If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you already know what competitive intelligence (CI) is. But in case you don’t, competitive intelligence is the systematic identification, collection, analysis and distribution of information from multiple sources about products, customers, competitors, and other market factors, needed in strategic business decisions. Competitive intelligence brings about competitive advantage, which is an attribute that enables a company to outperform its competitors. However, the process of competitive intelligence is quite time-intensive, and consumes a lot of effort and resources, if done manually. This is why most organizations manage their competitive intelligence processes strategically using a competitive intelligence solution, tool or software. In this article, let us understand why competitive intelligence solutions are important for your business, and how they can help your organization.
Why are Competitive Intelligence solutions important for your business?
Competitive intelligence is highly important in the present-day, dynamic markets, and will be more so in the future as more technological breakthroughs take place. Lack of CI in such times can be downright detrimental to organizations, and can lead to uninformed decisions, lack of direction, or worse, loss of market share. Thus, a competitive intelligence solution or tool is important, particularly in this day and age, as it helps organizations to compete intelligently, get ahead and succeed in the modern digital markets. Competitive intelligence tools filter noise from unstructured web data, transforming it into actionable competitive market intelligence. This helps businesses track their competitors, industry segments, customers, and their entire competitive landscape with unmatched precision.
A regular stream of competitive intelligence and insights ensures that you’re not just reacting to your competitors’ strategic moves, but planning your own in advance. When competitive intelligence solutions are used effectively, organizations see about a 70% reduction in time spent collecting information and insights, which they can focus on analyzing this intelligence and making strategic business decisions. You can read this case-study to know how a California based bank leverages market and competitive intelligence for strategic decision-making.
Also, most modern competitive Intelligence solutions are AI-powered, support CRM integration, and allow you to perform highly-targeted competitive tracking, among other things, boosting your CI efforts to a whole new level.
How can Competitive Intelligence solutions help your organization?
IMG Alt: Key Point of Competitive Intelligence solutions
Competitive intelligence solutions can help organizations transform their time-intensive and effort-consuming CI processes into a regular practice. This allows them to adjust pricing, introduce new products, discontinue products that competitors are now offering, and take other similar strategic decisions depending on the needs of their businesses, while regularly monitoring their market and competitors. Now, let us look at how competitive intelligence solutions can make your job easier by streamlining your organization’s strategic roadmaps.
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Competitive Intelligence Automation
AI-powered competitive intelligence solutions allow organizations to automate repetitive, and time-consuming tasks like collection and organization of relevant information, which makes more time for analysis and actual decision-making. After sorting and filtering through all the noise, such CI solutions can compile key insights from each source into dashboards for easy data visualization. This simplifies the identification of impactful trends and shifts in your industry, making it easier for you to respond to them.
Centralized Knowledge Repository
Organizations underestimate the importance of having a tool that can help all their stakeholders access relevant information and insights from one centralized location. A common problem stakeholders face isn’t the lack of information, it’s the inability to find the relevant information at the right time, because it is buried somewhere they’ve long forgotten. A CI solution centralizes all the information it gathers from public sources, pulls information from premium tools or paid analyst reports you may have, and even integrates information from business intelligence tools your company may be using. This helps save time and effort spent in searching for information scattered across the organization.
Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration
An organization has a large number of stakeholders, all of whom require different types and levels of information. A tool that can help streamline collaboration and knowledge sharing is a very handy thing to have. CI solutions can help you do that, with features such as sharing, commenting and tagging within the platform itself. This creates a single-source of truth for all your stakeholders, while also allowing CI administrators to push information out to teams in forms that are accessible, familiar, and relevant to their business function. For example, battlecards for sales teams, dashboards with analyses or charts for product teams, and newsletters for leadership/executives. Always look for a CI solution that has multiple preset templates, and one that allows you to design your own templates for information sharing.
A Bird’s Eye View of the Market and the Competition
Of course, the primary reason organizations usually invest in a competitive intelligence solution is to track and monitor their markets and their competitors. However, that’s not all a CI solution can do. Advanced CI solutions like Contify, apart from all that’s mentioned above, can provide a bird’s-eye-view of competitors’ movements, help identify trends in the marketing, provide intel on suppliers & key accounts, and help gain deeper insights at organizational, product, sales, and marketing levels. This allows these different business teams to function effectively in combating competitor movements, and responding to market trends and shifts. All this is done by sifting through information from multiple public sources, and then piecing together insights to form intelligence.
Competitive intelligence is now an integral part of every business, and not just an additional thing to do, as it was a decade earlier. Thus, in order to thrive in your business, you need to arm your stakeholders with the right tools to ensure they have regular intelligence to strategize on their individual levels. Using a CI solution to make informed decisions is an endeavor you shouldn’t dismiss, because your competitors certainly won’t. There is no dearth of competitive intelligence solutions in the market, however, in order to get the best bang for your buck, make sure that you have the right expectations of a CI solution, tool, platform, software, or whatever else you choose to call it. Also ensure that it meets all the requirements of a modern, advanced market and competitive intelligence solution, which are listed above. Hopefully, this article will help you make the right decision by informing you of what to look for. Thanks for reading.