The world of global business has always been fast and demanding, add the ‘online market space’ and you quickly find it difficult to understand how you should be portioning your budgets, resources and time. It’s not just about anticipating your customers needs and desires, it’s about staying ahead of your competitors – this is exactly where competitive intelligence comes in. Competitive Intelligence is, at it’s core – Marketing Snooping. It’s a means of assessing where you stand in your marketplace compared to your closest rivals and understanding where you need to be heading to stay one step ahead of the game.
As a concept competitive intelligence has been around for many years but in the past decade the exercise has changed in a significant way due to the rise of the eCommerce, skills required to analyse data and the plethora of software. It’s a process of collecting data about your competitor’s advertising strategies, conversion tactics, social media interactions – and then turning this into your own intelligence for the use of your own digital strategy. Now this doesn’t mean you need to be involved in industrial espionage, getting a man on the inside or hacking data – At DIGICOOL we have completed hundreds of Intelligent Reports and have refined a process to deliver invaluable insights. Feel free to get in touch and find out more.
Why Should I Be Monitoring My Competitors?
The benefits of having a clear idea of what your competitors are doing and how well they are doing it are many and varied but it all really comes down to learning how you can do what you do better. By studying the strengths of your competitors you can in turn see how to improve your business. When you have two complimentary companies, a ‘you’ and a ‘them’, you can analyse the differences in their efficacy and turn that intelligence into new strategies for yourself. Are your main competitors beating you in a certain demographic? Are they succeeding in a location that you’re not? Is a certain product outselling yours? All of these questions can be answered by observing competitors and in turn can offer new avenues for your business to develop and grow.
On the other hand understanding the weakness in your competitors business can offer great insights in terms of niches in the market that can be exploited. Where are your competitors under performing? Are these areas in which you excel? If they aren’t then why are you both lagging behind? If you take this approach then you can sure up an area of your business that could lead to a new customer base or an enlarged one where other competitors are failing to meet needs. By understanding weaknesses in the industry as a whole you begin to get a clear picture of what is missing in terms of delivery and you can develop a strategy to capitalise on that. Often as you study weaknesses in your competitors ability to serve their customer or client base you will find similar weaknesses in your own business. This kind of overview can prove essential in giving you a fresh pair of eyes on your own operations, highlighting areas that you may have seen as functional previously but now realise could be improved.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that running a business is a tough at the best of times. All industries are different and companies will take a different approach to serving their customers. Primarily business focus on delivery their service or product, have faith in whatever business model you’ve set up and keep a keen eye on your plans and goals. However, if you are not paying attention to what’s going in your market place you are always going to miss out on valuable insight. So, the bottom line is fairly simple – Better Competitive Knowledge = Increased Revenue – having a continuous strong foothold on your competitors movements will serve your very well for as long as you continue to practice this activity.
Building a healthy picture of your industry, your competitors and your company’s position is an integral part of keeping ahead in your market.