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Intelligence action

A tiger needs two killer things before deciding to attack

Two things they need

By | Intelligence action

For a competitor to decide on an action, they need two killer things. 2 things to enable them to move into a new market, acquire a company, attack your market, enter your country, take your customer etc. They need capability and intent. Simple and true. When assessing what your competitor will do next decide if they have the capability and intent. Both are needed to become a significant threat.

Many companies will have the capability, but the intent is not there; they will not take action, and if they do, they will do so half-heartedly. From micro to geopolitical level if the intention is backed up by capability, their chances of success are higher. You better be prepared for a fight.

Look at Iran and the USA. The USA has the capability but do they have the intent? The Iranians may have the intent, but do they have the capability?

What are their intentions and capabilities?

Thinking about intentions and capabilities is one way to develop a strategy much more straightforward.

Intentions are fickle foe and can suddenly change. On the other hand, capabilities are relatively stable.

In the military for instance, capabilities are a mix of doctrine, hardware, personnel. Their armed forces. They are real, countable, and they are not going to disappear next week. Also, they are not going to reallocate submarines to the air force to become fighter jets.

And this makes competitors capabilities much more straightforward to analyse than working out their intent.

Finally, the mistake many people (and some of our own competitors) make is assuming capability is the same as intent. Or worst case completely they ignore intent.

More to following on this subject.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Does your competitor possess those two killer things?

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Law firms and Competitive Intelligence case study

Have an idea what they want to do? Now disrupt them

By | Intelligence action

Take a good look at your competitors’ leadership team. What makes them tick?

Starting with the CEO isolate their five big ideas. Alternatively, strategies as they are often mistakenly called. Most leaders will have patterns they’ve followed in the past (maybe not every time). So have their big five ideas changed over time? Are the ideas communicated well within their business? Do other members of the senior team believe in them or do they have other thoughts? Can you exploit this potential discord?

Take a look at what relationships are important to them, which bandwagon are they jumping on and what type of customers are they getting to know. Read what they are writing, listen to what they are saying (and, of course, what they are not saying). Will these big ideas affect your future business growth? Also, you may see signals of a change in your competitors focus. Can you take advantage?

Going darker, now you have an idea what they want to do, can you disrupt their efforts? If you can’t find some big ideas or isolated too many of them does this also tell you a story too? Hopefully, you see Competitive Intelligence is not analytics; it’s not research, its so much more than that.

Inspired by an article by General David Petraeus.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

A trigger happy glaring gap in thinking

By | Intelligence action

Technology solutions are great but you really need to think.

“Yes, you have information. You can find out all about a man, track him down, keep an eye on him. But you have to look him in the eye. All the tech you have can’t help you with that. A license to kill also means a license NOT to kill”.

– Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Mallory, Spectre

It is very common for companies to search for a hi-tech solution which will solve our intelligence and decision-making problems.

Technology in this sector is sold as smart, pretty and the easy option. It’s not.

Now, we believe technology is an essential part of the process (we are building something, so we are not hypocrites). But it’s just that; part of the intelligence process.

Jumping straight to technology shows a glaring gap in thinking.

Why? Well, a decision by competitors, regulators and every other living human originate as an idea from someone’s mind.

To understand the situation you face you need to look deeper. Technology will not tell you why a decision was made, what will happen next and what you are going to do about it. It will not get into the minds of your competitors. Intelligence does.

It can’t even make a decent cup of tea never mind deciding to pull the proverbial trigger or not.

So, do you what more answers to the questions you need to ask? Get in touch here or follow us on Twitter

Competitor intelligence to smash and out last them

By | Intelligence action | No Comments

Ever noticed how many companies claim to be number one in their sector? So frequently has the term ‘market-leading’ been bandied around it’s actually lost all meaning.

Here’s why. Not everyone can be number one. Rules change over time and things never stay the same. This is abundantly clear when you look at the companies on the FTSE100 now compared to 10 years ago – there are major differences and some notable disappearances.

So if being first in your sector now has little cache, perhaps a better goal is not to beat your competitors, but instead to outlast them. After all, being first at the 400 metre mark of a marathon won’t necessarily help you win the race. Go too quickly and you’re more likely to hit the wall.

Solution: maintain your resources

Outlasting your competitors brings your strategic direction to the fore. A good starting point is to look at the activities which could damage your ability to outlast your competitors.

A good example is your pricing, and not dropping your prices just because your competitor has. Lower prices may be damaging. They may be unsustainable. Most of all, they may be unnecessary. If you understand why your competitors are doing what they’re doing, you don’t need to react to their every move.

So while your competitors may be doing some great things, you should only look to better what they are doing if they do not damage what you stand for and your most valuable tool, your resources.

Protect your ethics, and you can outlast your competitors, without the distraction of artificially leading them.

Thank you www.octopusintelligence.co.uk

Powerful ways to exploit your competitive intelligence discoveries

By | Intelligence action | No Comments

Don’t underestimate the value of competitive intelligence.

It can pave the way for new, effective strategies. Allow you to get an edge on your rivals and help you discover insights that can change the way you do business, forever.

But unless intelligence and apply the key recommendations, there is a risk that its value can become hidden, or lost, forever. As you may know Octopus help companies make better decisions. Because, thanks to us, they have the right intelligence at their fingertips.

Our intelligence gives them the power of knowledge; the power to change the way they do business. And potentially the power to change lives.

Often large companies request Competitive Intelligence by one party in order to solve a particular problem and the reports are then shelved.

Hoarding outlawed!

Imagine if, instead of hoarding intelligence and  the original questions answered? Shared around the business in a way that added value to every department it touched.

Answering simple questions about your competitors often leads to a myriad of potential opportunities. And early warning of threats. It’s actually an iceberg.  The first piece of information is simply the tip.  Hidden far below the immediate answers is the bit that changes your business for the better.

Competitive intelligence can obviously be used to benefit your research and product development departments, and your sales strategy. But it can also provide a direct and indirect benefit to your marketing strategy.

That’s why Octopus works with Inbetween Together we produce a core intelligence product, a Brand Intelligence offering, and a Content Strategy solution. To identify the hidden potential embedded within the intelligence that we provide for our clients.