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Product Marketing Managers: How Much Time Should You Spend on Competitive Intelligence?
As a Product Marketing Manager responsible for competitive intelligence for your team, how much time should you spend on it and how can you find time to get it all done?
As a Product Marketing Manager (PMM), your time is invaluable. You’re the customer-facing product expert. You’re in charge of messaging, positioning, and creating sales collateral. To boot, you’re leading your team to success with your visionary roadmap for the future.
So, how can you efficiently conduct this essential research without losing yourself down a rabbit hole of data sources?
After reading this guide, you’ll walk away knowing more about:
- What competitive intelligence is
- Why Product Marketing Managers are well suited for performing competitive intelligence
- What steps go into competitive intelligence
- How competitive intelligence supports sales enablement and adds value to your team
- How much time you should spend on competitive intelligence each week
- The importance of adopting an ongoing competitive intelligence program
- How to leverage automation and effectively prioritize your time
Competitive intelligence shouldn’t be solely an annual, quarterly, or monthly effort—it’s a crucial ongoing function supporting sales enablement which adds incredible value to your team. But how much time should you spend on it each week?
Let’s dive in.
What is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive intelligence as a function, involves collecting, analyzing, and distributing information on your competition to improve your business strategy.
Product Marketing Managers or Competitive Intelligence Managers usually handle this, but the knowledge gained is useful for everyone in your company, particularly your sales team, who use competitive intelligence to win competitive deals.
Some examples of competitive intelligence insights include:
- Changes in your competitor’s messaging, or unique selling proposition (USP)
- Pricing adjustments, special offers, or discounts
- Changes in packaging or branding design
- New leadership or company news
- Employee and/or customer reviews
Competitive intelligence can also refer to the findings of such research. For instance, "We have competitive intelligence that suggests Company B is developing an innovative product that might disrupt the market."
Having these insights on your Battlecards is crucial to differentiate your product and to better handle key customer objections.
In fact, an internal study by Kompyte showed that adopting a Battlecard program increased win rates by up to 30%, indicating how vital they are to your sales team’s success.
Why Should the Product Marketing Manager Conduct Competitive Intelligence?
Product Marketing Managers are uniquely positioned to gather and analyze competitive intelligence due to their close involvement with both the product and sales teams. Larger teams may employ a Product Marketing Manager whose sole responsibility is competitive intelligence.
As a Product Marketing Manager, you understand your product’s features, benefits, and target audience, allowing you to assess how it compares to competitors.
By taking ownership of competitive intelligence, you can ensure a holistic view of the market landscape and can align product positioning, messaging, and marketing strategies accordingly.
And since you are likely also tasked with creating sales enablement assets such as Battlecards and sales decks, maintaining a close connection with competitor updates is crucial.
Why is Competitive Intelligence Important?Competitive intelligence plays a vital role in shaping effective product marketing strategies. Here’s how it adds value:
- Informed Decision-Making: By staying informed about the competitive landscape, Product Marketing Managers can make data-driven decisions, ensuring their product’s positioning and messaging remains relevant and compelling
- Identifying Market Opportunities: Competitive intelligence helps identify untapped market opportunities, emerging trends, and gaps in your competitor’s offerings. This allows you to position your product strategically and differentiate it from the competition.
- Mitigating Risks: Through deep analysis of your competitors, Product Marketing Managers can better anticipate potential threats and proactively address them, reducing the risk of being caught off guard
- Effective Collaboration: Sharing competitive intelligence findings with cross-functional teams fosters collaboration and enables alignment across sales, marketing, and product teams. It strengthens internal communication and ensures everyone is working toward a common goal.
- Enhancing Value Proposition: By understanding competitor strengths and weaknesses, Product Marketing Managers can finetune their product’s value proposition, highlighting its unique features and benefits that resonate with customers
How does Competitive Intelligence Support Sales Enablement?When done right, competitive intelligence and sales enablement go hand in hand. Think of it this way—a sales team making decisions without accurate competitive data is like shooting arrows in the dark.
