The goals of this blog are:
1. A place to ask for advice on CI issues
2. Learn about CI trends, techniques, and events
3. Discuss CI topics
Competitive Intelligence is a sensitive subject so please follow these rules. Please do not request or discuss confidential or proprietary information about any individual or organization unless the information has been published in another venue prior to publication on KnowledgeIsPower. All are welcome to express their views and pose questions. However, I reserve the right to edit or remove inappropriate language or postings or those comments which violate the spirit of the site.
KnowledgeIsPower will link to articles or sites of interest to the CI community. If you want to publish your article on KnowledgeIsPower, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, I delete strange messages and messages from strangers with attachments so keep your message short and include your phone number.
Are you using Big Data to gain a competitive edge? If you are in the B2C space, you probably are. Big Data analytics can collect and analyze millions pieces of pricing data every day. You can adjust your pricing to maximize revenue knowing what the market place is doing. Plus you can detect fraud more easily and eliminate those losses.
OK, I've been really busy, but I'm determined to catch up, starting with September.
How are you protecting your information from your competitors? You should assume that they are trying to obtain information about you. You should a corporate data policy so information can be categorized as to sensitivity and marked accordingly. Employees should be trained on the policies so they will adhere to them when speaking with non-employees or receiving a phone call from someone like me!
You can collect the data that you need to understand your key rivals’ plans via ethical and legal means. Identify yourself honestly—do not lie such as claiming to be a graduate student working on a thesis. Build a picture of the competition bit by bit—just like putting a puzzle together. The disparate pieces will fit together eventually. Good CI takes time and hard work.
Although interest rates have risen recently, they are still low by historical standards. With interest rates at this level, borrowing money to make acquisitions can make sense. Assess competitors as potential acquisitions as well as possible acquirers. Ask yourself why a rival would make an acquisition and what effect would it have on you.
With interest rates continuing to be low, borrowing money to make acquisitions can make sense. Assess competitors as potential acquisitions as well as possible acquirers. Ask yourself why a rival would make an acquisition and what effect would it have on you.
Competitive Intelligence is often viewed negatively because it focuses on problems, not opportunities. But good CI can help your organization grow two ways. First, CI can help you cancel products/services early in the development process that will fail in the market because they are not competitive. This frees resources to be invested in winning products. Secondly, watching rivals create new products or services can give you ideas of what to offer your customers.
The amount of information available is increasing exponentially. How do you sort through competitive information efficiently in terms of time and effectively in terms of significance of the data? Try having your alerts on each competitor/issue sent to a separate file and scan the headlines at one or more set times each day. Reading them all at once will help you understand the implications of the news better and be able to summarize the implications for your management quickly.
LinkedIn touts itself as a great site for making and keeping up with business connections. It is and it’s also wonderful for finding potential sources at knowledgeable third party organizations and targets. But beware: if you check out profiles of potential sources, LinkedIn may provide your name to these individuals. In turn, these people will click on your profile to check you out. If your profile is obviously CI-oriented, they will be uncomfortable speaking with you.
Do you know what your key competitors’ plans for 2013 are? While long term plans are almost always confidential, clues to activities in the next 6-12 months are available and include job postings, advertising campaigns, re-organizations of staff, and opening of new offices. Think about the absence of these signals as well. For example, if a competitor normally kicks off an advertising campaign in January and does not in 2012, the delay may mean the company is waiting until a new product or service is ready for announcement.
Do you have your sales playbook updated with the latest competitive information? You should include the major messages from competitors and the best responses for your company. This allows your sales team to be ready to parry an attempt by competitors to define the playing field.