Competitive Intelligence Mistakes to Avoid

Competitive Intelligence Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1 – Assume Market Research Terminology

Example – “Who is on your a customer panel?”

Lesson – Competitive Intelligence uses a cross section of buyers, associations, key opinion leaders, former employees, customers, competitors, and any other respondent group who can help. There is no predetermined panel.


Mistake #2 – Base Sample Size on a Formula

Example – “What will the margin of error be for this sample size?”

Lesson – Most respondents are B2B, not consumer. What counts is not the number of interviews completed but the credibility of the respondent (i.e. title, knowledge level, insights).


Mistake #3 – Assign Probabilities

Example – “What is the probability (e.g. 50%, 75%, 90%)  that the competitor will launch in the next 6 months?”

Lesson – Much can happen in 6 months to assign a probability. Use, “unlikely” “somewhat likely or “very likely” instead.


Mistake #4 – Advise The Competitor Respondent Who the Study’s Sponsor Is

Example – “Legal requests we advise the competitor that we are doing the study”

Lesson – If you advise the competitor the name of the sponsor, they will either stone wall, misinform or counter attack. In these situations avoid interviewing the competitor. Tap other sources.


Mistake #5 – Participate in Competitive Intelligence

Example – “Can we sit in on when the interviews are being conducted?”

Lesson – As it is, interviewers are under a lot of pressure trying to reach a credible person to talk to. Knowing that someone is listening in, will make them feel anxious and sound awkward.


Mistake #6 – Overload The Survey

Example – “Please add these 8 questions to the survey.”

Lesson – Adding too many questions will not allow enough time for the interviewer to dig in.