Everyone wants to know more about their competition. Unfortunately, few competitors are forthcoming with their internal data; even public companies report only the minimum amount of data required for legal compliance. As a result, it can be hard to discern what your competition is doing.
Sadly, this means many companies take an informal approach to competitive intelligence, by relying on anecdotes and qualitative feedback instead of true data. Doing so is dangerous, as you falsely believe that you understand the competition. When in reality, you are only seeing a very biased slice of what is really happening. How then, do you gather competitive data and use it to make informed strategic decisions?
While it might not be possible to (legally) discern the inner workings of your competition, you can measure and analyze their external impacts on the market. As they are your competition, you are selling similar products to similar customers in similar markets which naturally produces useful public data points that you can use.
We’ll cover a data-centric approach to understanding your competition this week.
Tomorrow we’ll get started at the top, with how to map out the universe of your competition.
Quote of the Day: “Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose.” ― Baltasar Gracián