Assigning a Numerical Probability

Example: You calculate there is only a 20% chance of a leading overseas competitor entering your market, and then base your marketing plan on this estimate. Your assumption turns out wrong. There is little budget left to offset this threat.

Giving into Group Think

Example:  9/10 respondents you speak to expect your competitor to launch within the next 4 months. The 10th (a rep) says it will be delayed for a year. You assume the majority are correct and initiate a counter plan (e.g. hiring more reps, updating sales messaging). However, that one rep is correct. Your increased spending is for naught.

Pursuing CI as A Market Research Study

Example: You dismiss anecdotal information about your competitors because the sample is too small. You don’t accept surveys about your competitor because not all questions have been answered.  You look for levels of statistical significance instead of patterns and critical insights

Getting Blind Sided by a Non Traditional Competitor  

Example: The patent on your block buster product will expire next year. You investigate the likelihood of well known Canadian generic companies. An overseas generic company launches 6 months sooner than the generic companies you’re tracking.

Not Cluing to a Feint

Example: a competitor marketing manager gives you a ton of information.  A product manager at the same company is equally generous with information.  You take their responses as gospel. Big mistake – they deliberately misinformed you.