How to produce quality competitive intelligence

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Competitive intelligence, or CI, is a crucial component of business strategy. It helps you understand your competitors, identify new opportunities and better predict market trends.

Competitive intelligence is an ongoing process, not a single briefing document. It’s not just about the competition, either. It also includes information about your customer and their needs, which can help you get ahead of the game in your industry. You’ll be able to anticipate trends and opportunities before they happen, giving your customers a competitive advantage over their competitors and allowing them to grow their business faster than those who don’t have access to this type of information.

Related: Your business is failing because you have a bad strategy. Here are 5 tricks for the perfect trading strategy

Don’t trust what you think your customers or competitors want

We often assume that we know what our customers or competitors want; this is a mistake. It’s easy to do this when you’re working with a company in a similar industry, but it’s important to remember that every customer has unique needs and interests.

You should always start by asking questions about your customer’s or competitor’s business objectives. These questions will give you an idea of ​​what they are trying to achieve and how they hope to achieve it, information that can be invaluable when reporting to them in the future.

Get other perspectives

There are four main groups you should talk to:

  • Users of your product or service, including current and former users. They can tell you how they use it, why they like it or not. They can also give insight into people who don’t like it. And if they are past users, they may have valuable insight into why they left. You’ll want as much detail as possible so you can use that data in competitive intelligence analysis later (for example, “Users say this feature is confusing”).
  • People who don’t use your product or service but they would potentially be interested in using it if they knew more about what it does and how well it works. These are potential customers for whom there may not currently be a buying opportunity: they don’t know enough about your offer yet! Get them to talk about your business needs so you can market effectively in the future. For example: “This company thinks our product could help them solve their problem.”
  • People who do not currently use a competitor’s product or service but would potentially become a customer if one were offered at an attractive price or with better features than those offered by the competition (for example, “These people love our product because we offer X at only half the price of their competitors”). If these people were already using something else, and had a good reason for doing so, you would like to know if there is something specific about those products/services that makes them unsatisfactory; if so, so perhaps these shortcomings could be remedied through innovation efforts within yourself?
  • People who are already using your product or service but have not yet been convinced of its value (eg, “We’re working to get these guys to see the benefits of our product; we think they’ll like it once they try it”). These are potential customers that you may need to spend more time educating on why your offer is better than the competition’s offers.

Related: Customer Intelligence as a Revenue Predictor

Fully understand your audience and their needs.

It is imperative to understand the needs of your audience and the needs of your competitors. A comprehensive competitive intelligence program can provide a wealth of information that will help you better understand the landscape, the needs of your customers, and how they stack up against your competitors.

Understanding the needs of your audience is essential to any successful business venture. You need to know what matters to them so that you can meet those needs with an innovative product or solution. This can be as simple as knowing who they are (demographics), where they live (geography) or what they like (lifestyle). It could also mean understanding what motivates them; Why would someone buy one product over another? How many people do I need to sell my product annually to break even?

Related: 9 Ways to Know and Understand Your Audience

Identify different audience segments.

Once you have identified your audience, the next step is to segment them into different groups based on their needs. This will allow you to design a solution that meets all of those needs. For example, if you’re selling a product intended to help people lose weight, one group might be people who need something simple and easy to use. Another group might be more tech-savvy and want something more complex and customizable. Knowing how each audience segment views fitness products will help you see which aspects of your offering are most important to each type of audience.

Related: 7 Outdated Habits That Will Paralyze Your Business

Experimentation can help understand customers and competitors and identify new opportunities

Experimentation is a vital part of the process. Experimentation can help you better understand your customers and competitors, identify new opportunities, and figure out how to make your offerings more competitive. An example of this is A/B testing. This type of experiment compares two versions of a single item to see which one performs better at improving conversions, sales, or whatever else you’re looking for. For example, it could be an A/B test in the subject line of an email comparing “Doing these four things will help you increase sales” with “Doing these four things will help you increase sales by 50%.” .

Make sure you are fully informed before moving forward with a new product or service

To stay ahead, you need to constantly collect information from as many sources as possible. Talk to your customers and make sure you are fully informed before moving forward with a new product or service. Conduct interviews about what they think is missing from the market and see if a gap needs to be filled. Look at data from recent surveys, reviews, or complaints your business has received. Look at what your competitors are doing and take notes on what’s working for them and what’s not. Talk to people in your industry who can provide feedback on how they perceive your business and suggestions on how you could improve your services or offerings.

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