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Competitive intelligence is just that – competitive (meaning you against them) and intelligent (what do you know?). The idea is to outsmart the competition and beat them at their own game. But how?

There are 4 steps to good competitive intelligence:

  1. Research
  2. Analysis
  3. Rallying
  4. Employment

You can remember these steps with a simple acronym – RARE.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the 4 RARE steps involved in competitive intelligence:

  • Research – Just as the name implies. In this stage you are collecting information about your competition. But before you do that you need to have a good idea as to what you’re going to do with the information. Responding to market needs, however, cannot be done without a good grasp of what your competition is up to.
  • Analysis – In this stage of the process you are attempting to answer the question, “What does it mean?” So your competition is up to X; great, what does that mean for you? For your customer? For the customer you’d like to win?
  • Rallying – It’s time to get your team on the same page and start putting together your game plan. How will you respond to the information you gather in the research phase now that you know what that information means to you?
  • Employment – So you’ve planned your actions, now it’s time to get them to working for you. The employment stage is the part of the process where you put your action plan to work. It’s time to test your competitive mettle and your intelligence.

Competitive intelligence is all about outmaneuvering the competition. Beat them to the playing field then knock their socks off. It starts with research and ends with work. Follow the RARE steps to competitive intelligence and be prepared to win.

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