Welcome to the age of intelligence. In the 21st century business success is dependent on knowing how to cultivate intelligence and use it to your advantage. Intelligence is what businesses need to compete. Companies will need to become increasingly sophisticated at collecting and processing information in order to remain truly competitive. The other side of Competitive Intelligence is the process our customers undertake daily, that is comparing one company to the next. They compare the five “P’s” – products, prices, practices, promises and most of all people. They leave your front line personnel with an impression that often leads directly to or away from a buying decision. Knowing how your five “P’s” compare to the competition is also an important function of your Competitive Intelligence initiative. Common myths about Competitive Intelligence.
Before you read further, there are five common misunderstandings about CI that must be clarified:
- Competitive Intelligence is spying.
- Competitive Intelligence is really an information gathering process that goes beyond snooping around your competitor’s booth.
- Surfing the web gives you Competitive Intelligence.
- The web tells you what the organization you are researching has done. It doesn’t tell you what they are going to do in the future.
- Industry leaders are not at the same risk from competitors as other industry players.
- Everyone needs intelligence to make good decisions whether they are industry giants or upstarts.
- Competitive Intelligence requires volumes of data.
- It’s easy to get so overloaded with information that it leaves you speechless. A good Competitive Intelligence program focuses on the information that is relevant.
- Competitive Intelligence gathering is expensive.
- It doesn’t have to be. A well-structured Competitive Intelligence strategy will incorporate your existing resources along with whatever outsource professionals you deem appropriate.