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Competitive Intelligence Reports

Instructor: Sean Kennedy

Sean has 8 years experience as a supervisor and has an MBA with a concentration in marketing.

Competitive intelligence reports help a company compare itself to competitors. In this lesson, we will discuss how to determine competitors, how to ask important questions, how to get information, and what format to use.

Determine Who Makes The List

Do you ever wonder how a company gathers information on its competitors? A competitive intelligence report helps gather important information on competitors. When writing a competitive intelligence report, you must first determine which competitors will make the list and are the most important to focus on.

It will be comprised mostly of direct competitors, but there should also be some indirect competitors that are top companies in the same industry or follow the same business model as you do. A direct competitor is a company operating in the same market and with the same products. For instance, Walmart's direct competitor would be Target. An indirect competitor is a competitor that does not offer the same product but could operate in the same market.

It is essential to analyze the correct competition on your competitive intelligence report to make sure you are comparing companies that offer similar products with similar prices as you. Once you decide who your competitors are, you should try and determine what you want to know about them.

Ask Questions

You want to ask questions to determine exactly what you want the report to entail. It will be helpful to sit down with other members of your team and decide what exactly you expect the end result of this report to accomplish. You want to compare yourself to competitors and determine what they are doing that could help your company reach specific goals. For instance, if you want to increase brand awareness you might ask the question, ''What marketing outlets are my competitors using, and how much are they spending?''

You want to ask the questions that will help you learn more about your competitors and will also help you improve the way you are handling business.

Determine How You Will Get Information

There are different methods you can use to gain information for your competitive intelligence report. You can simply browse different stores and see what competitors are charging for their products. You could also browse the companies' websites to help gain more information on their pricing, sales, locations, and other essential information you may need.

Market research allows a company to obtain information about companies that operate in their market. A company can do their own market research or hire an outside company to perform market research for them. You can use surveys in the store or online to gain information from customers about your products and business operation. Utilizing multiple different methods, such as customer surveys, phone interviews, and product testing, are all efficient ways to gain the information needed to include in a competitive intelligence report.

What Format To Use

The format you use for your competitive intelligence report is totally up to you. It all depends on what you want to include. If you want to include a list of prices or expenditures on marketing, you may want to use a graph to compare all your competitors. You can go as in depth with the information as you want.

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