A Beginner’s Guide to Competitive Intelligence Analytics
Competitive Intelligence (CI) is the practice of legally and ethically collecting and using competitor data for strategic gain.
However, data collection is meaningless without knowing what to look for, and what to do with the information.
Here is where analytics comes in.
CI analytics enables you to draw meaningful trends or insights from data that can help you deliver that advantage: significant increase in revenue and better, data-backed, long and short-term strategies.
Whether your enterprise is big or small, in today’s market, to stand out amongst the competition — which is mushrooming by the hour — using CI analytics is necessary.
But how do you go about it?
Here is a quick guide that explains just that.
Set an objective
CI analytics is most effective when it is goal-based.
After you have collected market and competitor data from multiple sources, ask yourself what is it that you want to learn?
For example, do you want to understand in better detail the pain points of your customers? CI analytics with this objective could yield actionable insights that could boost sales. Or, consider learning a new approach to customer communication, which could inspire your marketing team to take it up a notch.
Similarly, there is competitor pricing, which could compel you to reassess yours’.
Set an objective. And take it from there.
Make a plan
Now that you have all the information you need and you know what you are looking for, we can move on to how to go about looking for it.
In other words, next, make a highly researched, highly detailed plan to achieve your objective.
But first, keep two things in mind.
- Make a plan that is based on insights collated from a variety of domains such as market research, good communication, critical thinking, customer analytics, detail orientation, goal-planning, and so forth. Otherwise, seek experts in competitive intelligence analytics.
- The best strategy is a dynamic strategy, one that constantly evolves. Gaining competitive intelligence is an exercise in preparation, in never being caught off guard.
Data must be monitored regularly. Plans should adapt and be adjusted again and again. Actions must evolve.
First, the practice is ethical and legal, which means that you should in no circumstances engage in stealing, bribing, or hacking.
Second, make sure your sources are various, thorough, and accurate.
Here are a few sources of competitor data you can begin with:
- Customer reviews
- Social media
- Marketing campaigns
- Press releases
- Sales report
- White papers
Fact-checking is important because insights are only as accurate as the data that produces them.
Lastly, keep in mind that this is a quick guide. It only offers a starting point for businesses just beginning their data-driven journey.
While becoming data literate and conducting competitive intelligence analytics yourself saves cost in the long run, businesses can get a jump start if they simply seek help in the form of CI analytics services.