How Competitive Intelligence Helps in Devising Better Marketing Strategy
If you want to succeed in business, the secret lies in gathering complete information about your competitors. In-depth market research using competitive intelligence makes this possible. This is considered as the most effective technique for gaining success in the competitive business.
The ability of a business to stay ahead in a competitive environment by understanding the level of competition including the strategies and moves made by the competitors can be termed as Competitive Intelligence. Competitive intelligence is best for especially in areas of product development and marketing.
Why Competitive Intelligence?
As Market research already focuses on products and services, the question may arise as to what is the need for competitive intelligence?
The answer is simple- Competitive intelligence covers all aspects of business management.
Competitive Intelligence primarily focuses on studying the future of business mainly pertaining to the competitor’s response towards environmental factor and also the strategy to be adopted by the home company to retain, strengthen and grow its market share.
Competitive intelligence also studies the efficiency and validity of the different market areas where the company primarily operates including the current stand of the company thus providing the necessary strategic changes in decision making which the company needs to adopt. The core components of competitive intelligence includes –
1. Analyzing Competitors Products & Services
The best use of competitive analysis lies in understanding about the products manufactured by competitors. The deeper understanding you have about the competitor’s product, the better products you can manufacture. Customer’s expectation of values in product can be easily met by manufacturing products which are better and different from that of competitors.
By doing competitive analysis, a business can concentrate on key areas and improvise on the values by providing better services, features and product customization which will be difficult for the competitors to match. In short, competitive analysis acts as a trouble shooter by revealing the shortcomings and strength of the competitors.
2. Exploring the Communication Channels
Analysis of the competitor’s communication channels such as social media, marketing and websites enables a business to gain in depth knowledge about the marketing strategy adopted by them. The options open for marketing can be easily scrutinized and easily adopted by studying the communication channels of competitors.
Say for instance, by looking at the Facebook page or website of a competitor, an organization selling similar products can get an idea to do similarly or in a better way or a business may even decide to abstain from adopting similar marketing strategy and decide to go for some other alternative marketing strategy.
3. Analysis about Competitor’s Customers
The customer analysis report published by competitors on websites, forums or financial reports can act as a key source of information to organizations doing the same kind of business.
The published information about customer analysis done by competitors not only helps gain valuable information about customers but also saves considerable time and money required to undertake the analysis.
4. Price Setting Analysis
The biggest benefit of competitive intelligence to organization lies in gaining information about the price set by the competitors for similar products. Pricing of products being one of the key areas of business, having complete knowledge about the competitors pricing policy provides various benefits to the home organizations in setting the appropriate price for their products.
Keeping pace with the prices set by competitors may not be feasible at all times. At times when the company is not able to match the promotions and discounts offered by competitors, it is better to concentrate advertising on values rather than reducing the prices. The discounts and promotions offered by organizations acts as a key sign in knowing about the consumer wants and in determining the target prices.
As competitive intelligence is done to obtain information about competitors, it should be done within the legal parameters by following ethical and legal considerations such as respect of law, honest recommendations and transparency in obtaining or revealing information. This is essential if an organization has to maintain its reputation.
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