Competitive Intelligence Quotient (cIQ)
“Good intelligence comes with a feeling of certainty.” — Anonymous
What does this mean?
When we are curious or have doubts about something, it’s normal to seek to know and understand it better; however, knowing where to look and how to do it is critical, and even more crucial, knowing that this data must be transmitted.
Competitive intelligence is the ability to collect, analyze and use the knowledge gathered about competitors, customers, and other market factors that contribute to a corporation’s competitive advantage and use this information wisely and correctly to define a route or strategy beneficial for the corporate. It’s the past, only enterprise-level companies had the funds to take a position in competitive intelligence, but that’s changing; the 2017 Crayon study found that 37% of companies didn’t have a dedicated CI staff. Still, this number increased by 20% in 2020.
What is cIQ?
Competitive intelligence, sometimes called corporate intelligence, is the power to collect, analyze, and use information gathered about competitors, customers, and other market factors that contribute to a company’s competitive advantage. Competitive intelligence is vital because it helps companies understand their competitive environment and its opportunities and challenges. Companies analyze information to make effective and efficient business practices.
Three Audience Categories for Distributing Competitive Intelligence
- Tactical — Sales reps and teams that require your help winning deals today.
- Operational — Product marketing team that must adapt and strategize towards winning contracts in 3–6 months.
- Strategic — The executive and communications team needs valuable market intelligence to assist in strategic decision-making.
- Marketplace Intelligence
- Customer intelligence
- Product and services intelligence
- Marketing Intelligence
Why is cIQ important in companies?
Competitive intelligence transcends the straightforward “know your enemy” cliché. Instead, it’s a deep-dive exercise where companies discover the finer points of competitors’ business plans, including the purchasers they serve and the markets in which they operate.
Competitive intelligence also looks at how a good variety of events disrupt rival businesses; it also reveals how dealers and other stakeholders are often affected and telegraph how new technologies can quickly invalidate all assumptions.
Within any organization, competitive intelligence means various things to different people and departments. For instance, for a sales rep, it’d refer to tactical tips on how best to bid on a lucrative contract; for top management, it can mean cultivating unique marketing skills that are wont to gain market share against a formidable competitor.
For any group, the goal of competitive intelligence is to assist in making better-informed decisions and improve organizational performance by uncovering risks and opportunities before they become apparent. In other words, competitive intelligence aims to stop companies from being caught off guard by opposing forces.
Information sources for online
- Company websites for information on track audiences or changes in strategy, product prices, product benefits, etc.
- Company press releases on new products, staff, or expansion news.
- Social media posts, especially if the corporate begins sharing information about a product or service that has yet to be introduced.
- Go through selling a product or service to understand better how a sales team works.
- Online job postings, because the types and number of open positions could indicate efforts to recruit staff for developing a new product or category.
- Social media user groups, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and even a business review site like Glassdoor,
- Use an analytics or SEO tool to understand your competition’s marketing strategy.
How to do competitive intelligence?
- Identify your direct competitors.
- Set key goals and metrics for every stakeholder.
- Gather data.
- Analyze data.
- Share ideas with key stakeholders.
Competitive Intelligence Software
Some important and very utils pages are:
Despite the abundance of data about markets and competitors, today’s teams are more eager than ever for information and guidance, whether it’s ways to try to do competitive SEO analysis or how to perform SEO analysis. Market from A to Z (including Mystery Shopping, this is often used by companies to evaluate and measure the quality of customer service).
Competitive intelligence is the long-awaited answer to navigating more clearly in the business world, not as a one-time action but as an ongoing process that equips each team member with information relevant to their role and tools to form better business decisions.