Competitive intelligence: goals and features of its implementation
Today we are again raising the topic of using mobile proxies in the work of certain specialists. The material presented in this review will be useful to Internet marketers and all those who in their daily work are faced with the promotion of goods or services on the Internet. Imagine the situation: you are planning to launch another advertising campaign. Here you have to monitor competitors and collect a huge amount of data in order to get the maximum effect from the launched product.
This task can be easily automated, thereby reducing the time it takes to solve it, as well as increasing the efficiency of your work. For this purpose, there are special tools that automatically collect data and structure it. Also, using the appropriate services, you can analyze past advertising campaigns and use the data obtained to improve future marketing strategies. What does mobile proxies have to do with it? Despite the fact that it is with their help that stable, convenient and multi-threaded data collection from the entire network is ensured without the risk of getting blocked and bypassing all kinds of regional restrictions.
Now let's get acquainted in more detail with what competitive intelligence is, what goals and objectives it faces. We'll tell you where to collect information and how to complete this work as efficiently as possible. Now let's talk about everything in order.
What is competitive intelligence?
Competitive intelligence — This is one of the areas of activity of a company or advertising department that involves collecting information about competitors, their products, services with subsequent analysis. The data obtained as a result of such work will be used to develop your own strategy and strengthen it, and perform market research for business development. This is the main goal of competitive intelligence.
In order to cover the maximum during the work and ultimately obtain a complete visual picture, work is simultaneously carried out in three separate directions:
- Technical development. Here we are talking about collecting information about the products and services offered by competitors, as well as innovations in their work, the emergence of advanced developments, etc.
- Financial component. Here the pricing policy of competitors is examined and their current financial condition is determined. The work is performed on the basis of data exclusively from open sources, which does not violate any aesthetic standards. Based on the data obtained, it will be possible to determine how financially stable your company is.
- Strategic elaboration. In this case, the emphasis in collecting information is on how the work of competitors is organized, familiarization with the features of their competition policy, as well as the collection of related information directly about the work of competitors.
That is, as part of competitive intelligence, you need to collect data in each of these areas. Why is this necessary?
Tasks that competitive intelligence solves
Competitive intelligence — this is what will allow you:
- open up new opportunities for further development for your business, improve your own competitiveness;
- improve the level of customer service, including the communication strategy;
- improve advertising strategy;
- get to know new methods of business management;
- make improvements and improvements to the strategy for promoting goods or services on the market;
- build a system for forecasting changes in market trends;
- predict the actions of competitors several steps ahead;
- improve the company’s sales offer and positioning in the market as a whole.
That is, you get an impressive amount of data about your competitors with minimal time and effort. This will be ensured by multithreading and automation of actions. Once again we would like to draw your attention to the fact that this will only be possible if you decide to connect mobile proxies to work.
Now let's move on to where you can collect data about competitors so as not to violate ethical standards.
Sources for conducting competitive intelligence
We have already mentioned that competitive intelligence involves collecting data exclusively from open sources. That is, these will be those works that do not violate ethical standards. There are very, very many such options, starting directly from the official website and right up to conferences, industry exhibitions, public reports, expert interviews, etc. The following resources will be the most informative:
- Competitors' sites. This is the most important source of information for performing competitive intelligence. On it you can find a huge amount of information about the company’s activities: current products, prices, promotional offers. You will be able to check how competently the technical support service works and what points of customer service the main emphasis is placed on. You can also parse data, which will help you perform an SEO audit of your resource, track your position in search results, and select semantics. You can also glean data about the interests of the target audience from competitors’ websites, which will also be important for business development.
- Thematic blogs, forums. Often, such resources provide information that is of real interest to representatives of the target audience and the client directly. Moreover, you can find out what potential buyers think about your competitors, their level of service, and how satisfied they are with a particular purchase. With the right approach, you can find a lot of tips on forums and blogs that will help you increase your competitiveness and improve your sales proposition.