Here’s how competitive intelligence supports the sales team:
- Win-Loss Analysis: Analyzing wins and losses against competitors helps identify patterns, understand customer decision-making factors, and refine sales strategies for future opportunities for your product
- Sales Training: Providing ongoing competitive intelligence to the sales team empowers them with up-to-date information and equips them to engage in effective conversations with prospects
- Competitive Battlecards: By including competitive intelligence on sales Battlecards, your sales team can quickly reference key differentiators, value propositions, and competitive insights to better position the product and overcome objections
- Objection-Handling: Armed with comprehensive knowledge of competitors, Product Marketing Managers can equip the sales team with effective objection-handling techniques and messaging strategies
How to Conduct Competitive IntelligenceHow do you efficiently gather and analyze data from a number of sources to gain insights into your competitive landscape? Follow these seven steps to ensure you provide a comprehensive competitive intelligence report:
- Monitor Competitors: Keep a watchful eye on competitors’ product updates, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and customer feedback
- Conduct Market Research: Gather information on market trends, industry developments, and customer preferences to understand the broader market context
- Analyze Competitor Positioning: Evaluate how competitors position their products, what unique value propositions they offer, and their pricing strategies
- Perform SWOT Analysis: Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats posed by your competitors
- Consider Customer Feedback: Gather, analyze, and summarize customer feedback to identify pain points, satisfaction levels, and areas where competitors excel
- Collaborate with Sales: Regularly communicate with the sales team to gather their insights and understand customer objections or preferences
- Report Actionable Insights: Summarize and present competitive intelligence findings to key stakeholders, highlighting actionable insights for product positioning and strategy
And with all this to be done for each competitor on your radar, it’s easy to see how much time can be spent—not to mention the fact that competitive intelligence is an ongoing process. Here’s why.
Why Make Competitive Intelligence an Ongoing Process?
You may go through a lengthy competitive intelligence workflow and feel confident about the data you've gathered. But competitive intelligence is a continuous and evolving process rather than a one-time project.
Here are five reasons why:
- Market Dynamics: The business landscape is constantly evolving, with new players entering the market, customer preferences changing, and technology advancements emerging. Ongoing competitive intelligence ensures that you stay ahead of these shifts.
- Competitive Landscape: Competitors adapt, launch new products, and refine their strategies constantly. Regular competitive intelligence updates provide insights into their changing tactics, allowing you to respond effectively
- Strategic Planning: Competitive intelligence acts as a foundation for strategic planning, enabling you to identify long-term opportunities, track progress, and make informed decisions about product roadmaps and marketing campaigns
- Early Warning System: By consistently monitoring competitors, you can identify early warning signs of potential threats or disruptions, allowing you to proactively address them
- Continuous Improvement: Regular analysis of customer feedback and market trends helps you uncover areas for improvement, iterate on your product, and deliver increased value to customers
Even if you have only a small handful of competitors, this could end up taking a huge amount of time—several hours per week for each of them at least—to stay on top of trends.
How Much Time Should Product Marketing Managers Spend on Competitive Intelligence?
So, the main question is, how much time should you allocate to competitive intelligence?
Well, it depends.
On what? The competitive intensity within your niche, the frequency with which your competitors alter their strategies, and the importance you place on keeping your Battlecards up-to-date.
Engaging in competitive intelligence can certainly be a time-consuming endeavor. It involves thorough research, meticulous analysis, and effective communication of findings to your teams. In fact, it can consume a significant part of your 40-hour work week.
Alternatively, using a competitive intelligence platform like Kompyte might require around 2-4 hours per week, allowing a balance between time spent on other tasks and the crucial need to update your Battlecards and all the teams who rely on your competitive intelligence program.
This approach ensures you stay well-informed while efficiently managing your workload—and keeping your whole team aligned.
How to Automate Your Competitive Intelligence Marketing Program
If spending 2-4 hours per week on competitive intelligence sounds better than spending 15-20 hours per week on competitive intelligence, you’ll want to automate your program.
Rather than spending countless hours each week tracking and documenting your competitors’ every move, Kompyte harnesses the power of AI to deliver all the crucial updates you need to stay informed—and ultimately—win more sales.
For example, you’ll get real-time insights into your competitors’:
- New negative reviews
- Changes in leadership
- Press and news
And much, much more.
The insights you need are then added to Battlecards and Reports automatically, meaning you can spend more time analyzing and acting on insights than on collecting, curating, and distributing them!
We love the ability to benchmark and track our competitor's marketing efforts in Kompyte. We get a clear picture of what our key competitors are doing in real-time, We evaluated the three best tools in this bracket, and Kompyte was clearly ahead. Onboarding has been well managed, well prepared and has set us up for success. - Jesse L., mid-market, verified G2 reviewer
Harness Competitive Intelligence for Your Team’s Future
Competitive intelligence is a critical function for Product Marketing Managers. By taking ownership of competitive intelligence, you can gather valuable insights, make informed decisions, and ensure your product stands out in a crowded market.
Streamlining the competitive intelligence process and leveraging appropriate tools and strategies allows you to prioritize customer-facing relationships while staying ahead of the competition. With a well-executed competitive intelligence strategy, you can enhance sales enablement, drive strategic decision-making, and ultimately contribute to the success of your product and company.
Streamline and simplify your competitive intel journey with Kompyte.