Many companies don’t gather competitor intelligence because they fail to recognise the value of doing so. If you decide that you are going to monitor competitive activity then you must put a plan in place to make sure you have a structured method to gather material so that you don’t get sidelined with unnecessary information overload.
Firstly decide who your competitors are – whether they are direct or indirect (offering the same or substitute products), if they are existing competitors who you encounter regularly or if they are new market entrants.
By understanding what your competitors are doing you can evaluate your own performance against other suppliers, identify areas of weakness and areas where they are stronger than you, maybe get new ideas and keep your planning focused.
As a starting point, think about compiling the following information:
- Who are your competitors?
- What do they offer?
- What is their pricing policy?
- Who are their customers?
- How do they promote themselves?
- Who are their suppliers?
- Are they financially secure?
- What type of business are they?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you know what their business strategy is?
As always, it’s best to start researching your competitors using the free sources that are available to you before you start to pay for intelligence.
If you would like expansion on any of these points, get in touch.