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 Business book: the ultimate resource. voice activation applied, sorry for typos.

 

Gathering competitive intelligence.

 

Take a structured and proactive approach to gathering competitive intelligence.

Learn about things before the event.  Not after.

Include strategy, mergers, and acquisitions, pricing, marketing, advertising, and research and development.

Advantages: minimizes surprises, identifies opportunities and threats, learning from competitors, more accurate assessments, competitors responses to your company.  Good-great information.

Disadvantages: keep an eye on competitive environment as a whole.

You need differentiation not copying.

Too much information, unable to use strategic information for decisions.

Known as Paralysis by analysis.

Action checklist.

1.  Make the commitment.

Rarely will make the direct return on investment.  Senior management needs to commit for available resources.

2.  Identify needs and objectives.

Trying to find weak points, competitors potential in new markets.

Overall objective ideas.

Information for strategic decisions, early warnings of competitor activity, individual products or services, pricing, recruitment drives, market behavior, strategy.

Clear in specific objectives will reduce information overload.

Review objectives regularly.

3.  Bring together a team and assign responsibility.

Verify the individual has good communication and information skills, and the ability to work deadlines.

4.  Identify sources of information.

The belief is that 80 percent of needed information is already available inside company.

Trade shows, online databases, Web sites, magazines and newspapers, product catalogs, personal contacts in other companies.

Don't forget the front-line staff, they hear a lot of stuff.

5.  Use technology.  Databases, remember copyright legislation, it is illegal to scan many documents for electronic retrieval.

Can use hard copy, by hand to reference other materials electronically.  Look into this more.

6.  Circulate reports.  If you don't use it, you lose it.  Weekly, daily, maybe hourly.  Intranets and extranets hold vast potential, just think.  Personal comment, paper is not applied, electronic retrieval is the modern world.

7.  Take action on the results.  Keep records with success and failure items. Don't counteract competitors, without looking at companies own objectives.  Only the right action at the right time will bring you and advantage.

8.  Evaluate against objectives.  Evaluate your CI program against initial objectives.  Are you on track.  Draw the recommendations for improving the CI system.  Present data to above leaders, along with details of the successes, and failures.

9.  Make changes.  Take action on the recommendations.  Keep communicating CI successes.

10.  Observe the ethical line.  Gray area at best.  Sending employees to job interviews at other companies.  Sorting through trash, is rated unethical.  Computer hacking also unethical.

 

Do's:

use front-line staff, keep records regularly.  Remember competitors think to.  Recognize the importance of CI.

Don't:

spend money unnecessarily, be unethical.

Thought starters.  Have you ever been taken by surprise by competitor.

How much do you really know about your main competitors.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

 

End of data.

 

 

 

 

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