Monday, 21 June 2010

Competitive Intelligence

What is competitive intelligence?

- In order to compete with and beat your competitors you need to know and understand them
- Large companies take a very methodical approach to this and may use specialist CI providers
- Lots of different pieces of information are put together to produce a picture of the competitors strengths, weaknesses, performance and intentions
- The principles can be simplified and used by small businesses

Why do you need competitive intelligence?
- To pick up new products and trends in your market
- To identify new markets
- To improve your understanding of what is important to your customers
- To adjust your proposition and positioning to make the most of relative strengths and weaknesses
- To take advantage of opportunities such as competitor failure

How do you gather competitive intelligence?

o Their website
o Social media sites
o Newspapers
o Filings (Companies House)
o Job ads
o Press releases

o Their marketing materials, brochures, pricelists
o Trade shows
o Suppliers/partners/sub-contractors
o Their customers, your customer surveys
o Trade press

How should you do this in a small business?
- Keep a simple file of information you pick up about your key competitors
- Periodically, plan time to do a few hours research on them
- Periodically, plan time to review your proposition and positioning against this information using Competitor Analysis
- Adjust your proposition and look at the new opportunities suggested

For more business advice for business owners go here

Want to know how much your company is worth (and why)?  Go here

PS Carli Adby, of Carli-Art Photography, attended my last seminar and "Really enjoyed your seminar so again, many thanks for the invite as I found it extremely useful..." 

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