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Hey, Consumer Brands!: Are You Using a Competitive Intelligence (CI) Tool to Gain a Foresight Advantage?

Brad Marsh

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June 17, 2020

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It seems straightforward: gather the data, analyze the data, and share an informed story about what the data suggests is likely to happen with your executives. 

But, you know better than that. 

You have data and information streaming in from disconnected sources and formats. You have multiple RSS feeds firing into your email daily, social monitoring alerts are near-constant, and you’ve spent hours trying to determine which report or article is most important to digest. Not only is this process inefficient, but it also lacks reliability. 

In this article, we’ll share the most common ways consumer brands have benefited from leveraging CI tools to hyper-focus on their most relevant business topics, monitor consumer trends, and stay abreast of their competitors.  

Unique Challenges for Consumer Brands

Unlike B2B industries, with the rogue exception of the COVID era, consumer brands have a tendency to make neck-breaking shifts in direction, and fast

Consumer preference is highly-dependent on ever-changing trends that are often driven by personal taste, advertising, cultural environment, and now the new breed of influencers.  Suffice it to say, staying ahead of these shifts isn’t just a nice to have, but a critical requirement for business success. 

Addressing changes in consumer behavior requires organizations to shift early: supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, and consumer marketing all take time to react. The earlier potential threats and opportunities are identified and acted on, the faster you’re positioned in the market to meet the new need. 

This quick-shift, combined with the amount of noise in the consumer market, creates a unique challenge for brands to find and maintain a solid heading. 

But, that’s precisely why a strong CI software is a great fit for consumer-focused companies. 

Consumer Brands Benefit from Their CI Software, In Their Own Words

Don’t just take our word for it. Below are the areas where market intelligence, consumer insights, and foresight professionals are using and benefiting from their CI tools, because we asked them and heard several common themes: 

  • Efficiencies in creating reports 
  • Provide a unique lens into marketing and competitive intelligence 
  • AI / NLP finds things I didn't know I was looking for

Each of these benefits is powerful on their own. But when you’re able to not only cut through the noise but also use a proven-strategy to determine which trend or potential threat is most likely to occur, you’re now able to confidently communicate through the use of data, process and streamlined knowledge sharing what leadership needs to know. 

Determining Your Readiness for a CI Tool

Below are a few questions we recommend that you ask yourself and your team to help you determine if you’re ready, or even past-due for a CI tool: 

  1. What knowledge sharing and knowledge management tools do you have in use already?  
    1. SharePoint? Locally shared? Holler across the hallway? 
    2. Is the system working for you?
    3. Is it working for your colleagues and stakeholders?
  2. What percentage of your time are you spending to organize and sift through data and information?  
    1. If the answer is more than 20%, that’s a clear indicator that you should  consider shifting your manual work to a tool.
  3. Is at least one person at your organization tasked with staying abreast of consumer trends, monitoring industry activity/foresight, market intelligence, and/or competitive intelligence? If the answer is yes, then you should keep reading.

More about the Knowledge360® Platform

There are plenty of CI tools on the market to evaluate as you begin to consider investing in one. We recently posted a blog that dives into why comparing tools is akin to comparing apples to oranges

Because each tool has different strengths and can be applied to different industries in various ways, let us share a bit about how Knowledge360® works for consumer brands. 

Knowledge360® (K360) streamlines front-end industry research, market and brand level data, and marketing and competitive intel by automating the collection and organization of both public and private content. By aggregating content on customized dashboards, you’ll spend more time doing strategic analysis and being more impactful to your company’s stakeholders.

K360 is an advanced knowledge management platform that includes both public and private data feeds. K360's natural language processing (NLP) and AI curates all the information and serves up what is most relevant to you and your business via the custom dashboard.

Moreover, the NLP and AI can identify things you may not be looking for today and will tag it to help you see the things you don’t know.

When You Need More Than a Tool, We Can Help

Our team is a group of forward-looking researchers who speak your language. 

Almost a decade ago we saw prediction markets as a solution to limitations and issues  that we had with traditional market research methods.    

And, fast-forward to today, we are seeing how much of the research world is (and has been) moving to observational methods so we joined forces with Cipher to bookend our HUUNU prediction market capabilities with a strategy team and a CI software tool to firmly establish a new footprint in market research and competitive intelligence.

Our goal is to plug the wide gap of information that currently exists between high-level industry quarterly trends reports AND the more micro-level respondent data. 

We are here to give you the ability to laser focus on topics of interest along with a place to easily assess data and information to maximize opportunities and give you the time needed for course correction.

Together, Consensus Point + Cipher's K360 are a perfect combination of predictive intelligence and industry-leading software.

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Brad Marsh
Brad Marsh

As career innovator, Brad’s passion has always been helping his clients and teams achieve what they thought was impossible, and to create better insights that drive competitive advantage. His 20+ years of experience in traditional front and back-end innovation methods allow him to help agencies and brands apply Prediction Markets in practical ways that improve decision-making and increase efficiency. Prior to Consensus Point + Cipher, Brad held leadership positions at Directions Research and Kantar/TNS.

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