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Like a lot of things, competitive research comes in different sizes and shapes. Here are 5 types of competitive research you might consider when thinking of ways to spy on your competition.

  1. Financial Research – One of the most basic types of competitive intelligence is looking at your competition’s financial information. Do they look like they are headed for financial disaster? Are they profitable? This type of research is easier for public companies.
  2. Market Studies – Market studies tell you how you compare against your competition in terms of market share and influence.
  3. SEO Research – This includes keyword research, but it also entails an analysis of search engine rankings and other key metrics for companies doing business online.
  4. Technology Research – What technology does your competition employ in the course of doing business? Is it proprietary or do they use off-the-shelf technology? In some industries, technology can be an influential factor in who is leading the pack.
  5. Customer Satisfaction – Are your competition’s customers happy with the service they are receiving? If not, why not? This can be a very important part of your competitive research. Too bad many companies forget about it.

These are not the only forms of competitive research available to you, but they are each important in their own way. One thing is clear, if you want to lead in your industry, competitive research is a necessity.

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