CEOs Playbook: Ultimate guide on how to beat your competition

This 13-minutes you will spend reading this, will probably be the best investment you have made today! Why, because you will learn how to beat your competition, be better than them, and scale your business! 🙂

A few weeks before I will start writing this article, I wanted to make a better relationship with Gerard Compte from FindThatLead. In the first message I wrote to him, in the P.S. section I said:

“Good Luck in slaying your mortal enemies Gerard! ;)”

When he responded to me, from his first sentence I learned a valuable lesson:

“There are no enemies, just a good people called competitors who are helping us to understand our market and customers better. Competition is the best thing you will have in business.”

This is mind-blowing!


Competitive research. Why it’s so important and how to do it.

No matter are you starting a new business, or you already have established one. Competitive research is a must! Everyone has some “mortal enemies” and “desirable customers”. In this article, you will learn:

  • How to do your Competitive research
  • How to monitor your competitors on the Web
  • How to get the desired customers
  • How to beat your competition

Soo, come on my dear Sherlock, let’s make some research! (At least, you can be a real detective for a few hours! 😉 ).

Competitive Research

How to do your competitive research

Carefully planned and executed competitive research may save your business. What also matters, is what to do with that data after.

My mentors and advisors once said:

“If you do not do your homework, you can hit a bottom. Do it and you can build an enduring business.”

Competitive research is a must for your business for several reasons:

  • You will find all their data which you need to start a business
  • You will skip a “trial and error” for a lot of times
  • Based on the data you find, you can monitor them, and find the holes in their strategies, which can be essential for you.

Doing competitive research is not an easy thing to do. It can sometimes be very time-consuming. But, if you plan everything carefully, you can do it in a few hours.

If you already don’t know who your competitors are, try typing 10 – 20 main keywords for your industry in Google.

For the beginning, just wrote on the piece of paper the names of your competitors.

When you have done that, now it’s time for the hell spreadsheets!

Finding names of your competitors isn’t the only thing you should do. But, it’s the beginning.

Here’s the list of data of your competitors you should find out:

  • Founders – It’s very important to know who your competitor decision makers are
  • Social Media Networks URLs – How are they, for the God sake, communicating with their customers? What content are they creating?
  • Distribution channels – How are they finding the new customers?
  • Core Value propositions – What’s the main differences between them and me? What are their Core Value propositions, and how my product/service can be more useful to my customers than theirs?
  • The number of employees, headquarters, stage and the size of the investment –  This helps you to understand how big their resources are, and you can imagine for what are they capable of.
  • Other information (Number of customers, website visitors, etc.)

For this process, you will need about 1 – 3 hours, based on the number of your competitors.

Here’s the list of websites which can be quite useful for you, and it can save you a lot of time:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. AngelList
  3. CrunchBase
  4. SimilarWeb

What also matters in competitive research is organization! We have prepared for you a complete Ultimate Competitor Analysis Spreadsheet! 

Everything you will need, you can find in one place – in one spreadsheet!


Here you can download for free your ULTIMATE COMPETITOR ANALYSIS SPREADSHEET!


Now, when you have done your competitive research, It’s time to see what we can do with that data

Like every founder, you want to be the best on the market. You want to hold the monopoly over some product or service. But, you’re always leading battles with your competitors.

What if I say to you, that you can be, almost all the time, one step ahead of your competition? Don’t you believe me?

Well, yes you can, and I will show you how!

Monitor competitors website changes

“Hell what?”

Yes, you can do that. There are various software’s which allow you to do this.

But, before we dig into every step how you can do that, let’s first explain why it’s so important.

There are a lot of use cases, but, I will mention just a two of them:

    1. Your Competitor can change his homepage call to action button from “Register here” to “Start your free trial now, no credit card required”.
    2. He can also change his meta <title> and <h1> to target a different keyword.

This information is very valuable for you because you can easily find out what’s your competitor strategy.

