Competitive intelligence (CI) is the process of gathering new and historical information about competitors. This data is used in different ways by different teams, including marketing for market research, sales for improving sales enablement, and leadership to make strategic decisions.

Identifying Your competitors

The first step in conducting competitive intelligence is identifying your competitors. This includes evaluating their pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, distribution channels and products. Competitive intelligence from www.aqute.com includes analyzing their strengths as well as weaknesses. For example, if you are losing to a competitor in a specific market, it might be time to rethink your own products or look for other opportunities.


You can identify your competitors by asking, “Who will fill your niche without you?” This can help you narrow your list of potential customers and can reveal gaps in the market where you can enhance or create your product offerings.

Another way to identify your competitors is to use a competitor matrix, which is a table or spreadsheet that you can use to organize and compare information about the competition. You can assign a row or column to each data point that you wish to collect for each competitor. This will help you to identify larger trends.

You can also conduct an internal evaluation of your competitors, by examining their marketing and distribution channels as well as their financial performance. This will give you an objective view of the strategies and marketing channels of your competitors so that you can determine if they are a threat or opportunity for your business.

While identifying your competition is an important step in the competitive intelligence process it does not mean you can beat them. You’ll also have to develop a strategy for monitoring their actions and taking advantage of any missed opportunities. A strong competitive intelligence platform can help you with this.

Developing A Strategy

Competitive intelligence is a key component of any business strategy. It helps a business anticipate market disruptions and see past market trends. It also helps it interpret events objectively, both positive and negative. The information may come from secondary or primary sources and can be published or unpublished.

Companies need to have a good understanding of their current position (diagnosis), and a view of how the future could unfold (forecasting). They need to find alternative ways to succeed (search) and, ultimately, choose the strategy to pursue (commit).

A competitive intelligence strategy that is effective requires both internal and external resources. Depending on the budget, you can do your own competitive research. Or you can hire a market research agency. No matter how you choose to do it, create and manage a timeline for each step. It’s also crucial to present the data so that it tells a tale. This will keep stakeholders interested and help them to understand why the data is important for their business.

Once you have a solid timeline and plan, it is important to communicate all of your team’s goals. This will enable them to identify tasks and prioritize them, ensuring that everyone is on a similar page. It will also allow them to set realistic goals, so that there aren’t any surprises.

Reviewing social media posts and analyzing the search engine results is a great way to begin gathering competitive intelligence.

You should also consider reaching out to industry experts and asking for informational interviews. This is a powerful way to gather intelligence on a competitor without infringing upon their privacy. It is important to stay ethical and only do what the law allows. In the business world, misbehavior can have severe legal consequences, including espionage.

Monitoring Your Competitors

Monitoring your competitors is a critical element of competitive intelligence. It involves tracking business activities, new product releases and marketing campaign. The goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors so you can create a strategy that will outperform them. This process may also reveal new business opportunities. You could be inspired by your competitor’s advertising campaign to come up with a new marketing strategy.

When monitoring your competitors, it’s important to keep in mind that the information you gather must be analyzed and interpreted correctly in order to have value for your company. It should be collected ethically and legally to ensure that you don’t violate the law or violate privacy concerns.

Gathering competitor intelligence is an ongoing process, so once you’ve identified the areas where your business can improve, you need to be vigilant and monitor your competitors continuously. This includes monitoring your competitors’ social media, websites and customer feedback. It’s also helpful to track their advertising and search engine optimization efforts, as well as analyzing their brand image.

You can collect much of this data manually, or with automated tools. Some of the most valuable intelligence comes from qualitative sources, such as win/loss interviews with new and lost customers. Other useful information can be found in trade publications and industry conferences. It is also important to stay informed about any changes in your industry or market.

Once you have gathered competitor intelligence, make sure to share it among your team members and stakeholders. This is often the most challenging aspect of CI. Some brands find that sales battlecards work well to keep CI close at hand for their reps, while others prefer emails or Slack/Teams notifications. You can also schedule the delivery of your reports. This will allow you to stay on top of competitive intelligence, and other departments can make quick decisions based on current information.

Making Decisions

Competitive intelligence is a great tool to help you understand how your products are performing or what marketing strategies your competitors are using. It can also show you the latest trends in your industry. It can be used to improve your company’s operations, develop new products and services, or tweak existing ones. As a bonus, you can also gain insight into the mistakes made by your competitors and their successes, which can be used to improve your business.

Many people in your company already collect information about competitors. Some do it on purpose and others don’t. It’s why CI is such a valuable skill to have. But if you’re just starting out in this field, it can be overwhelming to figure out how and where to start.

The good news is that most of the tools and techniques you need are right at your fingertips, thanks to the internet. And there are more than a few resources that specialize in helping businesses collect, analyze, and use this data for better decision-making.

When gathering competitive data, it is important to remember that not all information is created equal. To get the most out of your efforts, prioritize by going back to the goals you set in step 2. If you want to refine your marketing efforts, for example, focus on data that will help you achieve that goal. Start by paying attention to websites of competitors, social media profiles, or whitepapers.

For competitive intelligence, other types of data are also valuable, including supplier information (such as which customers they buy from) and logistical data, such as the carriers that they use. Additionally, feedback from win/loss interview with actual and prospective customers can be valuable.

While all of this is possible to do in-house, it’s often much easier and more efficient to use a third-party public web data provider that specializes in gathering this type of information. By combining these data with other resources, such as customer reviews or surveys, companies can gain insight into what their competition is up to.