What Is Competitive Intelligence And Why Is It Necessary For Product Managers?

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If you want to become a market leader in your space, competitive intelligence is an essential factor you need to consider.

If you want to beat the best, you need to first learn from the best. The leading companies in any market space always seem like they know something that others don’t.

They deploy effective marketing strategies and keep their product and service innovations one step ahead of the rest of the competition.

How do these companies maintain their leadership position? What is the competitive advantage that these companies bring?

You need to have an answer to these questions if you want to understand your competition. It will allow you to refine your own business processes to achieve future growth.

This guide is meant for product managers who want to understand what competitive intelligence is, why it is necessary, and what kind of benefits you can expect from it.

What Is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence refers to gathering data and information relating to the business processes and operations of a business’s competition.

This formal research process helps companies gain an understanding of what other companies in their sector or industry are doing and how they are doing it.

The aim of this research is to improve the company’s own core business operations in an effort to grow and thrive in the sector.

 

Through competitive intelligence, you gain insight into pricing, product, marketing, and other aspects of a competitor’s business.

Overall, competitive intelligence is an essential element in a product manager resume that will enable applicants to level up their performance.

Why Is Competitive Intelligence Necessary?

Competitive intelligence is one of the best ways for a business to gain a competitive advantage. Even though a competitive advantage is highly desirable, it can be quite difficult to get one and even tougher to maintain one.

This is where competitive intelligence comes in. Three essential components of competitive intelligence must be deployed to gain such a competitive advantage:

  • First, you need to decide which business areas you want to collect data on and gain insights into. Then you develop a research plan to gather such data.
  • This data can give you both micro and macro insights into the way the competitors in your business operations.
  • Second, you should analyze the data that you have gathered. What are the ways in which other companies are different from you, and how different are their results?
  • Lastly, prepare a document relating to how your own business can improve based on the data and insights that you have collected. Then formulate a plan to implement the changes.

What Are The Benefits Of Competitive Intelligence?

There are six primary ways in which competitive intelligence can help you as a product manager for your business.

 

Gain Competitive Insights

Competitive intelligence methods and implementation help you understand your business better through the market’s eyes.

It provides valuable and insightful data sets that allow you to qualitatively and quantitatively measure your business.

You get a better understanding of what is working for your company and what isn’t. Additionally, you get the same understanding of other companies in your sector.

Understand Industry Trends

Competitive intelligence is a tool for you to understand the emerging trends and disruptors in your industry. It allows you to make predictions about the direction in which your industry will go.

It gives a much-needed competitive edge by pivoting your business in the right direction and at the right time. For most businesses, the knowledge of key trends in their sector is akin to finding gold.

Make Better Decisions

Once you have the relevant data, it becomes much easier for you to make better business decisions. Rather than relying on your own intuition and limited experience, you can use hard facts to drive decisions.

The right decision-making capacity is the most invaluable component of any product manager, and using data gained from competitive intelligence is the best way to back up your decisions.

Organizations and businesses can spend less time on deliberations and indecisions concerning the direction in which they want to take the business.

They can change the allocation of their investments to suit the emerging trends in the market and better cater to their customer base.

Essentially, you will cut down on the wasteful decisions and double down on effective ones.

Improve Speed Of Product Launch

The speed-to-market of your company’s products can make or break their success. In a highly competitive ecosystem, the first mover has a significant advantage.

It is every business’s goal to improve its speed-to-market without compromising the quality of the product. However, it is much easier said than done.

The process from ideation of a product to the launch of public sales is a long one, and there can be several obstacles along the way, depending on the product.

But competitive intelligence provides a way for product managers to improve their speed-to-market and ensure that their product remains competitive.

Predict The Behavior Of Competitors

Competitive intelligence is a way for businesses to measure their own performance and is often a part of an organization’s list of product manager interview questions.

It provides a benchmark against which businesses can understand how well they are doing against the rest of the market.

Once you have the benchmark and your competitors’ history of performance, you can predict their behavior.

This can give you a valuable competitive advantage so that you can shift your own business operations to perform better.

Be Confident In Your Decisions

The primary aim of competitive intelligence is to guide your own business decisions.

It provides the data based on which you can make your decision. It can save invaluable time and money by ensuring that the decisions that you take are best possible without the benefit of hindsight.

In turn, you can be more confident in your decisions and justify them to others since they are backed by data rather than simply intuition and a subjective sense of the market.

Final Thoughts

Competitive intelligence is a tool that is invaluable if used correctly. In-depth research and relevant data can help take your company to the next level.

It helps with business decisions and provides a way for a company to gain a competitive advantage.

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