Competitive intelligence (CI) is the process of gathering and analyzing publicly available information about rivals.
Further discussion on competitive intelligence:
Companies are constantly involved in analyzing their competitive environment; they analyze their competitors so that they can support or grow their market share.
Most of the competitive intelligent information gathered by companies on their competition is readily and easily found. Some of these sources include:
- the internet
- news media and press releases
- available, public documents such as patent grants and building permits
- by talking to employees of competitors
- and for some hardcore firms, they may engage in what’s known as “dumpster diving”, removing trash from the competitors trash receptacles to gain the competitive intelligence
From the intelligence gathered by firms, they can begin to develop marketing strategies that help them gain market share over their competitors.
Example of competitive intelligence:
Banks use public information on their competitors to track home loan rates and other financial information and adjust their rates to stay competitive.
As another example, The US automakers took advantage of the large Toyota recall between 2009 and 2011. US automakers saw this news as an opportunity to advertise American made cars over their problematic foreign-made counterparts.
In both examples, public information leads companies to make competitive decisions to either keep or gain market share.
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