Competitors App is a competition monitoring tool, which allows you to monitor competitors website changes every single day. The best part of it – it’s all automatic. Everything you will need to do (except to insert your competitor names at the beginning), is to read the data every day. That is not more than 3 minutes per day.

monitor competitors' website changes

After you create your account and insert your competitors, the app will automatically start to inform you about their newest website changes. Also, will monitor them every day, and whenever some new change become visible, you will be informed – both in your app dashboard and in your email inbox (So, sometimes you even don’t need to log in to your account).

Monitor competitors’ Social Media

Monitoring your competitor social media is very important. Reason? That’s the place where we communicate with our customers, share content, and very often – that’s the place where we find the new customers.

If you carefully monitor your competitor social media marketing and strategies, you can be one step ahead of them. You can see what content are they publishing, so you can see and write better, interesting and trending articles.

How are they treating their customers, how are they rewarding them, and what’s their relationship with them.

If you monitor your competitors’ Social Media Pages very well, you can see what posts performed very well, and you can inform your team to work better with previous knowledge.

Monitoring competitors’ Social Media can be very hard and time-consuming. Sometimes, you will need to waste hours and hours on manually monitoring them.

But, it doesn’t need to be so boring and exhausting. Here are some examples of how you can save your time:

  • Obligate someone from your team for daily monitoring and checking your competitors’ social media channels
  • Turn on post notifications
  • Use for tracking your competitors’ social media channels.

Here you can learn more about tracking your competitors’ social media pages with Competitors App

Grab here your free 30-day trial Competitors App account, with no credit card required!

monitor competitors social media

How to recapture your competitor customers?

Once you have found out your biggest competitors data, and while you are monitoring them on every single step on the web, it’s time for you to beat them!

With monitoring, you can find out what your competitors’ strategies are. You can be one step ahead of them.  

The next step is: Interview your competitors’ customers.

Reach to them through your competitor social media pages. You can pick 15 – 20 people, or you can scrape your competitor follower base, and make a bulk email.

Ask them the following questions:

  • What are your biggest pains about [the problem]?
  • Do you have some solution?
  • Are you using [competitor product/service]?
  • What do you like the best about it?
  • What would you change in [competitor product/service]?

(For more details about customer development, I suggest you read “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick)

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can create more personalized content and marketing strategies with solutions to their biggest problems.


Creating a Competitive Edge to Outmaneuver the Competition

Let’s face it, today’s competitive landscape is fierce. Every aspect of a business is getting harder, and the costs associated with keeping ahead of the competition isn’t going down any time soon.

Yet despite the challenges that await you in the digital market, focusing on data-driven and creative ways to carve out a competitive edge can help propel your business to the finish line faster and more efficiently than the rest.

This brief overview will provide you with the broad strokes of how you can go about identifying and capitalizing on this edge.

Analyzing the Competition

In order to achieve a competitive edge, you must first gain a broad and deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

Step one, is in fact, a fact-finding mission to identify the following:

  • Their core service and/or product offeringsTheir USP (unique selling proposition)
  • Their Value proposition
  • Their Mission statement
  • Their marketing channels

Keep in mind that this is a cursory step and not yet an in-depth analysis of the aforementioned. The overall objective at this stage is to identify how your offerings address the needs/wants/concerns of your target market more effectively than those of the competition.

You may find that in some areas you are lacking where they excel. This is ok, and is worth noting when uncovered, as an area of opportunity for further exploration later on.

Uncover Strategies to get a Competitive Edge

For example, if your overall objective is an increase in growth, sales and market share, your focus should be on uncovering the marketing and sales strategies of your competition, and then evaluating which strategies appear to be effective.

Bear in mind that not all the data you need to make a scientific conclusion will be available to you (short of corporate espionage…which we neither recommend nor condone), but through the use of ingenuity and third-party tools and technology such as those available at Competitors App, you can track and uncover your competition’s every public move.

During this stage, one of the best ways to uncover these strategies is to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer or target market. Ask yourself, what would someone looking to purchase these types of products or services do to make an informed purchase decision.

