One of the keys to the competitive intelligence procedure will be to learn what information you really require. The target is to discover information about your market and about your competitors that will provide you with a competitive edge.
The key to the competitive intelligence process is to understand what information you truly need. The goal is to find information about your market and about your competition that will give you a competitive edge.
How can industrial or corporate espionage be compared to competitive intelligence? Competitive Intelligence research can be distinguished from industrial espionage, as CI practitioners in general abide by local legal guidelines and ethical business norms.
Remember that not all information you find on your competition will be accurate or correct. That is what makes this probably one of the most difficult aspects of the whole process.
When gathering information about your competitors and the general market, a great place to start is in your own files and resources.
First, check your business plan. It should contain a section on the market and your competition. Copy the relevant sections and place them in a special “competitive intelligence” file.
In order to truly understand how your company fits into the market, you need to understand which companies are your biggest competitors or who will be your biggest competitors in the future.
Chances are, you have an extensive contact list. Have you thought of using them to gather competitive intelligence information? They are an invaluable source for information, including market information and insights into your own company.