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Competitive Intelligence. Do you need a Secret Agent?

Competitive intelligence conjures up images of spies, secret agents…James Bond, Ethan Hunt or even Mata Hari.

While some may think this way, you need to think of competitive intelligence as a business strategy. The gathering of information to help you make better, informed strategic decisions.

A competitive intelligence program can be used to gather insights on a consistent basis in areas such as:

  • Understanding the dynamics of the market in which your competing. (See earlier article “The impact of market dynamics on your brand”)

  • Target audiences

  • Size of market

  • Shifts in competitive messaging

  • Competitive pricing, as well as new or current product/service offerings

  • New or emerging market opportunities

  • Messaging strategy and overall communication plan development

  • Sales strategies

  • Win/loss analysis

Before you start building your program, I suggest the following. Meet with key stakeholders, especially those that are directly or indirectly interacting with competitors and ask what information they would like to have and believe is important.

Don’t forget, while you’re looking outside of your company for information, don’t forget to look inside. Typically, a large amount of competitive intelligence already exists within the walls of your organization.

Also, not only do you need to establish the process and data collection methodologies while setting your program, you also need to understand the approach to analyzing the information you’ve collected. Doing this upfront helps you know what type of information you need to answer your strategic questions or keep you one step ahead of your competition.

In my opinion, the analysis phase of your Competitive Intelligence plan is the most critical, yet one that is often not performed well. You’ve invested hours of time and resources into collecting information, yet don’t spend the time performing an in-depth analysis of what you’ve collected.

So, let me help. Visit http://www.angelo-ponzi.com/ci-ebook to view or download my eBook on establishing a competitive intelligence program. Or, book your free, 1 hour, no sales pitch conversation about establishing your program at https://www.angelo-ponzi.com/book-online/marketing-services.

Angelo Ponzi is a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer and Brand Strategist. He has over 25+ years of business experience in sales, marketing, branding, strategic planning and market research. His senior level expertise includes developing and directing comprehensive market/product plans, branding and communications plans and strategic business planning for a variety of business-to-business, financial, consumer, medical, package goods, general retail, restaurants and high-tech clients.

He has led both small and large teams at global, national, regional and start-up companies, as well as worked with products in all stages of their lifecycle, from inception to implementation. Previous positions have been on both the client and advertising agency sides of the business giving him a unique understanding of his client’s business operations, sales, marketing and communications needs.

To learn more, visit www.theponzigroup.com.

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