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Competitive Intelligence is a fairly recent term, but the idea has actually been around for a long time. High school football teams, for instance, used to spend the week before the big game watching choppy footage from previous games in an attempt to figure out what the opposing team’s strategies were going to be. The coach and the quarterback would go over different plays and analyze as much as they could so a winning strategy would be in place.

Familiarity Breeds Competitive Strategies

The more times football teams play each other, the easier it is to figure out ways to win. In business, you aren’t playing for points on a scoreboard, but you are playing to win something. Businesses compete for customers, sales, search engine rankings, and a host of other contests that depend on the industry. So how do you decide what you need to know?

The more familiar you are with your industry and competitors, the bigger your perspective is on how your business fits into the picture. Analyzing the top competitors in your field will reveal things to emulate, but it will also reveal things that you can differ in so you stand out in contrast.

For instance, keywords are a huge part of search engine optimization, but you don’t have to copy the same keywords that everybody else in the industry uses. A move from the short-tail keywords to longer phrases that are specific to your business just might be what pushes your ranking past the other guys. But you need to know what they are focusing on so you can do something different.

As Sun Tzu famously said, “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Competitive intelligence is an essential business tool. Learn more about it at http://www.reciprocalconsulting.com/competitive-intelligence.php#2

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