Competitive Intelligence is a branch of business intelligence that focuses on competitors’ information. Gathering intelligence is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data to influence the decision-making process.
Intelligence is about using the information in an effective manner. The data collected is bound in order to develop information. Then this information is analyzed and processed in order to make it actionable.
This process of developing actionable information develops strategies that help businesses thrive in their competitive environment. Competitive intelligence is focused on the competitor’s next move.
Yet it does not include any information gathered unlawfully or unethically. The information is gathered through multiple sources that help develop insights into competitors’ capabilities. Intelligence is not just focused on what is but why and how.
So intelligence is not the same as research. Research is simply all about gathering information that gives us a general map. Yet intelligence allows us to review the environment in detail.
So what differs intelligence from information is that corporate intelligence consultants are actionable. It allows you to build strategies that help you achieve your objectives. Gathering information and intelligence has become a lot easier now.
When major businesses started adopting competitive intelligence practices, the practice evolved to improve the functions of organizations. And provide businesses to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.
So much that it influenced market competition which forced even medium to small scale enterprises to adopt competitive intelligence practices. Allowing SMEs to better improve their operations improves their customer base.
Competitive intelligence practice involves using an intelligence software. Software is designed to be efficient and has multiple functions that improve intelligence development. So the user can manipulate information based on their relevance.
To Anticipate Competitor Moves
The greatest use of competitive intelligence is to anticipate competitors’ moves. More Importantly the direction, competitors are going to move towards following the future market trends.
Competition is the biggest threat a business faces after establishing itself. So competitive intelligence serves as a tool that allows businesses to deal with competition. Using competitive intelligence you may develop a competitive market strategy.
Competitors’ intelligence is based on the objectives of finding competitors’ strong points and their weak points. This allows businesses to capitalize on their weaknesses and avoid their strengths to gain market share.
Competition may be indirect so competitive intelligence also allows you to identify and predict new or distant competition. Which serves as obstacles that need to be inducted into your long-term plans.
To find new opportunities
Markets are always changing along with the competition and dynamics of the industry. Which often produces new opportunities for business expansion. Yet there may be risks involved as well as rewards.
Competitive intelligence helps you calculate risks and rewards in your next business decision. You may gather information about new technologies or upcoming socio-political changes that affect your industry.
There are many factors that influence the market, they may be social, political, economic, technological, environmental or legal. For example, the introduction of new technology means that you may expand your services or improve your products.
To Stay Ahead of Rivals
Competitive intelligence allows you to read the market and upcoming trends. These often affect the entire market, not just you. So in order to beat your rivals, you need to adapt better than other businesses in the market.
Otherwise, the competition below you will be able to rise above you. In order to prevent that you need foresight of the future changes in the market. Competitive intelligence arms you with that foresight.
Moreover, you can be up to date with the market changes and trends. So that you may predict the rise or fall of your competitors in terms of market share. You can develop insights into outside competition and the dynamics of the market.
To Stand Out
Businesses use competitive intelligence to gain a competitive advantage. First, you must conduct internal and external analyses of your business. Then you will be able to highlight your strengths and weaknesses.
Further examining the market allows you to develop strategies to gain a competitive advantage. This is a unique, unfair advantage that your competitors can not avail. So you can position yourself to stand out compared to your competitors.
Providing unique products and services that fulfill the needs and wants of customers.
To learn new market Dynamics
Market dynamics are wicked in nature. This means that they are always changing due to market disruptors. Innovation or new methods of business influence the market changing the dynamics of competition.
It is often a new mindset that changes the market dynamics. For example, the tech industry was always focused on its products. But after the advent of the modern mindset, tech companies focus more on marketing and appealing to the customers’ minds.
Such changes happen over time and change the prospects of competition.
To propel Innovation
Innovation is key for the expansion and development of new businesses. Innovation may be in products and services. Or it could be innovation in management and handling operations. Competitive intelligence allows information to flow such that it improves the overall mindset of an organization.
You could also innovate in the combinations of strategies you may apply in the market. You could set up a new unexplored pricing strategy while keeping your products differentiated. Competitive intelligence consultants serve as a tool that allows you to innovate and produce certainty.
To make decisions
Competitive intelligence practice started as an upper management activity to plan and initiate strategies. It served as an aid to back up information that had gaps and loopholes. So large corporations would often conduct competitive intelligence to improve their planning and execution.
This is strategic competitive intelligence that allows businesses to do long-term planning. On the other hand, there is tactical intelligence that can be used to improve everyday decisions. However tactical intelligence is mostly used on the lower management.
Moreover, competitive intelligence allows businesses to make data-backed decisions that improve certainty. Decision-makers can rely on data to make difficult decisions easier.