turn Data into Results
Now that you’ve identified your competitors, gathered information, analyzed the data, the final step is to make your data actionable – use your findings to benefit your overall business strategy.
Now that you know the five steps to design a successful competitive intelligence process, it’s time for you to start your journey to success. If you want to collaborate with a company that offers the best competitive intelligence services, Markable Solutions is your companion. We can help you design the best and effective competitive intelligence process suitable for your business. Talk to us now and we’ll help you right away!