In the highly-competitive modern global business environment, competitive intelligence has an important strategic role for an enterprise to reduce market, financial and other business-related risks. In addition, by providing comprehensive intelligence on your market and competitors, it supports day-to-day decision-making across functions to forecasting scenarios for the future, playing an essential role in how your enterprise operates and ultimately grows. In this article, let us understand what enterprise competitive intelligence is, how it works, and how it can help your organization grow by increasing efficiency and productivity.
What is enterprise competitive intelligence?
Essentially, enterprise competitive intelligence is different from regular competitive intelligence (CI) largely in terms of scale. Large enterprises are usually spread across geographies, and have numerous products or services that they offer to their customers or clients, who are similarly diverse. If you consider it, enterprises are in fact a number of companies working together as one whole organization. An organization of this scale has to have something that offers all of the stakeholders a single source of truth i.e. information that is centralized and readily accessible. Which is why most enterprises, in addition to having a robust competitive intelligence process, also have a custom competitive intelligence tool, also known as an enterprise intelligence software. Enterprise competitive intelligence software is fully customizable, in order to cater to your organization’s specific intelligence requirements.
How does enterprise competitive intelligence work?
Pretty much the same way regular competitive intelligence works. Relevant external information on the market and competitors is collected, analyzed and distributed across the organization to various stakeholders, who use this intelligence to make better strategies and decisions in their specific functions. This is how enterprise competitive intelligence works:
- Information is aggregated from multiple external sources such as news, company websites, regulators, social media, press releases, job portals, research reports, etc.
- Irrelevant information is filtered out and actionable intelligence is extracted from the collected information.
- Intelligence is delivered throughout the organization to different stakeholders.
However, as mentioned before, enterprises are a little bit different than organizations of other sizes, and as a result, a competitive intelligence process lacking an enterprise intelligence software can be quite impractical.
Enterprise competitive intelligence tools filter noise from unstructured web data, transforming it into actionable competitive market intelligence. This helps businesses track their competitors, industry segments, customers, and their entire competitive landscape with unmatched precision. Such volumes of data cannot be collected and analyzed manually without an enterprise intelligence software that automates collection and facilitates analysis and distribution of intelligence. This is why enterprises require such software and they’re considered essential in present times. They are one of the key tools necessary for enterprise risk management, decision support and sustained growth.
Now let us delve further into how an enterprise competitive intelligence software can help your organization.
How can your organization benefit from enterprise competitive intelligence?
An enterprise competitive intelligence platform such as Contify can help organizations in the following ways:
- Aligns key decision-makers and stakeholders by creating a single source of truth
Enterprises are exposed to boatloads of information everyday. Different stakeholders in the organization have different versions of the truth due to their exposure to divergent information, which makes it difficult to move strategically in one direction as an organization. An enterprise competitive intelligence platform acts as a centralized repository for intelligence that is accessible to all stakeholders, creating a single source of truth for them. The platform can also integrate paid resources such as analyst reports, as well as other information collected by the stakeholders themselves.
- Empowers stakeholders through personalized intelligence delivery in various formats
An enterprise intelligence software can be used to deliver personalized intelligence to different functions such as leadership, strategy, marketing, sales, product, etc., in the form of their preferred format, e.g. reports, daily alerts, newsletters, and dashboards. An enterprise has a large number of stakeholders, all of whom require different types and levels of information. A tool that can deliver information in a personalized manner, thus, is a very handy thing to have.
- Provides an asymmetric intelligence advantage to the organization
An enterprise competitive intelligence software allows organizations to automate repetitive, and time-consuming tasks like collection and organization of relevant information, which makes more time for analysis and actual decision-making. After sorting and filtering through all the noise, such CI solutions can compile key insights from each source into dashboards for easy data visualization. This provides a bird’s-eye-view of competitors’ movements, helps identify trends and industry shifts, provides intel on suppliers & key accounts, and helps gain deeper insights at organizational, product, sales, and marketing levels. This allows these different business teams to function effectively in combating competitor movements, and responding to market trends and shifts. All this is done by sifting through information from multiple public sources, and then piecing together insights to form intelligence.
You can read about how a leading telecom company leverages an enterprise intelligence software to drive their digital transformation initiative here.
What should you look for in an ideal enterprise competitive intelligence software?
An ideal enterprise competitive intelligence software or platform should have the following features:
- Fully-customizable platform
To give your analysts a snapshot of your markets, competitors, or industry verticals, which can be personalized with your brand colors and logo to forge a visual connection with your users to your brand personality and identity.
- Personalized news feed
This provides curated, noise-free updates from online news, company websites, social media, blogs, regulatory portals, and niche sources. It also consists of a custom taxonomy built on your organization’s specific needs and preferences, that categorizes and tags intelligence based on how your business is organized. What’s even better is that you can upload internal content such as field intelligence, reports and presentations to share across your organization.
- Intelligence reports
These are curated competitive intelligence reports with added analysis and insights for senior leadership and strategy teams. They help in aligning teams with decision-makers and key stakeholders by producing valuable, actionable, and timely intelligence. An added benefit is that the platform allows you to analyze the consumption of intelligence by leveraging detailed user analytics organization-wide.
- Intuitive dashboards
These dashboards can help organizations identify trends, visualize key differentiators and anticipate competitors’ strategic directions by getting a bird’s eye view of your market landscape.
You can create widgets around the insights you searched and analyze them using various presets. You can even download these widgets to use the data visualizations in your internal reports. It is a great tool to transform your data into actionable insights through visualization.
- Collaboration tools
These tools enable your customer-facing teams and key stakeholders to actively communicate and engage with peers to unravel insights. You can comment on any piece of intelligence, and share them across the organization. They even allow you to add your internal insights to integrate both internal/external intelligence to create a single source of true competitive intelligence. This fosters frictionless participation across teams, departments, and location.
- Competitor website tracking
An essential feature for any competitive intelligence software, this allows organizations to track their competitor’s websites to gain early insight into any tactical moves they might make, or may be planning, such as new products, promotions, and landing pages. This allows the organization to gain efficiency and improve conversions by learning from their competitors and improving on strategies that are working or not working for them. Analyzing how competitor’s web pages have evolved through current and previous screenshots over a continuous timeline often throws out insights, which is possible using this feature.
All of these features mentioned above can be found in Contify, which is a one stop market and competitive intelligence platform for businesses of all sizes.
The success of your organization’s strategy at the product, market, business unit or enterprise level depends on how and when you act or react to a changing market. But, strategy is meaningless without an insightful assessment of competitive market dynamics, and their implications for your business. Finding an enterprise competitive intelligence software with the right capabilities thus, becomes essential for large enterprises in order to be able to collect, analyze and distribute intelligence efficiently and effectively within their organization. Hopefully, this article was able to help you get a better understanding of enterprise competitive intelligence, and the benefits you can expect from an enterprise intelligence software.