Competitive Intelligence: The Ultimate Tool to Bridge the Gap Between You and your Success
-inspired by the thoughts of Heino Huettner
From seamless sales operations to their know-how around social media usage, state-of-the-art marketing campaigns to effective go-to market strategies, some companies always seem to be “one step ahead.”
How do they achieve it?
What competitive advantages do these companies gain over others— and are they unchallengeable, something others can aspire to but never beat?
In an increasingly regulated environment, one needs to be proactive in ensuring one’s brand and its reputation in the market. Working with disreputable, poor qualified or discreditable counteragents may damage it. It needs to be assured that the integrity of the employees, clients, business partners including their behaviour is consistent and the information put through is valid. Competitive Intelligence (CI) is not only about gathering and analysing the information to highlight the facts but to connect the dots and continuously monitor the competition that help organisations predict the future and make considerate and informed strategic decisions.
While almost every for-profit — and not-for-profit — businesses want a defined set of competitive advantages, not everyone understands how to get there. That is where CI research, analysis and benchmarking comes in. Well, the methodologists for such an elephant task divide the entire process in three parts-aggregation, synthesis & action.
The entire concept of CI is decades old, but the recognition of its advantage is recent. Numerous industries like manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, electronics, food, entertainment, education, pharmaceutical and even medical are using CI tools to solve their business issues.
With the entire globe being COVID19-hit, many companies are facing uncertainty about their products and services. Heino Huettner, a recognised face in the field of digital transformation and innovation, questioned in one of his write-ups, “Will Competitive Intelligence help companies cut cost at the time of uncertainty?”.
The question made leaders envision a sea of opportunities where CI can provide a definite solution to almost any problem in any industry. The consolidated information created by the brainpower provides a picturesque report of the industry, which ultimately helps you to take a beneficial decision for your company. Industries have evolved in mega bit speeds when accurate CI tools are put in use and have shown tremendous growth over the years.
There is no one way to conduct competitive intelligence tasks. Instead, competitive insights and research choose a series of target domains or topics, into which organizations conduct in-depth studies. The observations from today’s competitive research forms the raw findings leveraged for future business decisions and growth.
Capturing the whereabouts of the entire industry seems like an impossible job, doesn’t it? Well it is not. With the correct tools and their optimum utilization, one can gather and analyse data to give the best result.
The eminent contributors of this field quote,” When you start monitoring your competitors and research their past and present actions, you can figure out what their next move will be, how the market may react to the move and what you should do to tackle the situation or minimize the potential impact. CI is not only beneficial in day-to-day decision making but also in long term strategic planning. It helps you to keep ahead of your competitors, estimate their next step thus helps you to plan your next move.”
When questioned on the ability of Competitive intelligence as a cost cutting tool, the expert explains,” Business/market/Competitor Intelligence practice provide insights which helps make some smarter choices leading to a smart way of strategic cost reduction. Simple problems which usually requires a specific budget to conduct primary research can be tackled with a strong CI team and helps the company use their money wisely”
Clearly, CI not only gives valuable information but also helps you to define and plan the future of your brand and company.