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The Top 4 Competitive Intelligence Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Get the maximum value from your competitive intelligence by recognizing and planning for the most common pitfalls competitive analysts experience in their career.



With business environments continually evolving, competitive intelligence (CI) can serve as a fantastic opportunity to stay up to date on market trends and inform your strategy. Despite this potential, CI can lack effectiveness if insights are not shared with the appropriate teams or used to your advantage. When used correctly, however, CI can automate the otherwise time consuming manual research, which can make the difference between being left behind or surpassing your competitors.

To help you compete intelligently, we’ve outlined 4 of the common challenges marketing teams face with collecting and analyzing competitive intelligence and how to avoid them.


Pitfall #1: Missing competitive intelligence (CI) automation

With today’s highly competitive industries and saturated markets, organizations must incorporate some level of CI. Including CI into your organizations routine will allow your teams to anticipate and respond to competitors moves faster. Insights could result in adding product capabilities your competitors lack, adjusting your PPC or SEO strategy to capitalize on gaps or low risk, high reward activities – each of these resulting in long-term business benefits.

However, listening and tracking competitors digital footprint can be a full-time job. Often, companies hire interns or full-time staff to take on the burden of competitive analysis. They spend their days sifting through websites, blogs, social channels, or news publications. Spreadsheets start collecting, and before they know it, the team is inundated with information and staring down a competitors campaign without any insights on how to react.

The good news is that there are tools that can automate this process. By investing in a CI solution, you can spend more time analyzing and acting on the intel rather than searching for it.


Pitfall #2: Forgetting to share targeted insights

The competitive analysis and sharing process is outdated.

If sales and marketing teams lack timely relevant insights, stakeholders can be caught off guard by industry changes or product updates. Thus, resulting in lost deals or missed product opportunities.

Ensuring you have a streamlined approach to delivering targeted insights and content is essential. Enable real-time alerts and integrate with everyday tools – Email, Slack, MS Teams, Trello, and Salesforce – to make sharing easier.

Example Actions:

  • Share insights related to products, promotions, features, and roadmaps with the product marketing team.
  • Inform content strategists of engaging topic ideas to build out editorial calendars, and help improve content quality and build editorial calendars.
  • Forward the copy of high performing ads and newly discovered keywords to the search marketing team.
    Communicate new features, pricing updates, differentiators, and update battle cards for sales reps.

Interested in centralizing and sharing your competitive intel? Read how EagleView uses Kompyte to share competitor insights with their sales reps.


Pitfall #3: Failing to act on intel

Competitive intelligence alone has no value if you don’t act on it. It all comes down to analyzing and converting relevant insights into actions to gain a business advantage.

What’s the point of gathering and analyzing competitor information, if you’re not going to use it to your advantage? Like a sports team, each team prepares for the game by watching game film, scouting, and implementing changes in their routines to achieve a better outcome.

Avoid falling to the collecting and analyzing cycle by incorporating best practices for informing your product and marketing strategy using competitive intelligence.


Pitfall #4: Lacking clear KPIs

Getting value from CI is a business imperative. If you are investing in a CI strategy, you should also be effectively measuring the ROI of your competitive initiatives with clear KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs are critical in monitoring performance and progress towards your goals. These measurable results provide visibility as to whether you are meeting the business objectives or need to adjust your strategy.

Start by understanding what questions you want to answer and then align them with KPIsBelow is a list of questions to help identify quantitative KPIs:

  • How many hours per month do you feel your team is performing research online/offline?
  • How do you make sure that your sellers are operating from the most recent competitive intel?
  • Where do you store intel? Is it currently saved to personal computers or drive folders?
  • Do you currently have a process for on-boarding new sellers? Does it include a competitive landscape, positioning, and competitive sales training? How long does onboarding typically take?
  • Do your sellers know how to identify competitive sales situations?
  • What is your overall win/loss rate?

We are at a fantastic turning point in the CI industry — competitive intelligence is available, and there are tools to automate the gathering of these insights. As Marketers, it is our responsibility to ensure that we share and use the intel well to get the maximum value.


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