How to set up a competitive intelligence?

When we talk about competitive intelligence, there are certain activities and methods to implement. These methods are used to keep an eye on potential competitors. Through the implementation of a competitive intelligence, the identification of the market development of competitors on a geographical or marketing level will be more precise; in other words, the competitive intelligence allows to take the best measures to position oneself on the market and to improve one's reputation. Setting up a competitive intelligence is therefore a necessity for those who want to remain the best.

What do I have to do to set up a competitive intelligence?

To set up a competitive intelligence, you must always have precise objectives, and know how to answer some fundamental questions. It is also necessary to put in place human and technical resources. The human means will be in charge of the competitive studies, while the technical means are used to specify the data necessary for the study. On which theme should a competitive intelligence be done? The first step is to answer this question by identifying the strong points to be analyzed. Then comes the assignment of tasks to people in charge of collecting information and setting strategies corresponding to the information received. It is also important to set the right periods to do this study and to process the information. The duration of the watch must be well defined.

How to proceed to a competitive intelligence?

When we talk about competitive intelligence, we have to know how to identify the analyses and studies to be carried out in order not to waste time and collect failures. First of all, you have to define your competitors by making a list by type of company: direct competitors who carry out the same activities as you and indirect competitors who carry out activities that are not similar to yours, but who have the same goals as you. It is important to identify the means they use to attract their customers. You also need to analyze their financial situation, without forgetting to make approaches like looking at their websites and their coverage in the media to gather more information.

What are the tools to use for competitive intelligence?

You need to know how to use some of the tools necessary for competitive intelligence: social networks, RSS feeds, Google alerts, competitor identification software. These tools are necessary to track down your competitors in every corner.
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