Challenge what you think you know

What you think you know could be wrong

What do you think you know?

Your competitive landscape changes all the time. Take time out to understand what you think you know is still true. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are your clients, prospects and suppliers the same?
  • What do you think of the market and the key players within it?
  • Also, what is your opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of new entrants?
  • Your thoughts on the new service competitor X has just introduced?
  • Why is your service unique? How are you perceived in the market?
  • Which competitors have disappeared?
  • How have the market and your clients changed?
  • and here are some more key questions

 

Back to What is Competitive Intelligence?

Examples

Customer, Market and Distribution

 

  • Who are our competitor’s key suppliers?
  • Who are their biggest customers?
  • What brands are in their portfolio?
  • Also, what publications do they read?
  • And their preferred advertising route they prefer an agency to pursue?
  • What is the target’s social media footprint?
  • Who are their key customers?
  • What is X International Customer Base?
  • What is the competitors real Financial Position? (focus on critical triggers)
  • Who manufactures our competitor’s range of products?
  • Perhaps, who owns the IP?
  • What is the current size of the worldwide ABC market?
  • What is our route to the UK retail market?
  • Who are the leading legal firms in the regulation market?
  • Who are the Clients of the leading law firms?
  • What is the perception of the law firm in the market?
  • Who are the key competitors in this market?
  • What are their strengths, weaknesses and how do they sell their services?
  • Are competitors planning to introduce any radical new approaches to in store selling?
  • How do they differentiate themselves and their offerings from us and other competitors?
  • Any changes in competitors plans, activities or relationships with our firms key customers?
  • What are their supplier agreements?
  • What are their exclusive marketing agreements?
  • And their joint e-commerce initiatives that could be of particular interest?
  • How aggressive are they terms of product development and marketing?
  • Who are the key competitor in the new market / geographical area?
  • Within Aerospace OEMs and supporting companies, which competitors do they use? What is the best route to market?
  • Which competitors are used in the Oil and Gas industries and what are their routes to market?
  • What threats are we doing to encounter in the market over the next 5 years
  • Where do they compete? In what segment and for which customers?
  • How does this conflict, if at all, with our own company’s ambitions?

Products and Technology

 

  • What are their key product features?
  • Which channel partners do they engage with?
  • What are the key technical areas where X are focusing their research & development?
  • What new products are they developing?
  • Do you know their intentions or plans to launch or extend brands/ products?
  • Do they have new packaging and delivery systems?
  • What developments are underway in terms of product, production and packaging technologies?
  • What is the expected product launch date?

Counter Intelligence

 

  • Firstly, what are our competitors trying to discover about us? And why?
  • How are they trying to conduct Competitive Intelligence against us?
  • What can we do, and what are we doing, to reduce their chances of getting it?
  • Also, what legitimate denial and deception tactics might we employ to safeguard our proprietary information?

What are they planning?

 

  • What does your competitor do? – Not as simple and straightforward question as it seems.
  • Do their actions match their words?
  • Where do they compete, which customers and niches?
  • How are they going fight in the future?
  • Are their strategic objectives achievable and will they clash with yours?
  • What options do we have to compete in this changing world?
  • How will you differentiate against them? Can you isolate vulnerabilities to exploit?

Decisions

 

  • What is their buying system for the MOD and what is the best route to market?
  • Who is backing them and what is their real financial state?
  • What is their pricing strategy?
  • What is their real financial performance?
  • And are their any implications for our company if we move into that market?
  • What is the planned filing procedure in Europe for regulatory approval?
  • Also, what is the dosage of the drug?
  • Is the company aiming for a premium price?
  • What about their marketing strategies?
  • Which companies should we acquire to develop market share in that area?
  • Should we move into that market?
  • How do our competitors plan to compete for the future?
  • What is their vision, their strategic intent?
  • How committed are they to achieving their declared Strategic objectives?
  • How and where might their objectives conflict with ours?
  • What is the range of options open to us for dealing with unfolding new realities?
  • Does their performance and activities match the mission? If not why not?
  • What vulnerabilities can we exploit? Where do we not want to compete with them?

Key Player

 

  • Who are the key players in the marketing team and C-Suite?
  • What are the competitors approach to capturing physician’s loyalty?
  • What are the competitors’ culture and style?
  • Who do they collaborate with(research labs, universities etc)?
  • Who are the risk takers?
  • Which sales people bring in the most business?
  • What are the management personality profiles?
  • How do they perceive us? Our strategies and tactics?

Warning

 

  • What are the current and future threats including disruptive changes in the industry, in government and in technology?
  • And which companies should we acquire that could improve their most important technology platforms or market share position?
  • Should we divest or cancel product lines?
  • Finally, which companies should we forge alliances or joint ventures with which are likely to give them a unique advantage in?

Competency

 

  • How quickly can they bring a new product/service to market?
  • How are they generating capital for new ventures?
  • Are they exploiting their research and development?
  • What expertise do they possess in a particular process or technology?
  • Do they have an efficient order processing?
  • Do they have a sophisticated inventory management?
  • How do they motivate and train a remote sales force?
  • And, how do they motivate and train their workers?
  • How strong is their supplier management?
  • How good are they at distribution?