The ways in which companies gather information on their competitors are numerous. Some test out the competitor’s products and services to see how they work or track their movement on a day to day basis or monitor their job listings to glean insight about upcoming initiatives.
In the technology industry go to great lengths to size up their competition according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Uber employs a competitive intelligence team to study its rivals. That team bought anonymized data — including information on Lyft receipts gleaned from customer inboxes — from analytics firm Slice Intelligence to no surprise to business and market intelligence experts because “everyone does it.” Using Competitive intelligence and specifically Competitor Intelligence to gain and sustain a competitive advantage is not new. It is about figuring out what the competition is doing: What are they saying to shareholders and the press? What’s in their publicly available financial documents? What products have they launched? Having a Department of Competitive Intelligence is often a luxury of something the value of which is not realised with a company. Most companies dedicating “one person buried somewhere in the marketing department who every couple of weeks talks to the CEO or produces a report, but other companies will have bigger groups doing more explicit mining of the information that’s out there.” Uber has a whole department dedicated to Competitive Intelligence. Read more here www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-competitive-intelligence-20170427-htmlstory.html or direct your CI questions to Marie-Luce Kühn at IBIS, a South African company specialising in Competitive Intelligence since 1997.