- Social networks. Today, almost every business has its own representation in one or another social network. This could be Instagram, VKontakte, Facebook, Odnoklassniki. Collecting data from here will allow you to study the brand language, see what content evokes the greatest response from the target audience, and determine the optimal and frequency of publications in accounts. If you analyze the comments left by subscribers, you can determine their level of involvement and many other parameters.
- Customer reviews. You can find them directly both on the competitors’ website and on social networks, as well as on Google Maps, and in special response services. Often truly reliable reviews are posted here. This means that you will be able to see how truly satisfied or dissatisfied customers are with their purchases, or with the goods themselves, or interview services.
- Events. This category includes exhibitions, seminars, conferences and other events, by studying which you can collect additional data about the areas in which your competitors are working, what products or services they are putting on the market and how they are positioning themselves. Personal presence at such events will allow you to gain invaluable experience in interacting with competitors and their products and services.
- Interview. Today, this is a fairly new type of marketing research, which involves conducting interviews with clients or industry experts or opinion leaders. Thanks to this, you can find out what trends in the development of your industry are relevant today, what problems there are in it. Based on the data obtained, forecasts for business development and entry into new markets can be easily made.
- Quarterly annual reports – This is the financial component of competitive intelligence, which allows you to obtain information about the level of profit or, conversely, the losses of competitors and their financial situation as a whole. Such information is often posted on the company’s official websites or on specialized resources, in particular Opendatabot and YouControl.
- Announcements and press releases. This is what will allow you to quickly learn about all the innovations and changes in the policies of your competitors, in the events that they plan to hold, launched promotions, presentations of new products or services. Also, if you regularly monitor press releases and announcements, you can see if their marketing strategy has changed or changed, and also track how effective it is. This is also the easiest way to explore the market of suppliers and distributors working in your niche.
These are the ones you will need to focus on when performing competitive intelligence. Along with this, you can also monitor your competitors’ partners and opinion leaders. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that these works must be carried out regularly. This is the only way you can make timely changes to your own development strategy, catch up with advanced trends and not only stay afloat, but also compete with other companies operating in your niche.
Sequence of actions when conducting competitive intelligence
Now that you know where to collect information about competitors, you can proceed directly to the work. Initially, you need to determine the range of tasks and then draw up a plan of sequential actions. So, at this stage you need to implement the following steps:
- We define the problem and set the key goal for our work. Before moving on to working with competitors, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive audit of your own company. This is necessary in order to identify weak links and determine its position in the market. Also, a comprehensive analysis will identify a number of threats, if any. Based on the information received, you will be able to understand exactly where your company should move in the future. And this already means — desired goals, clear prioritization.
- Select the main criteria by assessing which you can achieve your goals. So you will compile a list of questions and look for answers to them in the process of researching the activities of competitors. Here you need to understand that the more accurately the task is set at this stage, the higher the efficiency of all subsequent work will be. Therefore, there is no need to rush with this issue. The whole team needs to come together and work hard.
- We determine the range of competitors. Here you need to monitor the market in your niche and identify those companies that will be as close as possible to your type of activity. If we are talking about an online store, then it is optimal to focus on those organizations that provide the market with the same goods as you do. We would like to pay special attention to local brands. In this case, your competitors — These are the same regional offices as yours. There is no need to focus on industry leaders as a whole. The fact is that at the level of your city or district, these companies will not be your direct competitors.
- Selecting suitable sources of information. Now you already have questions, you have a list of competitors, and you can move on to looking for answers to them. We have already described above all the sources that you can use to collect information. It is optimal to use several different channels in order to get the most complete and voluminous picture with a huge number of small details.
- We directly collect data, systematize and analyze it. This is the stage at which you cannot do without mobile proxies. You will also need to select programs that automate your actions and make your work as fast, convenient and simple as possible. It is optimal to generate reports in the form of tables and graphs. They can be supplemented with visual videos and screenshots. All this will make data processing more convenient and faster. But once again we would like to draw your attention to the fact that it is necessary to use only open sources of information. Otherwise, it will be industrial espionage with all the ensuing circumstances.