From there you’ll want to research:

  • Google (and possibly other search engines)
  • PPC, Display and social adverts
  • Content marketing and distribution channels
  • Email campaigns, newsletters, etc.
  • Re-targeting pixels
  • And any other marketing channel that may come up

Data & Analysis of your competition

Data and information collected in the aforementioned step can be used to analyze what seems to be effective versus what is not. Perhaps you found that the competition launched a native display campaign for six months, resulting in what appears to be a NET loss. Conversely, you may find that a strong SEO push has increased their rankings and traffic significantly over the last year.


Based on the outcome of your analysis, you should have identified strategic insights into how your efforts, campaigns and other initiatives stack up to the competition. This information can be used to make intelligent, data-driven decisions that can help propel your company ahead of the competition and give your brand the competitive edge it needs to thrive in today’s market.

We hope you found this brief introduction into competitive analysis and gaining a “leg up” on the competition useful. If you would like to learn more about how we can help provide the insight and data you need to get ahead, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Should You Start a New Business if there are many competitors in your market?

Starting a new business from scratch is one of the most independent, exciting pursuits you can undertake. Due to the sea of information and helpful tools available now, it is much easier to set up and run one, and much more fun.

While you may have your idea up and ready, one question may still be bugging you from taking that leap. The competitive business environment may be forcing you to ask yourself:

“Should I do it?”

This is a good question to ask, as all entrepreneurs (especially if you’re doing it for the first time) do come across thoughts like, “All good ideas have been executed already.”

Contrary to intuition, having a certain amount of competition can be helpful – and a competitive business strategy is best for the growth of small businesses. Inside this existential question for your business, you should analyze these different areas:

The Competitive Market

It may be tempting to get to the exciting stuff of setting up a business – but it is always good to conduct your research first.

You may feel that your product is perfect for the market. Nothing like it exists.

Or you may be overthinking competition exists already.

In both these cases, market research is a tool that comes in very handy. It can help you:

(a) Identify your market segment

Your market segment is the ‘segment’ of people from the ‘market’ who will be the ideal customers for your product. Identifying and understanding this group of people will help you optimize your product.

As you understand the problems they face, and how they like to solve them, you can identify where in the process you can make it easier for them.

(b) Understand Market Trends and the Market Picture

By conducting appropriate research, you can identify if there’s a market for your idea. It can help you determine your unique niche and how you can solve problems for that niche.

You can see if the industry you’re in is declining or thriving. It is best to go ahead into further stages of business development if the industry is stable and thriving/ new and on the road to a thriving future.

These two steps will bring you to the essential part of the analysis:

(c) Identify and Study Your Competitors

Your competitors, even if they’re not entirely similar, are your ideas put into a business. Healthy competition can look scary – but it is what makes the market colorful.

If many companies are doing well in your niche, it also means that people ARE looking for what you’re offering.

You can analyze your competitors to identify the trends in your niche, see what works and what doesn’t, and get a clearer picture of how running your business would be.

You can analyze their best practice strategies and content to apply them to your own business. Further, you can also see where they failed/ tests they conduct to save time and save yourself from making those same mistakes.

You can also look into how they nurture their leads, how their sales funnel works and how these could be improved to apply to your business model.

There are various tools available which you can use to analyze your competitors. These can help you track changes in your competitor’s websites, emails, social media campaigns, website tests – and their overall digital marketing strategy.

The deeper you look into your competitor, the more insight you can gain on how to improve your business.

This also has another helpful effect. As you understand what your competition is offering – you can even get what they’re missing – which can help you strengthen your proposition. This will again, make your product unique, and add value.

The Customers/Users

The user is the heart and driving force of any business. Great businesses are built on great ideas, no doubt, but those are ideas that add value for their users.

The users who are in your target segment can provide you a gold mine of information. Here are ways in which they can help various aspects of your business plan.

(a) They’ll help you identify if your product is needed

Sure, you feel like your product could help out a lot of people – but you need to ask your prospective customers if they would be using something like it.

For example, if you build software that sorts company files with a subscription price of 300$ a month – would a business buy it? They could just decide to outsource it pay a human to do it.

This exercise will help you in finding out if the users need your product. It can also help you in setting up a pricing range.

