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, and search for “company name Reddit”
- 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
- See how their headcount has been growing over time on LinkedIn
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!