How Important is Competitive Intelligence?

If I had known my competition was working on the same project and further along, I would have approached my launch differently.

What went wrong in this decision-making process? How can I learn and grow from those mistakes?

Where do I stand in comparison to my competition?

If you have asked any of these questions, you see the need for competitive intelligence. The largest companies in the world have personnel devoted to competitive intelligence because they can’t afford to let their competitor’s activities go unstudied. It’s imperative that they have a full view of the industry landscape at all times.

Competitive intelligence (CI) is the gathering and analysis of information related to your competitors. It’s like ethically peeking at your opponent’s cards and making moves and assumptions based on what you saw. In most cases, intelligence is collected to answer a question, though there are occasions where larger trends and movement may be addressed.

Google’s search engine demands that you stay up to date, relevant, and socially active to be ranked higher than your competitors. Your position on those search engine ranking pages (SERPs) remains important and each bit of movement can mean large shifts in income.

This means that every day, there is activity on your competition’s social channels and website to keep or gain position. There may be activity on their blog. Maybe there is a small section where the company president regularly speaks. Each of these mentions, tweets, and posts represents a data point, a point which can be used in the analysis of a company.

With proper analysis, you can know and understand how your competition is marketing itself.

  • You can tell which social platforms that they try to make their own. With that, you can see how they interact with their users.
  • You see their blog posts and what they use for content marketing (or even if they’re using content marketing).
  • Taking it one step further, you can fully realize where the bar has been set within your industry when it comes to marketing tactics.

What if you had a tool that you could use that would take the marketing signals from all of your competitors and tell you what to create next?

With tools like that, you could change the game, ditch the ineffective brainstorming sessions, improve marketing efficiency in your organization, and stay ahead of the competition. You would be the hero of your company’s story.

How important is competitive intelligence for marketing?

Analysis of data helps your company see both the future and the past, potentially saving you thousands of dollars by allowing you to be in the know. And, while there are some who remain content to keep their nose to the grindstone, there are others who are taking everything they learn, every single data point, and pushing forward.

In the competitive intelligence arena, where do you stand? Do you use competitive intelligence software or do you still do it the old-fashioned way by visiting your competitors? Let us know in the comments how you’ve used CI to improve your marketing position.

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