Undoubtedly, competitive intelligence is a critical component of every successful organization. However, keeping track of the competitive landscape and ensuring a company’s success with proper insights is not a small feat. Competitive intelligence is a complex field where stakeholders need to collect and manage a massive amount of data while dealing with a lack of clarity. Recognizing and reacting to common challenges is critical to competitive intelligence services. These challenges range from collecting accurate data to analyzing and responding to the discovered insights.
Here are the top five challenges competitive intelligence experts commonly face and how they tackle them.
- Data Reliability and Accuracy
Many CI experts find it challenging to collect accurate and correct information to share with their clients and analyze. Their primary challenge is to gather accurate data from numerous sources consistently. They require this data to keep up with the market activities and handle the collected data efficiently.
To overcome this challenge, the CI experts must track each competitor’s digital footmarks both off and on their website. They must leverage technology to automate the process of capturing, organizing and prioritizing updates with a focus on impactful changes.
- Data Timeliness
Apart from collecting accurate information, competitive intelligence professionals also struggle with accessing it at the right time. One major challenge is to collect data when it is fresh. Sometimes, by the time they receive the data, it becomes outdated, and the figures have already changed. Having real-time data is crucial to communicating insights on time.
While manual data collection is slow and unreliable, automating the process is the best way to overcome this challenge. CI deliverables such as competitor profiles, customized alerts, and battle cards effectively capture competitors’ movements with the latest technology and integrate real-time intelligence into competitive intelligence services. Finally, it’s crucial to centralize CI data so that the analysts can combine it from automated sources and intelligence in the field.
- Data Distribution
While distributing shares, the CI stakeholders must get the required intelligence to make their investment decisions. At such times, they face the challenge of distributing information appropriately, encouraging engagement, and providing visibility across the team. Specifically, sharing competitive insights and developing battle cards is a crucial challenge associated with intelligence distribution.
CI experts can overcome this challenge by connecting their data resources to real-time intelligence, streamlining the process of updating the resources. Besides that, tailoring the deliverables ensures resource consumption from the audience. Finally, early and frequent data sharing effectively increase revenue compared to ad-hoc sharing of intelligence.
- Internal Shares
While CI analysts struggle to collect the required data, they also find getting shares from their team members challenging. Getting shares from the entire organization and accepting it internally is a frequent challenge that most CI professionals face. Since competitive intelligence operates in a restricted environment, they often see full inclusion as a challenge.
One way out is to set goals in the CI program with the help of incorporated stakeholders. That way, intelligence experts get some internal shares from the beginning and align their CI program to each department’s top priorities. Incentivizing the team and building the brand are effective ways to streamline CI efforts for a company.
- Taking the Appropriate Action
Competitive intelligence services do not end with collecting and distributing data. Its ultimate aim is to take the appropriate action required for the business. Gaining actionable insights and using the collected data to make an impact is a top challenge. Simply put, CI experts find it challenging to turn their research results into actionable drivers.
To tackle this challenge, the experts must focus on what the data means for the business, why it is essential, is a response required, and what can be done now. Does the data indicate that a company’s messaging and processes need change? Does a competitor’s product investment trend require re-evaluating the client’s product roadmap? Finally, ensure that the data reaches the right audience at the right time so the client can act upon the findings.
Whether a company is starting a CI initiative or already has an established practice, these challenges will likely resonate with them. Hire expert competitive intelligence services and use the techniques mentioned above to overcome these challenges and get the desired results.