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How to Maximize Your Competitive Intelligence ROI?

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Baskar Sundaram

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Everything happens fast in the quick paced world. Even businesses are accelerating at a quick speed. Tech company spinoffs, acquisitions, and mergers happen at break-neck speed. Business opportunities rise and shift alongside emerging technologies, geo-political events, and other market influences.
This is why it is important to stay on top of your competitive marketing game. A strong sourcing plan can help position your company to win. Given below are some ways to improve your game plan and stay ahead of the race:

Conduct Secondary Research

Take full advantage of the sources available that provide information on the competitive market. Look into secondary competitive intelligence sources. Open source intelligence sources in the public domain offer great information and data which will help you to fully understand your competitors. This is the start of laying down a solid foundation for your business.
Resources such as historical information, financial statements for publicly traded companies, statistics available through established public sources or search engine tools, and news articles about events related to competitors, partners, and key customers are all important for the research. You can also hire outside help to create reports that help you to understand trends across your competitors, customers, and market.

Integrate Primary Research Into Your Plan

Like you, even your competitors will look into all the available sources to conduct market research. You now need to find all primary sources for market information and include the data into your future plans.
Primary CI comes from insights that are outside the public domain. Getting this  intelligence requires legally and ethically conducted investigation that taps reliable, well-placed sources with expertise in your competitors, solutions, distribution channels, and target verticals of focus. You can pay experts to  anticipate what may come next with your competitors, customers, and markets to prepare the right plan of action.
You can also engage your employees to gather insights from their customer interactions, dealings with competing vendors in target accounts, etc.
Engaging a CI partner is also a great way to access more sources. It also frees up your time from collecting data and that time can be used to analyze the data and understand the market landscape. A trusted CI partner can also collaborate with you to synthesize primary and secondary insights into a data-driven, actionable game plan with recommendations and scenarios or even bring the intelligence “alive” via a cross-functional competitor simulation workshop.

Be Prepared to Adapt the Plan

Even after implementation, a well prepared plan may have to be changed to adapt to the changing environment. Do not make the mistake of constantly sticking to the plan when the competitive marketing landscape changes around you. Deploy a range of secondary and primary competitive intelligence sources to monitor how your product launches, campaigns, events, etc., are unfolding.
A systematic monitoring program is a must to decrease the chances that changes in the fast-moving tech industry may blind-side you. A monitoring program helps you stay engaged, informed, and able to switch up your plays as the “game” changes.

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