July 24

Increase Your Competitive Intelligence For Lasting Business Growth

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Watching game film for that week’s opponent never became old…alright, maybe just a little bit during the hours-long marathon film sessions, but as NFL players we knew we had to be ready for our opponent. From the time I was in High school to College and then in the NFL our coaches made it very clear that we had to gather information on the other team in order to stay ahead of competition. In business the same premise holds true and the stakes are even higher. If you do not consistently leverage competitive intelligence (CI), it will only be a matter of time before your business environment overtakes you.

Dr. Jason Carthen: Competitive Intelligence

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Understand Your Environment

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is the collection and analysis of information to anticipate a business’ competitive activity. It involves investigating and understanding the world outside of an organization so it can be as competitive as possible. It is important to note that competitive intelligence is an ethical and legal business practice, as opposed to industrial espionage, which is illegal. Information may be obtained using published and non-published sources.

Competitive Intelligence and Strategy

The use of competitive intelligence is very common in the business world today. Competitive intelligence can be used for the following purposes:
· Creating corporate or business strategies
· Developing a new product launch or new market entry
· Benchmarking against other organizations
· Planning for future market opportunities and disruptions
· Determining the effectiveness of the market positioning and product messaging of competitors
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Strategy and Empowerment

A smart intelligence process can be an early-warning system for disruptive changes in the competitive environment. It can generate strategically relevant insights from research and structured analysis. Utilizing competitive intelligence can empower a business to anticipate and face challenges head on. It is an essential component to developing a business strategy.

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Minimize Your Exposure to Risk

CI minimizes decision risk and reduces uncertainty about external developments. In the competitive landscape, up-to-date information can make the difference between keeping pace, getting ahead, or being left behind. In some cases, entrepreneurs have used intelligence-gathering techniques to discover what is really happening in their own businesses, with surprising results.

Point of Clarity Quote:

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.”
-Samuel Johnson

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