Competitive Intelligence is monitoring your competitors within a particular marketplace. Because Competitive Intelligence is performed in a continuous cycle, several basic steps must occur reliably. In every kind of market research, the key step is to understand the research objectives. The chief goal of market research is to take action on any obtained information. The key to competitive intelligence is gaining ample knowledge about your competitors and predicting what they will likely do next.
1. Collect Information
Cl experts must collect extensive varieties of information sources. They might create a library in the organization as a centre of resource for employees and CI experts. Online resources could be structured on the company's Intranet, if available. A consultant or market resource could be utilized in case the required information is not available on the spot.
2. Select the Right Candidate to Lead CI
The success of a Competitive Intelligence program depends on the selection of the right candidate to lead an organization’s Competitive Intelligence efforts and to be responsible for the same. The candidate must have a thorough understanding about the company and its market. Spinning information into intelligence requires a lot of skill and brilliance.
3. Present the Analysis correctly
Once the information is gathered, Cl specialists require analyzing and presenting the findings. This could be performed in several ways. For example, complete details on competitive products could be summed up in a spreadsheet format, with profiles for quick comparison. These kinds of summaries could be used for quick reference for the organization’s sales force, which could be presented in a better way as their own products to prospective customers.
4. Be Aware of Secondary Sources
Thorough awareness about secondary sources and databases are helpful, but the essential element is being able to utilize that information wisely, because our competitors too have similar kind of information. CI requires shooting questions directly at competitors at events such as trade expos and the ability to come out with the right questions holds great value.
5. Chalk the Right Plan
CI specialists must manage information and other important details; identify what information will be helpful based on their own experience and knowledge. CI experts must also fill up precise requests for gaining information and track internal guidelines concerning the type of information that will be highly useful.