Traditional Sources

Though the internet is a great resource for gathering information, there are also plenty of helpful traditional sources. The best data collection strategy is one that employs techniques from both.

Places to look:

  • Newspapers – Even if the publication is available online, the advertisements may not be included online. The ads may disclose key information about the competition.
  • Trade magazines – Subscribe to any trade magazines in the relevant industries that both you and your competition are a part of. These magazines tend to go into more detail about the companies than consumer magazines.
  • Libraries – Scour the library for other information such as reports, speeches, directories, government information, etc. You can also survey back issues of magazines and newspapers. Check university libraries, town and city libraries, and some companies even have their own public libraries.
  • Trade shows – Attending trade shows, even if your company isn’t involved, is also a good way to see what is “up and coming” about the competition.
  • Networking events – Attend networking events that your competition is likely to frequent. Meeting representatives from the company may also present some opportunities.
  • Conferences – Companies and industries often put on conferences. Try to attend as many as you can to try to find information.

Your contact list – Tap into your contact list, especially if they also know representatives from the competition. They may have additional insights.

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