Competitive intelligence is the systematic collection of information by a company on its industry, business environment, competitors, products, and consumers. Insights are then used to help the company develop its strategy or improve its competitive position. Competitive intelligence can be assessed according to seven elements: sector intelligence, market intelligence, competitive intelligence, innovation intelligence, sales intelligence, procurement & supply chain intelligence, and Environmental, social, & governance (ESG) intelligence.
- Understanding competitive intelligence
- The seven elements of competitive intelligence
- Key takeaways:
- Related Business Frameworks
- Connected Analysis Frameworks
Understanding competitive intelligence
Today, the rate of competition and market disruption is cause for concern for many businesses. According to research by Accenture, 63% of companies are currently experiencing disruption with 44% of those companies highly susceptible to the phenomena.
Competitive intelligence helps a business secure and maintain a competitive advantage by developing a core strategy based on data-backed predictions. In other words, the business uses competitive intelligence to capture, analyze, and then act on information related to their particular competitive landscape. This information can be gleaned from the market, competitors, products, supply chain, industry, and target audience.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are many benefits to developing strategies based on competitive intelligence. These strategies enable businesses to:
- Identify industry trends or competitive threats ahead of time.
- Better analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
- Allocate resources more efficiently.
- Maximize their return on investment (ROI), and
- Improve product development and product launching.
The seven elements of competitive intelligence
The seven elements of competitive intelligence help remind businesses that there is more to the approach than simply analyzing its competitors.
To develop a broad, holistic strategy, each business should consider the following seven elements of intelligence:
Sectors are large groups of companies with similar primary business activities such as finance, healthcare, and communications. Sector intelligence evaluates large-scale economic trends and fluctuations.
As the name suggests, market intelligence pertains to information about the market the business operates in. Market intelligence can strengthen market positioning and clarify competitors, customers, growth opportunities, and current or future problems. Since most markets are dynamic, the business needs to prioritize the regular collection of market intelligence to remain competitive.
Which is focused on the movements and decisions of competitors in a given industry. How is the competitor negotiating sales deals or developing products? What are the key takeaways from their marketing campaigns?
This is a form of data-backed intelligence where sales teams create customer profiles, generate leads, and close accounts. Sales intelligence encourages businesses to monitor the market for certain triggers which indicate that a customer is ready to buy.
Procurement and supply chain intelligence
This type of collective intelligence gives the business insight into supply and demand figures, production costs, storage costs, regulatory and taxation costs, material supply intelligence, and competitive sales prices. Essentially, procurement and supply chain intelligence details the required rate of production based on demand.
ESG intelligence tracks the environmental footprint of a business and details the sustainability measures introduced by competitors. ESG also encompasses social welfare and humanitarian initiatives and the relationships between organizations and national and foreign governments. As consumer awareness around ESG principles increases, organizations must incorporate them into their strategies to remain competitive.
- Competitive intelligence is the collection of information by a company on its industry, business environment, competitors, products, and consumers. Insights are used to help the company develop its strategy or improve its competitive position.
- Strategies based on competitive intelligence help a business improve product development, identify industry trends or competitive threats ahead of time, and maximize return on investment.
- The seven elements of competitive intelligence remind businesses that there is more to the approach than simply analyzing competitors. Intelligence must also be considered from a sector, market, innovation, sales, procurement, and ESG perspective.
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Related Strategy Concepts: Go-To-Market Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Business Models, Tech Business Models, Jobs-To-Be Done, Design Thinking, Lean Startup Canvas, Value Chain, Value Proposition Canvas, Balanced Scorecard, Business Model Canvas, SWOT Analysis, Growth Hacking, Bundling, Unbundling, Bootstrapping, Venture Capital, Porter’s Five Forces, Porter’s Generic Strategies, Porter’s Five Forces, PESTEL Analysis, SWOT, Porter’s Diamond Model, Ansoff, Technology Adoption Curve, TOWS, SOAR, Balanced Scorecard, OKR, Agile Methodology, Value Proposition, VTDF Framework, BCG Matrix, GE McKinsey Matrix, Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model.