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Competitive Intelligence Part 3 of 3

It's not just about understanding your competitors, it’s about deriving actionable insights

Angelo Ponzi - Strategic Market Intelligence

Image - Data Analysis

As I mentioned in parts one and two of this series on Competitive Intelligence, not only do you need to establish the process and data collection methodologies upfront, you also need to understand the approach to analyzing the information you’ve collected.  Doing this upfront helps you know what type of information you need to answer a specific question.  So, by the time you get there, you should have some clarity on direction.

In my opinion, the analysis phase of your CI plan is the most critical, yet one that is often not performed well.  You’ve invested hours of time and resources into collecting information, yet don’t spend the time performing an in-depth analysis of what you’ve collected.

Remember, if you’re using free or subscription resources for your data collection methodology, you may not have a specific answers to your questions.  This is typically accomplished by implementing a proprietary quantitative or qualitative competitive research study.

Regardless of your data resources, a deeper analytical review can reveal a better understanding of the key drivers behind the market, your brand and competitive performance, changes in customer attitudes and behaviors and the economic or political impact on your business. When analyzing your data, think about the issues, trends and other external factors that can have an impact on your marketing or business strategies.

As a place to start, check out Capetia's 50 Competitive Intelligence Analysis Techniques. There you’ll find a variety of tools and guidelines on how and when to use various analyses in your competitive intelligence program, such as Porter’s Five Forces, ADL Matrix and Pesonas just to name a few.

Make sure your analysis helps create actions that lead to decision making and actionable changes to your business strategies. After all, insights that do not generate actions are not insights. Above all, keep in mind that competitive intelligence is not just about competitors but about understanding the ever-changing business environment and using this knowledge to make effective business decisions.

"It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize, out of a number of facts, which are incidental and which vital". (Sherlock Holmes)

I welcome your comments below, and hope to seeing you October 28th for Taking Data-Driven Strategy Beyond Messaging: Bridging the gap between marketing and product development innovation.

Photo - Angelo Ponzi - Strategic Marketing Intelligence

Angelo Ponzi,
Strategic Market Intelligence

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