As competition breaks geographic boundaries, there is a growing need to know what your competitor is doing, what your customer thinks and wants and how you can harness the power of this information to improve your business. This, in short could be defined as Business Competitive Intelligence.
Competitive Intelligence has gained prominence over the last two decades and is considered a part of any new strategy that is developed. Simply put, it enables informed decision-making on the business plan and helps you chart a growth track. But to make this informed decision, knowledge and information needs to be collected, processed and analyzed. Obtaining Business Competitive Intelligence also has other advantages. It helps you conduct benchmarking, an activity that will objectively and honestly appraise your business standing vis-à-vis your competition.
While you would agree that such information could prove valuable for your company, you also want to play by the rules and you gather this information by ethical means. And this is a job for experts like us.
The importance of Business Competitive Intelligence
Some would look at Business Competitive Intelligence as a luxury but the fact is that it has a direct influence on successful strategizing and the success, failure or even survival of companies. Business Competitive Intelligence is also helpful in guiding the senior management and at times, clearing some of the misconceptions that may exist about their own and their competitors' businesses.
Competitive Intelligence and Business Intelligence (BI)
BI is obtained by data mining and crunching large amounts of data about your own and the competitors' business. This could also include demographic data. This helps you get a fix on current trends and statistical changes in the market. BI gives you an industry perspective while Competitive Intelligence gives you a peep into what your competitors are doing. High quality BI in conjunction with Competitive Intelligence would help you leapfrog ahead of competition.
Outsourcing Business Competitive Intelligence
Business Competitive Intelligence involves collection of data directly from your competitors and at times, even their business partners. If you contact them directly, it could sound off alarm bells. In addition, by outsourcing Competitive Intelligence, you are ensured that the competitor information obtained is true since he has nothing to hide from a non-competitor (your outsourced researcher). Also, by being in a neutral position, the outsourced party can look at this data objectively and draw conclusions that are true and fair in nature.
The need for Business Competitive Intelligence and Benchmarking
Benchmarking is a tool that helps businesses learn from others. Therefore, everyone needs it to improve existing internal systems. If you are in business and have competitors, you need Competitive Intelligence. In the current global scenario, increasing competition has made businesses susceptible to failure and the best way to stay competitive and succeed is to be one-up on competition!
Once you have quality Competitive Intelligence, you can use it to benchmark your competition. As mentioned earlier, benchmarking is a tool to learn from competition objectively. Benchmarking would help best in giving you a real world perspective and helping your weak points come to the fore - for your own benefit.
Legal considerations of Competitive Intelligence studies
While gathering Competitive Intelligence is not illegal per se, it is wise to consult a legal expert and find out what you can and cannot do.
Always benchmark with the best. You will also need to select variables and constants and measure yourself against the competition. For more information about this, contact us and we can create a benchmarking solution tailored to your needs.