I have only known a few Canadian companies that set-up a Competitive Intelligence (CI) department with a full time Competitive Intelligence manager or analyst. Instead, what many companies do is formalize key elements of their competitive intelligence process.
They take a hands on approach where team members are assigned to carry out specific tasks under the watchful eye of a market research or business intelligence manager
So What Are These Steps?
- Identify those issues that are currently making the competitive intelligence process less effective.
- Get agreement from team members on:
- The role of competitive intelligence process.
- Topics to monitor.
- Key intelligence questions that need to be answered.
- What essential sources to tap and with what frequency.
- Assign team members to monitor these sources.
- Set up competitive intelligence guidelines to adhere to.
- Teach team members competitive intelligence interviewing skills, how to use data analysis tools and report templates.
- Upgrade information distribution from emails to one of the company’s communication platforms.
- Put in measurements to assess the effectiveness of competitive intelligence (e.g. what % of competitive intelligence is being acted on).
- Develop a bi-monthly competitive intelligence tracking report.
- Create a greater exchange of competitor information between the Canadian and Global office.
- Set up a process to acknowledge efforts by regular competitive intelligence contributors as well as those who go out of their way to generate competitive intelligence.
The simpler your process the more successful your competitive intelligence efforts will be.
Why? Because it will be easier to follow, carried out quicker and acted on more often.