(b) They’ll help you see If your USP works

Your unique selling point (USP) is what sets you apart from other competitors. For determining the USP, it is best to learn about the problems the users face in real life, and the services they use to solve those.

While giving you an idea about your competitors, this will also tell you about the pain points of the user straight from the inside. Further, you can ask the problems they face with the current tools and services they use. It will help you identify where your competitors are missing the mark – and where you can make one.

If people are looking for alternatives to the current services, it is a tremendous opportunity to jump to. You can identify similar problems seen as a pattern among various users and build on that.

This will help you improve you USP further and evolve it into adding more value to the user.

For example – You’re developing customer support software, and many users tell you about not being able to sync their invoices to their email. This is a problem they face on a day to day basis and has not been solved yet.

You add this in your USP – and these users will be glad to shift over to your service.

The best ways of connecting with customers/prospects are usually by conducting interviews/ surveys.

These require significant efforts from you as well the consumer – another useful tool for analyzing the customer is through social media.

Social media is a significant communication channel for companies and their customers – and by tracking your competitor’s social media, you can get an insight here. This is another feature which competitor monitoring tools offer. This can also help you find and use channels where your competitors are not yet connected to their users on, and exploit it to catch up.

Many young companies face the problem of meeting the large “sharks” – the bigger companies which may be dominating their niche, and competitor analysis is how they can get ahead.

So, if you were questioning yourself about whether or not you should go ahead with your business idea – the best way to answer that is to do some research.

Once you find your value proposition, the only thing that stands between you and massive growth is how you promote yourself better than your competitors.

All the best – to more growth and great business ideas!


5 Business Intelligence tool your business should use

In today’s increasingly competitive world, using business intelligence to understand the inner workings of your business in detail is what will propel you above your competition. But choosing the business intelligence tool that will work best for your business can be a long-winded and difficult process. The business intelligence market has boomed in recent years and there’s a great many tools out there that promise to cater to your business’ every need. To help with your decision, we’ve collated a list of business intelligence tools that we believe are really best in class.

Business intelligence: a definition

First things first, business intelligence (BI) is a term used to describe a broad range of different technology, applications, and the collection of business information. Current and historical business information can be collected and stored, usually in a data warehouse or data lake, and then used to inform future business decisions and daily operations. Of course, this can help a business work more efficiently and make more informed decisions.

Because of its value and use to an organisation, a great many business intelligence tools have been developed and marketed. The trick for business owners is to understand which ones work best.

Business intelligence software: our top picks

Sisense: This nifty piece of BI software allows you to collate, analyse and quickly view business data in a user-friendly interface. The Sisense dashboard is incredibly easy to use, with a drag-and-drop function that even the most tech-phobic person can get their head around. All critical business data can be seen almost instantly – very helpful for timely decision making!

Tableau: Sifting through the masses of data produced by businesses every day is an impossible task. Tableau allows people to create clear and stunning data visualizations with little to no prior programming knowledge. Tableau can plug into several different data sources, bringing everything together into one visual place that can then be shared and published.

Domo: Domo offers business leaders the ability to view real-time data on a single dashboard, with multiple graphics and the ability to create personalised models. There’s also trend indicators and sparklines which makes snap decision making much more informed. To help get a second opinion, there’s also the ability to share with others and make PowerPoint style slides from it.

Qlik Sense: If you’re short on time, Qlik Sense will automatically create custom dashboards and reports. It works with businesses of all sizes, from global companies to sole traders. Qlik Sense is also one of the faster business intelligence tools, as it compresses any data inputted to up to 10% of its original size. For on-the-go decision making, Qlik Sense comes in a mobile version as well.

Woopra: Customers should make a key part of all business decision making, and Woopra makes this easy by analysing customer behaviour across different devices and platforms. It creates highly detailed visual customer profiles, which can be customised for several industries, including travel, finance, retail, and media.

