Why Your Company Needs Competitive Intelligence

No matter what your industry is, you are continually facing new challenges and new competition. The market is constantly changing, which is why you need competitive intelligence (CI) to stay ahead of the pack. What is competitive intelligence, though, and why do you need it to succeed in today’s world?

Why Your Company Needs Competitive Intelligence - Benefits of CI

What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is another term for market intelligence or research into your competitive landscape. Utilizing CI means you’re looking at your competitors as well as their operational, organizational and commercial practices to give you the tools to make informed decisions for your business.

CI makes it easier to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, which improves your business intelligence. CI can also help you anticipate their next moves, analyze their customer base and compare it to your own, as well as stay ahead of new market trends.

What Are the Benefits of Competitive Intelligence?

First, CI removes all of the guesswork from your business. You don’t have to guess about your competitors or what the industry is doing because you’ll have accurate facts on hand. Having up-to-date information at your fingertips means you have everything you require to guide your company through any upcoming changes you’ll need to make to stay ahead of industry trends.

CI also improves your decision-making ROI, helping you to close any gaps you might find in your business. For new product and services, CI helps you improve your time to market, market-entry and market defense — which can secure a successful product launch.

In an ever-changing market, having the ability to predict your competitor’s behaviors can give you that edge and allow you to even beat them to the punch if they’re planning something new that might set them apart.

CI also helps you improve your marketing efforts and can even help you make better business decisions. Having concise, accurate information gives you all the tools you could possibly need to make data-backed choices that will help your company thrive well into the future.

What Does a Timeline of Competitive Intelligence Look Like?

CI starts with aggregation. The investigative campaign targets specific concerns, and then those concerns are compiled to help provide insight. This is where you’ll decide what you’re really concerned about. If you’re looking for industry trends or competitor data, CI will start by collecting as much accurate info as possible. The data collected will be split into two sets — micro and macro insights.

Next is synthesis. You’ll need to sort through the CI data and extract vital pieces of insight that will help you in the next step.

The final step is action. Now that you’ve got the most important pieces of information, you can create a milestone roadmap so you can close any performance gaps and repair any pain points while still growing your business. Having that information can mean the difference between success and failure in today’s incredibly competitive market.

What Companies Will Benefit the Most From Using CI?

The technology industry is constantly changing, sometimes faster than we can keep up. CI can help keep companies abreast of new industry trends, making it easier to stay ahead of the competition.

The healthcare industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, can also benefit from CI. These industries provide services, but they’re also concerned about profit, industry trends and competition. It’s hard to succeed without the information that CI can provide.

Manufacturing, industrial sectors, consumer goods and financial services can all benefit from CI as well because they’re industries that are constantly in flux and are ultra-competitive.

The Importance of Competitive Intelligence

If you run a business in today’s world, even if you don’t work in one of the industries we’ve listed above, then you can likely benefit from CI. Competitive intelligence gives you the tools to make informed decisions, keeping you ahead of the competition and ahead of industry trends.

Contact us today to learn more about how CI could benefit your business.

Understanding Customer Feedback

Tips for interpreting customer feedback

You already know that your customers are at the heart of your business. The smartest strategists understand that an outstanding customer experience leads to loyalty, brand evangelism and new business. But how can you find out what your customers are really thinking — or what they really need? After all, data only goes so far. The key is to ask the right questions. Then, you can adapt your strategy to answer the voice of the customer.

Where to Start

“Customer feedback” is a broad term. Known formally as Voice of Customer, VoC could apply to any area of the business, from an unsatisfactory experience with a website or a call center to a positive one with a product or service. You could gather data from older measures such as sales data, through newer routes such as social listening or use a combination of these — and other — tactics.

An effective approach to gathering customer insights incorporates the following methodologies:

  • Qualitative storytelling backed up by data. Qualitative analysis provides a nuanced picture, especially when supported by quantitative question sets. Your VoC should capture relevant data but also tell a rich, insightful story. Your customers are human beings — and human beings are complex.
  • A fluid approach to data mining. Do you anticipate finding one story but learn that the data won’t validate it? A flexible approach that accommodates a change in direction can help reveal deep learnings.
  • A scientific approach. One data instance does not mean it is a trend. A scientific approach to VoC analysis will track results over time, validating findings and informing a more thoughtful approach.

