Competitive Intelligence

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Description of Competitive Intelligence. Explanation.

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Definition Competitive Intelligence. Description.


Competitive Intelligence is the selection, collection, interpretation and distribution of strategic information regarding the competitive environment in which a firm operates. It is the analytical process that transforms disaggregated competitor intelligence into relevant, accurate and usable strategic knowledge about competitors, position, performance, capabilities and intentions.


It is very important for companies to have reliable information about the market in which it operates. Such information can allow it to:

  • Analyze the competition
  • Forecast future market developments
  • Adjust to changing market circumstances
  • Etc.

Sources of Competitive Intelligence Information

Typically, such market information is gathered from current and former employees or customers of the competitors, suppliers, shareholder meetings, annual reports, industry associations, journals, magazines, websites, research studies, and from specialized providers (research firms).


Analysis of Competition

To achieve a competitive advantage, by definition you must know what your competitors are currently doing and what they will be doing in the future.

Indications of what are the competitors plans may be obtained in the following ways:

  1. Comparison of objectives of competitor with their currents results. A difference between desired and achieved market share leads to an expected growth strategy.
  2. Application of a portfolio analysis to the competitor. If a competitor uses a portfolio analysis, the company can perform its own analysis and deduce the competitors most logical portfolio decision.
  3. Determining the importance of a product for the competitor.
  4. Studying the competitor's use of the marketing mix over time. For example, if a competitor reduces prices and on the other hand increase its advertising expenses this may indicate that the company is pursuing growth.
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Compare with: Scenario Planning  |  OODA Loop  |  Art of War (Sun Tzu)  |  PEST Analysis  |  SWOT Analysis  |  Strategic Fit  |  Business Intelligence  |  Benchmarking  |  Oligopoly  |  Competitive Pricing  |  Barriers to Entry  |  Market Segmentation  |  Positioning  |  Sustainable Competitive Advantage

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