Choosing a business intelligence tool

The above business intelligence software is only a small selection of the myriad tools available to businesses. When trying to find the right business intelligence tool for your company, it can be useful to list all of your ‘must-have’ features, all ‘nice-to-have’ features, and features that you’ll never really use. You should also consider how many people in your organisation will need to have access to the tool and their level of technical expertise. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask to try a free demo of a business intelligence tool and see how well it works for your business in real life.

Business intelligence is a must for all modern businesses. But you do have to be smart when choosing the right business intelligence software. If you go wrong, it could be a time-consuming and costly affair that may also put your employees off using a business intelligence tool ever again. So choose wisely.

SEO Tools to find your competitors’ keywords

The key to finding your competitors’ keywords

Keywords, they’re the crux of any good search marketing campaign. There is almost an art and a science to picking the right keywords. One way to really supercharge your keyword strategy, apart from scrolling through recommendations via Google’s Keyword Planner, is to check out your competition. Using your competitors’ keywords for some, ahem, inspiration, is a great way to discover ones that you’ve never used or been recommended before. But where do you start?

If you’re a time-poor marketer or business leader, you might not want to spend hours trawling the Internet for good keywords. But don’t panic, as we’ve come up with a list of some handy tools you can use to discover your competitors’ keywords.

Rank your competitors

First things first, if you’re going to be researching your competitors’ keywords you’re going to have to find yourself some competitors! Check out our handy blog here, on how to identify your competition. After you know who they are, you’re going to have to find the highest ranking competitors who are worth researching.

Alexa is a great tool to determine how much traffic your competitor’s website receives. Likewise, if you have MozBar installed in your Chrome browser you can do this kind of research as your scroll through the Internet.

Once you have a list of competitors you’d like to research, take a look at SEMRush. This tool allows you to identify competitors’ keywords efficiently and you can also search by a specific keyword. If you’ve got your competitor’s URL, you can also just enter this into SEMRush to get a handy list of keyword suggestions. This can also be filtered down by countries if you’d like to get super specific.
Like most of the tools we’ve listed here, SEMRush offers a 7-day free trial for you to get to grips with it.

SpyFu is another popular tool for finding competitors’ keywords. It’s solely dedicated to competitive intelligence research, unlike some of the other tools. When you enter a competitor’s URL you’ll get a list of their organic and paid-for keywords (if relevant). Handily, SpyFu offers a free version of its service, so if you’re just dipping your toes in the water of competitive research, the free version should suffice for you.

We couldn’t talk about keywords without AdWords cropping up somewhere. You might be used to using AdWords Auction Insights for planning a Google ad campaign. However, it has an often overlooked function that can tell you who the top-performing companies in your industry are, and what they are ranking for.

To do this, simply navigate to any active AdWords campaign and select ‘All’ under the ‘Auction Insights’ tab. Hey, presto! A whole bunch of keywords and competitors should pop up!

Go direct to the (HTML) source

Here’s a freebie for you. If you go to your competitor’s website and click on View – Page Source (or Show Page Source in some browsers), or right-click and select Page Source, you’ll see the HTML source code of the website.

Some (or all of it) might look like jibberish to you, but that’s okay. All you need to look for is any words listed after the title tag, meta description tag and (if applicable) the keywords tag. These are the keywords your competitor is using on their website.

Usually, the description tag is the richest source of keywords, but you should also pay particular attention to the title tag as Google gives this priority.

As you can see, there are many free and efficient ways to discover your competitors’ keywords. They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and when it comes to your keyword strategy you should definitely follow the leading websites in your field. Do your keyword research right and it’ll open the door to a whole bunch of new business.

review alternative websites promote startup

Review and alternative websites to promote your startup

Entrepreneurs tend to work on improving their product and not priorities for promoting their website after the launch of their startup. Some just start building the product without even thinking how much effort does it take to attract visitors. “Build it and they will come” … right …

After launching your website, you should look for easy tactics to get some visibility on your website. This is the first article that will tell you where you can easily promote your website … and some results.

