Wouldn’t it be nice if you could always be on top of what your competition is up to without making this your full-time job?
There are many online tools available in 2018 that can help you achieve exactly that.
For the purposes of this post, I will omit all the context about competitive intelligence — what it is, why it’s important, how to do it systematically and how to make it actionable. Instead, I will simply list useful tools and apps and provide brief descriptions.
Let’s dive right in!
Listen to Their Customers
- B2B software companies: Capterra and G2Crowd reviews
- E-commerce companies: Amazon reviews and Google Shopping reviews
- Mobile apps: reviews on iTunes and on Google Play marketplaces
- Reviews on social media platforms: read comments on ProductHunt, search Twitter for the responses to the company, look at comments on their Facebook page
- Other categories: try searching directly for “company name reviews” or “product category reviews”
Listen to Their Employees
- Do people enjoy working there or are they leaving in droves — Glassdoor.com
Review Their Funding and Investors
See Whom They Are Hiring And Where
Automatically Receive News About Your Competitors
Stay on Top of Company Announcements
- Subscribe to their email newsletter(s)
- Subscribe to their blogs and press releases
- Watch, read or listen to interviews with their CEOs or key executives.
- If your competitors are public, review their S-10, 10-Q or 10-K reports on sec.gov. Insights to expect: financial metrics, market intelligence, future plans, etc.
- “Mystery shopping”. Sign up for product trials or product demos to learn more about their products. Visit their stores and talk to their salespeople.
- Do your own qualitative research. Not only talk to your customers but to customers of competing products too — so that you could learn about their strengths and weaknesses.
- Review their traffic — Similarweb
- Review company profiles — Owler
- Understand their content strategy — BuzzSumo
- Review their SEO rankings and PPC strategy — SpyFu
- Get notified when their website is updated — Visualping
Consider Purchasing Research Reports
Browse reports published by these companies:
- McKinsey & Company
- Boston Consulting Group
- Bain & Company
- Gartner, Inc., especially their Magic Quadrant reports
- Forrester, especially their Wave reports
Obvious But Sometimes Overlooked
- Corporate website and blog.
- Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Leverage Your Colleagues
- Create a slack channel for competitive intelligence. Post big news and encourage all customer-facing teams to do the same, so nothing important goes unnoticed.
Let me know if I left anything out!