If you have a B2B company, it is important to learn about customer intelligence. CI is a part of B2B market research and allows you to get useful insight to grow your business and learn from your competitors’ rights and wrongs.
What is Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence, also known as CI, is part of B2B market research that focuses on finding out everything about business competitors. No matter what industry you serve, every company has a competitor. Therefore, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to determine a business strategy. Once you learn about your competitors, you can plan products, pricing, strategy, and acquisition policy.
Sources of Competitor Intelligence
When it comes to researching competitive intelligence, these are some of the sources to consider:
· Financial data: Companies are required to make detailed accounts and release them at the end of the financial year.
· Websites: Since we live in a digital age where an online presence is essential, a lot can be found about a competitor on their website.
· Google Maps: With Google Maps and Street View, you can look at a competitor’s premises even if they are across the country.
· Market research reports: These reports are available for a price, but they cover every industry, even specialized niches.
· Customers: What a customer thinks about your competitor can also help you understand their product, delivery, customer services, and other customer-related issues.
· Suppliers: Companies that supply materials and information can help competitors understand your brand and vice versa.
· Distributors: Some companies can deal with many suppliers and customers, and some may even be competitors.
· Industry experts or the press: Whether someone has been in the industry for a long time or is a journalist who knows a lot about the industry, these people can have helpful insight.
· Former employees: If not bound by a confidentiality agreement, former employees can help you learn about the ins and outs of a competitor.
Advantages of Competitive Intelligence
It is also important to understand the advantages of having a research team for CI. First, competitive intelligence helps you predict your competitors’ moves. Based on what you learn about your competitor, you can get a clear picture of what your next move should be to stand out more in the industry. Additionally, CI can help you get good customer knowledge and examine the marketing of competitive brands and products in your industry. Not to mention, CI allows you to see what is working for your competitors and use that instead of going by trial and error.
Competitive intelligence can also help you understand your customers’ likes and dislikes and how they feel about the products and services offered in your industry. Additionally, CI can offer inspiration to you out of a rut when it comes to your business. The insights you will get from CI can help you change your strategies to refresh your business.