Why You Need to Analyze Customer Feedback

Customer feedback doesn’t live in a vacuum. It speaks broadly to how others — including your competitors and critics — view your brand. If you aren’t listening to what your customers are telling you, you’re allowing your competitors access to a bigger share of the market. Every action your business takes, from production to messaging to support, influences customer experience.

Long story short, feedback is a gift, and it comes in a variety of forms. Here are questions to ask while analyzing customer feedback:

  • Net Promoter Score. Have you turned your customers into brand evangelists? If not, why not? What is the industry leader doing to succeed, and how can you do it better?
  • Social media and customer reviews. What do your customers say online? Have you incorporated social listening into your VoC analysis?
  • Sales data. Do your sales data trends make sense when compared to your brand metrics? If not, why not?
  • Competitive analysis. What are other businesses doing in your space? Do you make time to review their press releases and employment listings? What direction are they going in, and how can you differentiate your products and services?

Proactive Worldwide can help you mine these rich resources to uncover the message that your customers are sending you.

Contact Proactive Worldwide

Proactive Worldwide’s customer-centric approach to strategic planning and analysis can help you better understand customer feedback. For more information on how stronger market intelligence can drive your business forward, get in touch with us today.

What Is Strategic Planning?

business strategic planning definition

Regardless of the industry where you compete, data-driven insights will help you drive customer loyalty, win new business and gain market share. However, to really understand the competitive landscape, you’ll need competitive intelligence to gain a holistic view of what’s happening in the marketplace. Your strategic plan is your roadmap to sustainable growth. Without one, your competitors will uncover and capitalize on opportunities faster. But with one, you can effectively model scenarios, solve customer pain points and find the angle that will separate your business from the pack.

Proactive Worldwide helps established businesses evaluate the competitive marketplace to uncover hidden opportunities and plan a path forward. Our customer-centric strategic planning services will help you determine how, who and where to compete. With Proactive Worldwide, you can transform and energize your organization sooner — and that means you can look forward to a stronger return on investment later.

Effective Strategic Planning

Proactive Worldwide puts the voice of your customer at the heart of your strategic plan. We believe effective strategic planning requires three key inputs:

  1. Customer needs and wants. Our research can help you validate suspected customer trends and unearth new ones, providing a clear answer to the question, what does your customer need that they can’t currently get?
  2. Competitor strategy. Proactive Worldwide will thoughtfully analyze your competition. What are they doing that’s working — and what isn’t? How can your business capitalize?
  3. Market intelligence. Identify areas of opportunity and right-size your market with Proactive Worldwide. What areas of opportunity exist? Are those opportunities changing?

The Strategic Planning Process and Deliverables

Proactive Worldwide will deliver a detailed report to your business that succinctly summarizes the project scope and its conclusions in a format suitable for presentation to senior management. At a top level, the process incorporates:

  • Qualitative storytelling backed up by data. We’ll deliver the message that the voice of the customer shares, using metrics to back up our findings.
  • Analytic expertise. We don’t just gather data — we unearth findings and analyze them carefully to highlight trends.
  • Small-batch research. Instead of relying on call centers staffed by underqualified employees, Proactive Worldwide employs highly-educated researchers with years of relevant experience.
  • Adaptive fact-finding methodologies. Our approach lets us pivot quickly when necessary, allowing us to adapt our approach based on research outcomes.

Defining Specific Objectives

Proactive Worldwide’s adaptable approach allows us to align our methodologies with your specific objectives. Our customers turn to us for competitive intelligence on:

  • Brand awareness
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive insights
  • “What if” scenarios and concept testing
  • Needs assessment
  • Customer sentiment analysis

Years of working with some of the business world’s most impactful brands tell us that when organizations put the customer’s needs at the center of their strategic plan, they can significantly increase their success rates.

Contact Proactive Worldwide

Proactive Worldwide can give you the strategic intelligence you need to make thoughtful, well-planned decisions. Get in touch with us to discuss how our team can design a strategic plan customized to your specific needs.

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