Competitive intelligence gathering has a lot of obvious uses. You need to know when a competing product launches or a competitor goes under. You want to spot strategic shifts and stay ahead of upcoming trends. But your competitive intelligence process and the insights it uncovers have other, less apparent uses that you may not be taking advantage of (yet).
For maximum return on your competitive intelligence investment, consider these three alternative ways of utilizing that hard-won intelligence info:
- Spot marketing opportunities: Keeping an eye on your competitors’ social media output is a great way to track what their business is doing and how customers are responding. But you can also use social media tracking to identify the gaps in your competition’s marketing strategy. Are they neglecting their blog? Do they opt out of interacting on Twitter? Finding out which platforms and types of content are underutilized in your industry space will give your marketing team a chance to fill those gaps.
Build a case for executive investment: Even if your boss (or your boss’s boss) doesn’t read every word of your competitive intelligence updates, you can still leverage competitive intelligence data to make your case when it comes to new product or technology investments. Industry reports, regulatory updates, and news about competing products that you compile during the course of conducting competitive intelligence gathering can all be rich sources of industry-specific information.
- Train new employees (especially salespeople!): Getting a new hire up to speed with their new job responsibilities can be a time-consuming task on its own. When you need them to have a broader understanding of your company and its position within your market, your competitive intelligence process is a great place to start. Giving them access to background information, like product release news, blog posts, and financial updates, will give them a sense of your industry’s key players, as well as where your business fits into the overall landscape.