Your business may not be the only one in its industry but that does not mean it should not be one of the best. Researching, learning, and understanding the market, as well as the behaviours of business alike, enable you to be as competitive as possible. Competitive intelligence gives you the insight to anticipate and face challenges as they approach.
There are two types of competitive intelligence activities:
Not to be confused with industrial espionage, which uses illegal methods of gaining unfair competitive advantage, competitive intelligence must be all-encompassing when using published and unpublished sources. The aim is to encourage better decision-making and enhance organisational performance within the business.
These are the steps leading to competitive intelligence:
Identify the information needed to lead to better decision-making.
Collect raw data pertaining to this information from public sources, ethically and legally.
Analyse the obtained data and organise into actionable steps.
These actions are communicated to those who will implement them.
New competitors with more innovating ideas come into the market and competitive intelligence helps to answer any questions regarding these competitors. More than just knowing which companies are competing with yours, competitive intelligence involves understanding the competitive landscape and the marketplace in relation to how customers fit into its aspects.