Competitive intelligence, the gathering and analysis of information about a business, its industry, environment and competitors, is an important driver of strategic initiatives. A recent study found that 96% of business executives agree that competitive intelligence is critical to business success, and 80% of organizations have at least one part-time employee dedicated to competitive intelligence gathering and analysis.
When data is gathered, and used to create actionable competitive intelligence, it can provide a number of benefits to a business.
Benefits of Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence gives a business immediate information about changes that competitors have made, which affect the overall business environment. These insights can be used to help a company stay agile, and react quickly and effectively to these changes when they identify them.
Understanding the moves that your competitors are making can help a company identify threats to their own business. The competition could be making a move to acquire some of your customers, with a persuasive marketing campaign or new product offering. Early identification of threats can be applied to forecasting and strategic planning, helping to counteract the competition’s strategy.
Competitive intelligence can help a business with early identification of opportunities – for new products and services, markets, and customers. Identifying these opportunities more quickly allows this intelligence to be applied to strategic planning, and the faster opportunities are identified the sooner they can become a part of strategic initiatives.
Competitive intelligence provides a deeper understanding of the competition and general business environment, which can be used to help a company identify their own unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP can help improve revenues, enhance customer loyalty and engagement, and identify potential new customers.
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Competitive Intelligence Tools
There are several different types of competitive intelligence tools that help retailers drive revenue, including:
1. FOOT TRAFFIC
Tools, which measure your foot traffic data against competitor locations, can provide deep insight to your competitor’s customers.
2. ONLINE TRAFFIC
Online traffic can be measured through monitoring social media and keyword intelligence. Monitoring what people are saying on social media can give a company insight about what consumers like – and dislike – about competitors and their products. Using an online tool to monitor a competitor’s website performance can reveal a competitor’s strategy – and the success of that strategy, which can then inform your own business campaigns.
3. PRODUCT INFORMATION
Product information can be gathered from your competition’s websites, customer reviews, social media interactions, and marketing efforts. Keeping close tabs on your competitor’s products, current offerings, any scheduled updates or improvements, or releases of new products is valuable, in that it provides insight to changes in the business environment. By understanding your competitive advantage, you can make changes to your own product line. Furthermore, these new insights into your product can be translated into strategic action plans.
4. BEHAVIORAL ANALYTICS
Behavioral analytics is the study of the way that customers interact with brands, to gain a deeper understanding of the customer. That understanding can be used to inform marketing strategy, improving ROI, targeting, and effectiveness of campaigns present and future.
Insight to your competition’s customers tells you what they are doing right – and wrong – and that information can be applied to improve your own strategies.
5. LOCATION INTELLIGENCE
One of the key difficulties in creating a comprehensive view of the consumer is translating online to offline behavior. Data is created and tracked throughout the online world, and can be used for analytics. But understanding how a customer behaves in the real world provides a deeper level of insight, connecting the dots between online and offline behaviors. Offline activities can tell you about a customer’s habits, interests, values and attributes which can be used to improve messaging, targeting, and strategy.
Keeping ahead of the competition is a key factor in running a successful business. Advancements in technology have made this easier, by creating tools that can be used for data gathering and analytics. However, technology has also made the business landscape more complex. There are far more ways to track the activities of your competitors and their customers than ever before, and it can be difficult to identify the correct analytical tools and most impactful strategies for your business.
Most companies do not have the in-house expertise necessary to make the best use of data analytics. Leveraging an analytics partner provides your company with the data gathering and analytical expertise needed to make the best use of competitive intelligence. The resulting data can then be used to drive strategy and improve business outcomes.
Real-World Location Intelligence
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