- We are making adjustments to our marketing strategy. After you structure the data and do a comprehensive analysis, you will clearly understand what exactly is wrong with your company, what needs to be changed and improved. Moreover, the data obtained will be enough for you to determine the most effective ways to further develop your business. All this information should be reflected in your company's marketing plan. All the actions you will perform should be written down here, step by step. It is necessary to allocate a certain time for the implementation of each individual item and strictly adhere to deadlines in further work. KPIs are also indicated for each of the specialists involved, and responsibilities are clearly assigned.
Additional recommendations for conducting competitive intelligence
Now you have all the knowledge that will allow you to complete a range of competitive intelligence work as quickly and professionally as possible. But we would still like to draw your attention to a number of additional recommendations that will allow to increase efficiency events you host:
- When collecting information about competitors, it is necessary to pay attention not only to its volume and completeness, but also to the so-called expiration date. There is no point in using data that has already lost its relevance today. That is, the rule “there is a time for everything” the same thing works here. This is very important, especially in the case of the modern market, because trends change very, very quickly. And the main thing is not to miss the opportunity.
- Before you start studying competitors, evaluate the industry itself. We need to understand what scale we are talking about, what potential for development in the future. Here it is also important to pay attention to what is the average salary in this industry, the cost of work, what is the average turnover of a company operating in this field, development trends, and employee qualifications. Similar data are presented on the websites of the statistics department. Here you can find fairly new ratings. Often paid, but it's worth it.
- When choosing competitors, do not be lazy to enter their name into the search engine. This way you can find the official resource, and links to advertising materials posted on third-party sites, interaction with other beneficiary organizations and counterparties. You will be able to study financial indicators and tax burden. This will be enough to determine the potential of competitors and decide whether it is worth analyzing their work in principle.
- Check out the company's official website. Literally at first glance you can understand how reliable and responsible the organization is before you. The site can be checked for compliance with copyright and the law on the protection of personal data of users, you will see the main sources of traffic, advertising costs, etc.
- Take a walk through social networks, evaluate both the official company profile (if there is one) and the personal profiles of employees. The main focus should be on the business manager. Here it is necessary to evaluate their material well-being, area of interest, and hobbies. Familiarity with the accounts of your closest relatives will provide significant assistance in this regard. That is, if a business says that it is developing successfully, then all this should be confirmed by social networks.
- Lack of available information? Contact your competitors under the guise of a potential client. This way you can implicitly find out all the information that interests you and which is not freely available. You will also be able to see how employees of another company work, how quickly and professionally they resolve conflict situations, and whether they are customer-oriented.
- To find out more information about your competitors, it’s a good idea to also study their credit history, lawsuits, and claims. Such information is not publicly available in every country. But if this can be done specifically in your region, then this opportunity is clearly worth taking advantage of. Others should use mobile proxies and bypass restrictions.
- Don't forget about opinion leaders and bloggers. Pay attention to whether your competitors turn to bloggers and opinion leaders for help in promoting their business. This way you can see how popular their profiles will be, respectively, all activities, comments, likes. If everything is fair and correct, then the channel’s audience should increase gradually without sudden jumps. Any unreasonable increase in user activity – this is what indicates the participation of opinion leaders and, accordingly, promotion.
- Choosing reliable mobile proxies. This is our final recommendation regarding competitive intelligence. We have already talked more than once about why you cannot organize stable, functional, secure work on the network without using an intermediary server. Without it, you will constantly face various restrictions, increasing the likelihood of running into a ban. Free proxy servers are not suitable for solving professional problems. Their functionality and reliability are very, very low. Therefore, the best solution in this market segment today would be private mobile proxies from the MobileProxy.Space service. In this case, you get an effective and functional solution for unlimited networking. Follow the link https://mobileproxy.space/en/user.html?buyproxy to find out more details or take advantage of a free two-hour testing.
Now you have the most complete information about what competitive intelligence is, why it is needed and how to implement it effectively, quickly and without risk to yourself.