Importance of competitive intelligence as a business strategy
Companies investing time and resources to do a regular analysis of their competitive landscape is a must to stay innovative and to be a visionary market leader.
How does competitive intelligence help?.
Understanding the competitive landscape helps to address these questions for any business. Having the information to these questions will help to make the competitive information more valuable which then can be further analyzed and to make a decisions that can strengthen the overall strategy around business, sales, product and execution.
- How do other vendors think?
- What are their strengths?.
- What are their weaknesses?
- Where are they vulnerable?
- How do they differentiate themselves?
- What is their buyer’s requirements?
Once the competitive data is collected, several folks within the company can leverage it to make effective decisions:
- The leadership management team can leverage this data to drive business decisions
- Sales can use this as a good set of metrics to find new prospects or to up sell to existing customers.
- Product Managers can figure out a plan to address the gaps and weaknesses through product development or through product acquisition
- Marketing can prioritize their marketing budget to better address the market with the right messaging and positioning statements to validate the strengths against other vendors.
How to go about with gathering competitive intelligence?.
1. Do SWOT Analysis: Competitive intelligence professionals often use an analytical technique called SWOT — an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The effectiveness of SWOT’s, it can be the starting point for analyzing your position relative to that of your rivals.
2. Study competitors company website, products features, product pricing, product positioning, marketing channels and delivery models to seek their differentiation factors.
Check out additional ideas around these steps from another blog site http://productmanagementtips.com/2011/02/26/competitive-analysis-sources/
3. Talk to the analysts and read through the analyst reports to understand the market trends and the overall market scope.
4. Do regular win/loss analysis to better understand your customer’s and prospect’s buying requirements and needs.
5. Present at trade shows and speaking at conferences can facilitate a way to understand the needs of existing and future customers.
Send me your comments if you have additional ideas to make this exercise a move effective program for any company to adopt.