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Competitive intelligence

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When starting a business, a crucial management step to first take is to analyze the competitors. Being aware of what is going on in your sector of activity will allow you to stay up to date on news in addition to being informed about technological changes and advances in your industry.

What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence means seeking, analyzing and exploiting information about its company, its competitors and its sector of activity, with the aim of increasing its productivity and competitiveness.

The information to look for during a competitive intelligence varies from one industry to another and also varies depending on what you are looking for. The first step is therefore to establish your goals and the elements you wish to analyze.

Examples

  • New competitors, products, services

  • Political and economic changes in the industry

  • Competitor's financial data

  • Market strategy: current clientele, geographical area, marketing efforts

  • Products or services: quality, production, price, etc.

It's importance

First, it is important to understand that you cannot perform competitive intelligence with the sole purpose of copying ideas from your competitors. Rather, keep in mind that you are analyzing and making yourself aware of what your competitors are doing. By being informed of their activities, you have access to valuable information from your industry and it will be easier to improve your strategy and the efficiency of your business in general.

A few times a month, visit their social networks. Observe their marketing strategy and get inspirations for future promotions, discounts, contests. By looking into what works better and worse, you will have a considerable advantage over your competitors. This practice also offers you the opportunity to stay abreast of changes in your industry, which will prepare you better for these changes, whether they are  technological, political, or social.

4 steps

1. Establish Your Goals

The first step in your analysis is to establish your goals and what you will analyze in your research. Examples are listed earlier in this article.

2. Define your competitors

Then, determine your competitors by choosing the 4 or 5 most important ones.

3. Determine the strengths and weaknesses of each

Establish strengths and weaknesses to help you define your action plan, strategies and ideas

4. Develop an action plan

Will you decide to have a similar or completely different strategy? This is where you will choose what you will do with this information, taking care to use it to your advantage.

Tips:

To help you perform a competitive intelligence, here are some tools you should get to know.

Google Alerts: This Google tool will allow you to monitor the progress of certain keywords and create alerts on specific content that you wish to track.

Societe: This website analyzes the information of different companies. You can get legal information, financial statements by years, and so on.

Semrush: Cross, combine and view SEMrush data to compare competing domains and evaluate keywords in just a few clicks.


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