2017 Award Great User Experience2017 Award Rising Star

Review & alternative to websites

  • Finances Online – Very good position in Google, badge award if you qualify to give your brand some credibility;
  • CrozDesk – Nice UI, nice team
  • G2Crowd – maybe save this for last, it’s popular and it may require some user reviews to get on top. Approval takes 1-2 weeks;
  • Capterra
  • GetApp
  • AlternativeTo – very popular, also ranks well in Google
  • SaaS Genius – Specific for SaaS startups, a good place to submit your website and easy to get approved.

An easy thing to do if you want to be listed first on the category pages with your competitors: Try to get some of your initial users to give some reviews and like your product on those pages (social accounts are required to prevent abuse).


long tail keywords competition

Use long tail keywords to beat your competition

In the battle for keywords, many businesses end up losing out to bigger companies with larger budgets. But there is a way to beat them at pretty much their own game: long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are longer keyword phrases that are more specific and are often used when an individual is closer to making a purchase. Alternatively, they can also be used in voice search, which is becoming more prominent nowadays thanks to smart home assistants like Amazon Echo.

It can be tricky finding the right combination of words, however, if you get it right, a long tail keyword strategy can really pay off in the long run.

How to use long tail keywords for your competitive advantage

When you use shorter keywords, you enter into a fierce bidding war with many other companies. Winning a shorter keyword can give mixed results and you may not get the ROI you desire. With the right long tail keywords, you might get less web traffic, however, your ROI will proportionally be higher. This is because you’re targeting a very specific niche of customer and they are more likely to be closer to making a purchase.

The cost-per-click for a long tail keyword is lower as well, again positively impacting your ROI. Long tail keywords don’t just work well for paid search marketing, but you can also incorporate them into your organic SEO campaign.

Finding keywords from competitors

This is where the traditional keyword search tools come in useful. Tools like Wordstream and SpyFu can tell you what long tail keywords your competitors are using. You’ll have to identify them amongst the shorter keywords, but you’re basically looking for any phrases that are three words or longer.

So if you own a shoe retail store, some of your competitors’ keywords might be ladies heels, shoes and brogues. However, a long tail keyword like red ladies kitten heel or brown leather brogues might also feature on the list. As you can see, this is super specific to what a customer may be searching for. By the time they search for these items, they’re probably dead set on already buying them.

When you develop a long tail keyword strategy, apart from looking at ones that your competitors are using, it can also be useful to try to discover new ones that they might not.

Firstly, you should begin by taking a look at your business and your unique selling points. Think about your customers, what phrases are they likely to search for when specifically looking for your product? Why should they choose your company over a competitor?

Your long tail keywords should not only describe your products well but also why your business is different. That will help you reach the people who need your services the most, and who are therefore most likely to purchase.

Another way you can discover keywords your competition isn’t using is to use Google’s autocomplete feature. Begin typing a phrase into Google’s search box and see how the search engine finishes it. Returning to our shoe example, you can type in “ladies heeled…” and see what comes up after it. If you add extra letters after each term, you can get different lists of phrases people have previously searched for related to that term.

Another option is to search for a main keyword like “ladies shoes” or one of your identified long tail keywords, and then scroll to the bottom of your search results to see what other phrases Google suggests you search for.

Using long tail keywords on your website

Knowing what long tail keywords to use isn’t very helpful unless you actually incorporate them into your website and other content. The most important thing to bear in mind when you do use long tail keywords is to try to keep the flow of your website copy as natural as possible.

Suddenly putting a random long tail keyword in can be jarring to a reader. You might need to adjust your keyword a little or get creative with your punctuation.

Where you can, make sure you put your long tail keywords in your web page title, headers, and sub-headers. Ideally, you’d want to put your long tail keyword into your first sentence as well.

Remember, it’s better to keep your copy flowing naturally than to force your long tail keyword into sentences where it just doesn’t fit. Don’t sacrifice your content’s quality to try to up your page’s SEO.

Quality over quantity is a good lesson to bear in mind when using long tail keywords. With long tail keywords, it’s not the quantity of people you reach, but the quality – focus on conversions and not the numbers of people the keyword delivers to your website. A mix of your normal keywords and long tail ones should give you the edge you need to get ahead of your competition.

