Post updated on October 14, 2020
Competitive intelligence has long been used by sales and marketing teams to build the ‘big picture’ of competitors’ offerings, customer preferences and the most promising differentiators for sales and marketing activities.
Competitive marketing intelligence takes this process a step further. On top of building out the big picture for where your product or service stands in the market, competitive marketing intelligence uses more in-depth insights to drill down into the specifics that drive marketing interactions and sales conversations, including:
There are two essential types of business intelligence: competitive marketing intelligence and competitive intelligence. Both types of intelligence provide key insights that can help brands secure brand loyalty and outperform their competitors.
It’s common for sales and marketing teams to blend the two research methods, especially when conducting preliminary research. Doing so can muddy the clarity and effectiveness of the research. Understanding the difference between the two will help you acquire more intelligence from both.
Competitive marketing intelligence gives your company the competitive edge by gaining a clearer picture of the larger market.
Competitive intelligence primarily looks at competitor strategies by way of behavior, spending, expansion, partnerships, software, and priorities.
These two intelligence mining strategies naturally overlap when researching your competitors’ marketing efforts and customer relationships.
We’ve previously covered the advantages of using competitive intelligence to get a leg up on your competition, but there are key methods for implementing competitive marketing intelligence to get a competitive edge, too.
The most effective way to capture technographic data and other deep customer and competitor insights? Use effective competitive marketing intelligence tools. And, sometimes, it takes just good old-fashioned conversation.
It’s near impossible to persuade a competitor to talk about their strengths and weaknesses, but asking them about their competitors — that’s a gold mine. Employees of your competitors often bounce between companies, making them ideal sources of valuable information.
Create opportunities to discuss Competitor A with staff from Competitor B, and you can get a glimpse of the market and the strategies your competitors are using to take charge of it.
This information will also help you understand the strategies your target audience is exposed to, so you can perform further research on whether or not it’s working.
While market research does not always equate with competitive marketing intelligence, you can certainly get many of the insights you need.
Use a tool like Crayon to capture data, analyze signals and get specific insights on messaging, customers and reviews. Alternatively, you can use a market research agency like Mintel for customer engagement metrics and original research on competitors.
Social listening isn’t just a marketing activity. With the right tool, you can turn social mentions and conversations into competitive marketing intelligence. Buffer has a fantastic guide to using social media for competitive insights.
This also includes your own customers and prospects. Every single conversation your sales and marketing teams have with customers can turn into competitive marketing intelligence. For demos and discovery calls, track objections and competitor mentions. In reviews (both yours and your competitors), dig into differentiators.
Every single conversation: demos and discovery calls, reviews (both yours and your competitors), social listening… it’s all an advantage
Intricately tracks data from over 7 million companies worldwide, analyzing how they’re using and spending on cloud technologies.
With detailed technographic and spend data, Intricately gives cloud sales and marketing teams an unfair advantage in competitive marketing intelligence.
When researching the market, companies often focus on firmographic data. This includes things like:
All of these are helpful for building out the big picture of your place in the market — including the foundations for things like Ideal Customer Profile and Total Addressable Market.
But, at least on their own, these factors do not make up competitive marketing intelligence.
Sales teams and marketers must analyze the role technology plays in the consumer’s daily life and apply that information to the marketing strategy.
To get a real competitive edge in your marketing intelligence, your sales and marketing teams can focus on technographic data: which technologies are being used, how they’re being used and when they were implemented.
Better yet, you can go even further with spend intelligence data: how much your target accounts are spending in particular technology categories and even specific products.
Technographic data allows you to view the consumers’ technology purchases and the tools they depend on. In turn, leveraging these data makes for more effective marketing strategies and more intelligent sales conversations.
The short answer? Yes.
Technographic data intelligence coupled with Intricately’s spend intelligence data gives companies the competitive advantage over companies that have not yet updated their market analysis processes.
It’s new, and it will give you an edge. Here are a few ways to leverage this level of intelligence immediately:
Using competitive marketing intelligence tools like Intricately in addition to traditional marketing intelligence research secures your position in a pool of sales and marketing teams looking deeper to target only the consumers with the highest possibility of conversion. Now that’s progress.