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What Are the Different Types of Competitive Intelligence Strategy?

K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

Competitive intelligence strategy can be approached in several ways in order to meet the needs of an organization. It can be focused on specific areas or mediums so that the company can learn how to improve performance in that sector. Other kinds of strategy can encompass large groups, such as companies in the industry or focus on how a company manages several elements. In all of these areas, the goal is to determine the thinking behind a competitor’s actions and to anticipate how it might react to various changes in the industry and overall market.

One popular type of competitive intelligence strategy is to examine the online marketing methods of competitors. This can include tracking any changes made to the website and advertising of the competitor. It involves tracking the response to each change, including SEO rankings and sales.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Competitive intelligence strategy can also include the examination of a competitor’s marketing campaign. By tracking the response to new product launches, advertising, and reactions to external events, a company can get an idea of how competitors plan. Studying the reaction to similar campaigns launched by the same competitor will often reveal a strategic pattern of activity.

Another useful competitive intelligence strategy is to track the overall management of the company as it relates to external elements. It can be helpful to know how a company manages a downturn in the economy, scandals, or other bad press and any changes in the industry that may make a product obsolete or less desirable. By learning how competitors change their companies to manage these changes, an organization can develop a strategy that enables it to compete.

Competitive intelligence strategy may also encompass large groups of competitors so that an organization can determine patterns of activity in the industry. This may include methods of marketing during slow and busy periods. It may also encompass the way the companies manage events that are significant in the industry or overall economy or how each company appears to be positioning itself in the market.

By learning to anticipate how competitors will react in a wide array of situations, an organization can strategically plan its own actions. Having a plan in place for tracking competitors ensures that information is being collected and analyzed regularly and systematically. By switching strategies between large and small areas of focus, it is possible to develop an understanding of both the big picture and the details that create it.

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