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Your people may know their marketplace and their customers, but all that invaluable information could go to waste if you don't collect it and collate it effectively.

Octopus looks at how Competitive Intelligence could be really useful to you.

  • Does your company possess too much information on your market and competitors, but not enough time to determine what it all means?
  • Do you want to invest in new markets or regions, but are unsure about the competitive environment?
  • Are there new organisations entering or merging in your market or region, and you know very little about them?
  • Do you struggle to compete with your rival's moves, sometimes being surprised by their actions, and do you find they often outperform you?
  • When you lose out on a piece of business, do you understand why or are you relying on what your sale people tell you, or assuming it's 'who you know'?

If you can relate to some of the above, then competitive intelligence (CI) could benefit you. 

Smaller companies may think that CI is out of their league, but it does not have to come through expensive or sophisticated process, using the latest software. 

Small companies can collect and use intelligence just as well as larger organisations. 

As a CI adviser to companies like yours, we know that some companies look at their competitors are committed to Competitive Intelligence. 

But that is not enough. 

You should be interested, and have your competitiveness as a strategic priority. 

After all, it is highly likely that your rivals are utilising some sort of intelligence activity ultimately against you.

Basic process

The basic process for a competitive intelligence-gathering exercise is: 

  • Secure buy-in by the senior team; 
  • Create and encourage awareness of competitiveness throughout your company; 
  • Develop a focused definition of the key questions you need answered; 
  • Collect secondary information (print / web) and primary information (people); 
  • Analyse the information to generate findings, isolate patterns and create scenarios;
  • Communicate the intelligence to a relevant audience;
  • Review actions, source credibility and receive feedback.

Please feel free to download this booklet.