August 2020: Starting your planning early gives you time to leverage in scenario planning to build more effective strategies.
July 2020: Vet your primary sources carefully to avoid ethical violations.
June 2020: Use your Win/Loss process to learn about emerging industry trends.
May 2020: Embrace information that contradicts what you think you know.
April 2020: In times of uncertainty consider a virtual scenario planning exercise to define your options.
March 2020: If your trade show is cancelled and you can’t attend, consider virtual coverage through a third party.
February 2020: Don’t go to trade shows as a tourist, make a plan.
January 2020: Update your data search strings and competitor key words to make sure they are current.
November 2019: As a CI professional get to know employees who used to work for competitors.
October 2019: When looking at competitor facilities be sure the check with local zoning boards planning, commissions, and tax assessors to learn about the facilities.
September 2019: Effective competitive intelligence directly supports organizational decision making. Avoid the trap of getting lost in the important but tiny details and make sure your insights are presented in formats that resonate, are memorable, and tie into the business case.
July 2019: Before attending your next trade show create a plan that identifies key topics, competitors, and schedules time for your team. Click here to read more about leveraging your next trade show experience.
June 2019: When engaging in War Games have clear objectives that go beyond a better understanding of the competitor’s potential actions. To read more about War Games Click Here
April 2019: Effective CI units have access to leadership and produce recommendations for change.
March 2019: A market intelligence platform combined with the expertise of a research analyst is one of the most efficient ways to capture M&CI insights.
January 2019: Phone a friend and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Chances are, one of your co-analysts, employees, bosses, someone you met at a conference, or even a client, will have encountered your CI situation before. They may have that perfect example or connection, or another solution to save you time and money.
December 2018: Work/life balance is important; our final tip of 2018 is to spend next week with your family and friends.
November 2018: M&A activity and layoffs present valuable competitive intelligence opportunities; these events should be monitored and acted on quickly when they occur.
October 2018: Win/Loss can be an effective tool for validating the rumors that your sellers hear in the field.
September 2018: Win/Loss interviews should identify hints about new product features & functions. This can provide an early warning about R&D and launch dates.
August 2018: A CI unit that only answers questions may be sufficient, but to be exceptional, the CI unit must also ask questions.
July 2018: Effective CI units are 2x more likely to report to the C-Suite or Strategy than the average CI unit.
June 2018: The most effective CI units attend 2-5 trade shows per year. Make sure that your CI unit leverages trade show intelligence.
May 2018: Develop project plans and research agendas in collaboration with end-users to have the greatest impact.
April 2018: Make sure that every CI recommendation has an implementation plan with clear goals and milestones for completion.
March 2018: The most effective CI units across all industries look at 20-40 Win/Loss deals per year.
February 2018: Invest in at least one competitor simulation or scenario planning session per year to help inform your CI priorities and overall strategy.
January 2018: Finalize conference planners and team assignments 2-3 weeks before trade shows to maximize the value of these events.
December 2017: Always think of subsequent questions to ask during a primary interview. Even if you get the answer, the client will want more details.
November 2017: Be brief, specific, and clear. CI professionals should have robust data, but be able to present concise findings. Executives need answers versus too many words.
October 2017: The most effective Win/Loss studies incorporate both quantitative and qualitative data across the key decision factors.
September 2017: Never minimize the potential of an emerging competitor. A threat that seems small today might significantly impact your business down the road.