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Use Competitive Intelligence to Outperform Your Competitors

May 9, 2023

Problem overview

Whether due to the rise of e-commerce, the disruptions of the pandemic, or other factors specific to a given industry, the old patterns of consumer behavior no longer hold true in the current marketplace. According to a research by Accenture, 63% of companies are currently experiencing disruption, and 44% are highly susceptible to it. While consumers on the whole are loyal by nature, that holds true only to a point.

Understanding competitor motivations and behaviors has become essential as it helps corporations shape their product development, pricing, brand positioning and much more. The key is to identify challenges, advantages and white spaces to build a strategy that creates competitive differentiation in the consumer’s eyes. But it is impossible to differentiate yourself from competitors without visibility into their activities.

Corporations need to see over the horizon and base their business strategies on data-backed predictions on the market and competition, rather than following siloed processes.

“ As per a paper commissioned by Emerald Insights, In 10 years, 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be replaced by firms we haven’t yet heard of because they can’t compete.”

The challenge

To gain real-time visibility into competitor movements and activities and derive actionable insights out of them.

Recent events about the problem

The rate of business competition is increasing and disruption is happening at a faster pace than ever before. With decreasing barriers to entry in virtually every industry, the greatest strategic risk that corporations are bound to face over the coming years will be existing and new unknown competitors that might offer similar, if not identical, products and services. Research shows that unless a business has more than 50% market share (which is highly unlikely) then the majority of their potential customers are buying from their competition.

To successfully survive and compete in this ecosystem, corporations need to create an improved product or service, keep up current market trends, deliver more effective marketing and provide a better buying experience. Better than what their competitors are delivering

For a corporation to truly gain a competitive edge, all its teams need access to data and intelligence that’ll impact them so they can adjust and respond and improve their strategic division.

Research shows that unless a business has more than 50% market share (which is highly unlikely) then the majority of their potential customers are buying from their competition.

Why is this a serious problem

Consumers are not loyal to a brand

  • According to Cheetah Digital’s survey, 67% of consumers who frequently buy from the same company yet say they’re not necessarily loyal to that company.
  • According to Nielson, globally, 42% of consumers, on an average, are open to switching brands and would love to try new products.
  • A McKinsey study revealed that 75% of US consumers tried different stores, websites, or brands during the COVID-19 crisis and 60% of them expect to integrate the new brands and stores in their post-COVID-19 lives as well.

Insightful data is available, but scattered

  • A report from Statista showed that 33% of those polled from the United States indicated that they’ve used social media to complain about a brand or its customer service. The global average for the same is 31%.
  • 44% of Americans surveyed said they have posted on a brand’s social media sites.
  • In a study of more than 35 million tweets, Mention found that only 9% of customer service messages are directed at brands on social media. 30% of customer service messages do not mention the brand’s name at all.

Losing a customer is costly

  • A study uncovered that businesses risk losing as many as 22% of customers when just one negative article is found by users considering buying their product. 4 or more of these can result in a 70% loss of potential customers.
  • Research shows that it costs 5 to 25 times as much to acquire a new customer as to retain an existing one.
  • A research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) shows that increasing customer retention rates by only 5%, increases profits by 25% to 95%

The cost of inaction

Loss of customers

It’s not that consumers are necessarily becoming less loyal, it is just so much easier for them to get introduced to newer brands and so much easier for them to try something new. So brands really need to figure out a way to develop a differentiation through the medium of their products, their pricing, their branding, marketing, etc. whilst maintaining an optimal customer experience. According to Cheetah Digital’s survey, 40% of consumers claim they would remain loyal to brands that provided extra value other than product/price (a 67% YoY increase). Among this sea of emerging brands catering to similar sectors, innovation and excellent quality is what makes the customer choose a particular brand.

Competitive disadvantage

Corporations need to increasingly focus on data-driven decisions as the competitive landscape is growing within each industry. According to a survey on 1200 CI practitioners by Crayon, 59% of practitioners say their markets have gotten much more competitive—an 18% YoY increase.

With the right competitive intelligence brands can achieve the ability to capture, analyze and act on intelligence related to their business’s complete competitive landscape. This intelligence can encompass anything and everything with respect to their competitive market, products, ricing, supply chain, etc. According to data that was recently published by Acierto, 93% of consumers compare prices online before purchasing a product or service to ensure that they’re getting the best price on the market.

In this landscape of endless competition, brands need to continuously innovate and present customers with more choices in price, quality and convenience, or succumb to their competitors.

In this landscape of endless competition, brands need to continuously innovate and present customers with more choices in price, quality and convenience, or succumb to their competitors.

Unable to fulfil consumer preferences and demands.

Brands need to stay ahead of the curve by engaging in social listening to pick up on what consumers want and meet their demands head-on. Consumer behavior has fundamentally changed over the past two years. If corporations want to stay relevant with their products and services they need to adapt and change with them. With the speed of social media and the news cycle, consumers are constantly bombarded with new information. These days, brands must have an ongoing familiarity with the factors at play that are influencing the purchasing decisions of their consumer base. According to a Harris Interactive research, 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

According to the latest Sprout Social Index, 90% of marketers agree that social data enables them to stay ahead of their competitors.

As per Crayon's survey on 1200 CI practicing firms, 82% of their marketing team heads agreed that CI is either important or extremely critical for their success.

Corporations can adopt an advanced web tracking and CI solution that allows them to capture their competitors’ movements in real-time. This can enable them to tap into numerous data types across billions of public and 3rd party sources, compiled automatically, and always maintain a real-time picture of their competitors’ offerings by keeping track of feature additions and removals, changes to their websites, release notes, product launches and almost everything in between.

With continuous monitoring and web scraping, corporations can understand what real users have to say about their competitors’ products, the precise product feature that are being highlighted during their marketing campaign, get the user’s perspective on the same and use all of those insights to automatically identify trends and competitor direction including their pricing, promotional and a/b testing strategies with the help of machine learning.

Capture intelligence

Automatically capture every business or strategic changes the competitors make.

Quickly categorize

Narrow down further with the help of specific tags or labels to drill down into the acquired competitive data.

Analyze and derive actionable insights

Identify trends and patterns to predict the competitor’s next move with the help of ML

Competitive Intelligence to Outperform Your Competitors

Case study

Before: The challenge

A leading provider of data-driven marketing and software solutions for automotive manufacturers, supports over 5,000 dealerships and every major OEM in their country. They had at least 25 companies directly competing for the same market share and space. Their executive team saw the need to formalize their competitive and market intelligence program to stay ahead of the trends and drive their strategies. Prior, they relied on an ad hoc and a mis-managed insight gathering approach.

They noted 3 priorities to the start-up : (1) To drive a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of their competitive; (2) To efficiently gather, analyze and deliver insights; (3) To provide the right insights to the right teams, at the right time.


By deploying an automated competitive intelligence platform

  • They comprehensively tracked and collected hundreds of data points daily from the 25 competitive companies in the client’s space.
  • Their AI engine filtered, analyzed and organized the data into strategically relevant and actionable insights.
  • The gathered insights were delivered to marketing, sales, PD and the executive teams via automated dashboards, customized reports, alerts and notifications within their CRM system.

After: The result

  • Built over 36 battlecards, customized by competitor, products, and by vertical.
  • Captured 2,300 competitor website changes.
  • 300 annual hours of corporate analysts were saved.