19 percent of small businesses fail because of fierce marketplace competition.
Unless your business creates a whole new niche or is in a monopolistic market, you have competitors.
The bad news is competition is a double-edged sword. If you’re unable to overcome it, it will slash your business to the ground; but it can also help you build your company into an indomitable force.
Competitor intelligence is the one thing that will enable you to use competition to your advantage. In this article, we’re sharing tips on how you can gather information about your competition and use it to launch an onslaught.
Let’s get into it.
How to Gather Competitor Intelligence
CI is any piece of information about your industry, business environment, and competing companies and their products and services. You can use the information to refine your business model, marketing tactics, product development methods, and more.
So, how do you gather this intelligence?
In some cases, this information is hidden in plain sight. A competitor’s business website and social media postings, for example, will typically give clues about its digital marketing, target audience, and recruitment plans.
Some online information might require some digging since it won’t be directly available to you. A good example is the company’s social media comments and reviews.
This is where social media listening comes from. This involves using specialized tools or services to monitor what consumers are saying about your competitors (and even your own business) in real-time. Click here to read more about social media listening.
Not every piece of useful information will be online, so you’ll need to engage other tactics. You can talk to friendly people inside your competitor’s organization, for example.
Making Use of Competitor Intelligence
It’s of little value to collect a vast amount of competitor data if you can’t cut through the clutter and make sound analyses.
Let’s say you noticed that there are numerous open sales positions on your competitor’s website. How do you convert this into intelligence that can give your company an advantage?
It all depends on your data analysis capabilities. It could be that the company is just expanding its sales workforce to keep up with increasing product demand. Or it could be ramping up its workforce in preparation for launching a new product.
You certainly don’t want to get caught off-guard when a competitor launches a new product. But with competitor analysis, you’ll be in a better position to get wind of what’s happening and ensure your business responds appropriately.
Hiring an in-house competitive intelligence analyst is key to making most of the data. This professional works round-the-clock, feeding your business with the intelligence it needs to stay ahead of the pack.
Outsmart Your Competitors
In a competitive marketplace, you have no choice but to do better than your competitors. Competitor intelligence is the secret key that will unlock your business’s full potential. However, you must know how to gather it and, most importantly, analyze and use it.
Keep tabs on our blog for more business tips and insights.