Performing competitive business intelligence is a rather inexpensive method to uncover and gather competitor information. When organizations provide customers information on company news, new products or services, it is essentially providing the same information to competitors too.
Competitive Intelligence is the process of uncovering and analyzing helpful information about a competitor’s organization. The main purpose of competitive intelligence is to discover what competitors do well, what they don’t do well, and implement ways to use the information to gain a competitive advantage.
Competitive Intelligence can be compiled by looking through business ads or viewing the competitions’ websites. Organizations can find out what business products or services consumers like and dislike by searching and reading online reviews. Organizations can uncover large amounts of information by acting like the competitions’ customers. This can be accomplished by analyzing public information, signing up for newsletters, emails, products or services, or even by taking a tour of the competitor facilities. This is often referred to as industrial espionage.
Upon collection of competitor information, the information must be critically analyzed. One way of doing this is to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). This will allow the organization to make logical conclusions about the competition.
The end product of a competitive intelligence gathering process is referred to as an intelligence digest. An effective intelligence digest delivers actionable information specific to the industry and nature of the competitive relationship.