Why we built Klue

I like being in the know.

When it comes to the market I’m serving, that means customers, competitors, the landscape, technology, thought leaders and trends. Deep category knowledge gives me the confidence to make faster decisions. It sharpens judgement. It hones instinct. In every company I’ve been part of, there is an incredible amount of technology and knowledge around customers. We have CRM, marketing automation, customer success, market research and thousands of tools to help us do that. Every company should focus the overwhelming majority of their time and effort on serving customers better. After seven years in the customer intelligence space, I couldn’t be a bigger believer in its importance.

But there is another area that touches every company. It’s an area that is constantly overlooked and under resourced. It’s called market intelligence. Knowing what your market and competitors are up to provides the context by which your customers see and evaluate you. Customers know a lot about your competitors. They see and hear from them every day. Yes, every day.

What I wanted was a lens into that world. A dashboard, a digest, a system that would keep me informed of what my competitors were doing at any point in time. I didn’t want to obsess about them, I just wanted to know. No competitive surprises. No getting caught off guard. I wanted to be one step ahead in my messaging, positioning, marketing, sales approach, product and strategy. And I wanted to leverage what my employees knew alongside the public fingerprints I could pick up from the web.

That product, at the enterprise level, just didn’t exist. I could find pieces of it, my competitor’s search keywords or website stats for instance but never the whole thing. Nothing enterprise-wide. Nothing that would bring me information from around the web and augment what we were sharing internally.

I was troubled by that.

In my previous companies, I’m convinced we lost deals because of this. Prospects were increasingly educated about alternatives and fired pointed questions to ill-prepared sales teams. Misclaims followed. Trust was broken. Deals were lost. A lack of competitive intel was never entirely to blame but it was a factor and it should have been avoided.

Let’s be clear: most companies have some form competitive knowledge. We did. It was just hard to leverage and keep up to date. It was buried in emails, outdated PowerPoints and rambling wikis. Everyone kinda knew what was going on but not really. It was a beast to stay on top of, with new entrants making a splash to stalwarts one-upping us, the flow of intel was relentless. And much of it was noise. We’d make an annual effort to update our docs only to have them fall out of date. We’d repeatedly respond to “does anyone have intel on competitor X emails. We’d point salespeople to 30-page decks on Sharepoint to find what they needed.

None of it worked.

Klue is our attempt to fix this. To help companies collect and convert competitive insights into enterprise intelligence.

Klue combines emails, messages, links and docs shared by employees internally with intel found across the web into curated profiles of competitive activity. These are private vaults, exclusive to each company. Feeds and digest summaries, profiles and crisp battlecards get updated with relevant intel from inside and outside the company and shared with sales, marketing, product and executives. Within the next decade, every B2B company will have a pool of curated intel like this to leverage and stay ahead. It’ll be alive, at your fingertips, integrated across platforms, predictive and leveraged daily to win more business.

Klue is our first step in this journey. I’m excited to share it with the world.

Jason Smith
 CEO/ Founder

Jason Smith

Founder + CEO at Klue

Former: President @Vision Critical startup to 500+; cofounder @Columbus Group (acquired by NYSE: TU); VP @Electronic Arts; E&Y Emerging EoY

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Originally published at blog.klue.com.

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