Staying ahead of the competition is critical in an industry as competitive as the IT sector. Businesses must consider legal methods to gather information around their competitors to plan their next moves and stay market relevant. Enter competitive intelligence.
Competitive intelligence, also called corporate intelligence, is the process of gathering, analyzing and using information about competitors, customers and other market factors that could offer organizations an advantage. Competitive intelligence helps businesses understand their competitive environment along with challenges and opportunities. Businesses compile this information to craft efficient and effective business strategies to optimize overall performance.
What is a Competitive Intelligence Platform
Competitive intelligence as a concept has been documented since the 16th century. The development of technology and the diversity of application in corporate spaces has reconfigured how competitive intelligence is procured. Businesses now use tools and software while using globally recognized principles to assist with high level decision making. Competitive intelligence is not only essential but is a proven method to develop sustainable growth practices.
Competitive intelligence platforms are software tools that businesses can use to gather and analyze critical business information in a more automated method. These competitive intelligence tools help businesses foster leadership positions within their industry and accelerate growth. Here are commonly used competitive intelligence tools;
- Contify – A market intelligence platform that helps businesses track information on competitors, customers, partners and industry segments. Contify helps businesses understand how to sieve through the vast information available on the internet to bring in only meaningful information. This product can be used at any stage of the competitive intelligence journey to assist with competitive intelligence automation, sales and account intelligence, competitor tracking and industry intelligence.
- WhatRunsWhere – This platform helps businesses understand the advertisements running on different websites that can be used to help with the organization’s own advertising placement. This platform can be used before launching advertising campaigns or even to pivot existing campaigns. The platform offers comprehensive advertising intelligence, competitive market analysis, top brand and affiliate ads and comprehensive information around advertiser, category, site and network profiles.
- SEMRush – An online visibility and content marketing SaaS platform with a plethora of capabilities. This tool helps businesses optimize their visibility across a number of key channels, conduct competitive research, craft engaging content and understand the results of their marketing efforts. SEMRush offers businesses a comprehensive picture of competitors performance, an analysis of competitor activities using metrics including organic keywords, backlinking, content performance, social media performance, PPC and website traffic, and gain insights into marketing strategies the competition is using. Businesses can use this tool to keep an eye on a competitor’s marketing decisions to help craft data driven marketing strategies for their own organization.
- Talkwalker – A social analytics and real-time tracking tool that can be used to monitor news and other virtual outlets for mentions of competitors, the industry of choice and topics of interest. Talkwalker is great for organizations looking to monitor competitors and what is being said about them, understand what channels and social media platforms to target, stay up to date with the latest market trends and make informed decisions around the competitive landscape. Key features of this tool include social media analytics, competitive intelligence alerts, consumer insights and head to head competitor comparison.
Competitive intelligence platforms come in all shapes, sizes and budgets. While the list above is brief, it should give you a strong idea as to how IT companies can leverage the information offered to craft powerful business strategies that help a business establish itself as a front runner in the technology space.
For businesses unsure of where to start, competitive intelligence firms are more than happy to have the responsibility outsourced to them. For businesses looking to build the right systems in house, competitive intelligence consultant firms are helpful with introducing both a practical and effective solution to help your business reach the right information.