Use competitive intelligence tools to make your competitive intelligence efforts as streamlined and beneficial to your company as possible. A competitive intelligence software tool can automate a lot of the necessary mundane low value activities associated with information gathering. Making the most of your strategic efforts, as well as researching consulting and software options to add additional support, will make competitive intelligence a regular part of your business plan to identify new opportunities and reduce the risk of market surprises.
Ensuring your competitive strategy can stand the test of time and remain flexibility to change is a matter of defining a strategy that is dynamic and can adapt easily to address changing market trends. Dynamic strategic planning incorporates a higher level, end-goal vision. Instead of thinking in strategic increments, make sure you can loop each activity back to the end goal. This will ensure that if unforeseen difficulties or hurdles arise, your team will be able to plan ahead, instead of getting caught up in the issue of the moment.
Make sure you and your team regularly check in and ask: How does this trace back to our long term goals and how will we maneuver around possible issues to stay focused on our end goal? Work to keep each other on track, or gain an outside perspective to help advise on strategy.
Competitive Intelligence Analysts
Competitive intelligence analysts offer industry expertise and can help to guide your competitor research to be more productive. When high-stakes decisions are on the line, make sure your business plan is backed by more than emotion and personal experience. An outside, expert perspective will offer clarity that internal team members might have lost. A certain level of objectivity and the ability to back decisions with data can be the difference between a successful product launch and taking a large financial hit due to bad timing, marketing or strategy.
Competitive Intelligence Software
Competitive intelligence software can help you filter information, organize and produce competitor analysis, as well as reduce the amount of internal effort, money and time spent on gathering competitive intelligence. A competitive intelligence software tool can automate a lot of the necessary but also mundane and low value activities associated with information gathering. Often, dedicating an internal team member to the task of gathering and organizing competitive intelligence takes that person away from higher value tasks, which can decrease productivity and ultimately produce lesser quality internal work.
The right CI software tool for your organization will depend on how mature your CI practice is. Companies just beginning their CI practice may be well served by one or more free tools available. Competitive intelligence software will minimize this impact.
Many organizations find accessing information to be a great challenge. A comprehensive CI software tool should be used as a centralized source of customer, market and competitor research and analysis for your organization to reference. CI tools that offer knowledge management functionality, often reduce the time spent on individual competitive intelligence projects and a reduced chance of unnecessarily duplicating effort across your organization.