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Competitive Intelligence

Use Case for Competitive Intelligence Arrow

… let’s think about Competitor Intelligence (CI).

In this use case scenario … you are responsible for CI at ACME Corporation.

As the new CMO …


your uncovered that ACME does not have adequate intelligence on their competitors and industry.

This is not a surprise. Because intensive CI research is seldom conducted by marketers. Yet, it is a critical part of formulating an effective marketing strategy.

CI research is a fundamental component of a marketing strategy.

It is the process of gathering and analyzing information about your industry, competitors, business environment, and competitive products and services.

The information-gathering and analysis process helps marketing teams identify competitive gaps and ideate marketing strategies.

Fortunately, there are online tools to gather the following competitor information:

  • Crawl tool to pull competitor SEO, links, & website data
  • Spy tool to pull competitor keywords and ads for paid & organic search
  • Alert tool to receive competitor news alerts, new opportunities, and events
  • Digital tools to pull competitor social media performance metrics
  • SaaS tools to pull competitor job postings and key employees

Once you’ve gathered enough competitor research, … the second part of the process is the most important.

There are two reasons for this.

First, of all, it’s critical to analyze the competitor research thoughtfully or carefully.

And, secondly, it’s productive to have an open dialogue with your team … ideate and write notes on a whiteboard with them.

This is when the magic happens. Intelligence turns into ideas.

During the second part, you will discover information to make better decisions and inform your strategy.

Your analysis will provide strategic context, from both an offensive and defensive perspective.

Your CI research will help you identify your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

How to Prepare

To prepare for this project, it’s a good idea to create a file storage account to contain your CI research using a service like OneHub, DropBox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. Here’s my suggestion for organizing your files:

  • Create top-level folders in your file storage app and name each folder your competitor’s name
  • In each top-level folder, create second-level folders and name them Organic Search, Paid Search, Social Media, News & Events, Products & Services, and Research Notes
  • Download and subscribe to the toolset you’ll use to conduct your CI research (we recommend toolsets below & on our toolset page)

How to Get Started:

To get started, all you have to do is get started doing the following 5 things.

  1. Begin information gathering: use the tools to run, crawl, and collect data on your competitors
  2. Save the data in your file storage app in the correct folder
  3. Add your research observations in the “Research Notes” folder as you compile the data
  4. Share the CI file storage app with your marketing team and other stakeholders
  5. Schedule a series of team meetings and have whiteboard strategy discussions
FROM THE DESK OF:
Anthony Ragland
Published On:

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