3 Great Sources for Gathering Competitive Intelligence
The Hollywood version of gathering competitive intelligence might show some phone tapping, computer hacking, or night-time activities involving flashlights. Illegal! Fortunately, plenty of competitive intelligence is freely available, and you don’t need to break a sweat over the methods.
Here are some great (and legal) sources of information to consider as you build a competitive analysis:
|Sources inside your organization||CEO and other executives, board of directors, salespeople,
marketing managers and personnel, customer-service reps, delivery
|Sources outside your organization||Customers, suppliers, distributors, financial analysts, SEC
filings, online databases, social media, Dow Jones, LexisNexis,
newspapers, trade journals, white papers, speeches and
presentations, catalogs, patent databases, analytics
|Events||Trade shows, conventions, conferences, standards
When it comes to internal sources, think big and target everyone within your organization. Why? Because your co-workers are already doing competitive intelligence as they perform their jobs on a daily basis. A big part of doing CI consists of formalizing these activities and building a system around them so that you’re constantly mining information from these sources, analyzing it, and getting it to the decision makers who need it to formulate future strategies.