New logo update to help my startup take shape

When I started Competitive.Business from scratch, it helps me to have a visual identity; it makes sure the colors used in the interface are balanced, according to the created brand, it helps insert small visual images that are brand related (like the blue dot or the unique shape that represents the logo).

Now that I am planning to redesign the homepage and prepare for a public launch, I spent more time redesigning the new identity.

new colors competitive business

I know it may not seem vital to focus too much and spend time at this stage on the visual identity, but for me, it helps.

competitive business new logo

I am not a designer, but I have designing skills 😉 (I know Photoshop and Illustrator). I also had some help from two designers.

competitive intelligence for business

Competitive Intelligence for Business

Competitive intelligence (CI) is a term you may have come across before. Like many industry buzzwords, it isn’t immediately apparent what CI is and how it can be useful to your business. But don’t worry, because we’re going to explain the ins, outs, pros, and cons of CI.

What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is a way of collecting actionable information on your business’ competitive environment. In other words, it’s all of the market research and competitor research that you do to determine how lucrative a particular market is, your sales and marketing strategy, and what other businesses you are competing against. It’s a way for you to predict and prepare for particular business challenges and for you to understand what’s happening in your industry.

How is competitive intelligence useful?

Doing a bit of CI is helpful for your business in a great many ways. Your business does not exist in a bubble. There are a whole host of external factors that can affect your business on a daily basis. Competitive intelligence is one way to anticipate those factors. Of course, once you know about something that could impact your business, you can monitor it and develop plans to alleviate its effects if needed.

Competitive Intelligence Software

The ways in which you go about doing CI can vary depending on your resources and business size. Some companies can dedicate an entire team to undertaking CI whilst some smaller businesses and start-ups might just have one person or even the founder going it alone. In any case, there are a whole host of competitive intelligence software now available which can help speed up the process.

Competitive intelligence works by gathering publicly available information on other companies in the industry. That means you won’t need to go rifling through a competitor’s filing cabinet in the dead of night. Everything you need for your CI is out there, in the world, waiting for you to find it. It can include legal information, marketing materials, and company documentation.

Finding it can be the hard part. Of course, you can have a quick Google as a start to your CI activity. However, if you wish to delve deeper then you’re going to have to use some other technology to help you out.

Firstly, you’ll need to identify your competitors. We’ve compiled a handy guide (How to identify who your competitors are) to help you with this. Once you know your competition, then you can begin researching their operations, sales, and marketing.

Depending on how many resources you can dedicate to your CI, you might wish to rank your competitors so you can dedicate your time to finding out the most about the companies which pose the greatest threat. How you do this is largely up to you and your business objectives. However, one way in which you can do it is by looking at their search engine rankings and SEO. This is especially important if you’re a largely online company. Moz offers a free 30-day trial that offers you information on the search metrics of any company that you visit via the MozBar Chrome plugin.

Apart from determining search rankings and SEO, competitive intelligence can also involve you looking at a competitor’s stock marketing performance, marketing materials, patent requests and research papers. What you look at and prioritize again depends on your own business’ needs and objectives.

How to use CI for your business?

All the information you gather shouldn’t then be left to gather dust on an office bookshelf somewhere. It should be reviewed and used often in your own strategic planning. Looking at how your competitors do stuff can be great inspiration for your own efforts – or at least a starting point. Researching a competitor’s keywords, for example, can help you compile a diverse and effective keyword strategy.

CI is a powerful tool when used correctly. It doesn’t take much time to undertake, but by knowing the competitive environment around you, you can better prepare for the future. Even if you just do a little bit of CI, the understanding you’ll obtain from it will serve you for many years to come.G

Best Competitors Guides
Monitor competitor website changes
You can get alerted when your competitors are making changes to their website.
Find competitor keywords
Finding your competitors' keywords is essential for your business. It means that you focus your entire website on targeting high volume, quality keywords.
Track Social Media Pages
Social media competitive analysis is the constant monitoring and analyzing the moves of your competition on social media.
Competitor Email Monitoring
Tracking your competitors’ emails takes some time, but it’s well worth it!