8 steps to monitor your competitors
- Competitive Intelligence
When we consider monitoring a competitor for the first time, it could be difficult to decide where to start, what to monitor or what criteria to use. In this post we will show you the 8 steps you need to follow for proper monitoring of your competitors:
1. Web page
It seems obvious, but one of the places where we can find most information about a competitor is the official website. We should monitor the news section or the blog where they update the content, track the products they offer, features, prices (if present), etc. Moreover, it is a good place to detect if that competitor is present in social networks and have direct links to such accounts.
2. Social networks
Nowadays, organizations have a huge need to be present in social networks, as it is one of the main ways to "make noise" and attract potential customers. Also, if the organization wants to position itself as an expert in their industry, they must generate enough content to demonstrate their knowledge and worth.
3. Patents (Espacenet, WIPO, Google Patents…)
Patents are a very reliable information source about technological developments being implemented by competitors. In addition to specific developments, they offer a glimpse of the direction it is taking technologically.
4. European projects, public financing programs (CORDIS…)
In case that the organization to monitor participates in European projects or other public funding programs, you can find information about subsidies that have been granted, project themes and institutions with which they collaborate.
5. Identify “key” people of the organization and seek talks, conferences, publications…
Knowing who the key people of our competitor are, both at technological and commercial level, can lead to detect information that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. For example, it may happen that a patent does not include the name of the competitor, but if we know the name of technological leaders in our competitor, we can detect interesting patents. Another example is to detect congresses, conferences, lectures or publications in which these people are involved.
6. Knowing where and to whom they sell
There are tools on the market (usually not free) that, monitoring the movements on ports and duty offices, are able to detect the movements of competitors in different countries. So, you can know in which countries and to which organizations your competitors sell their products.
7. Monitor their suppliers
If we know what the main suppliers of a competitor are, we can anticipate basing on their movements. Its situation, sales, movements, etc. can help us envision how their relationship with our competitor evolves.
8. Get fiscal information
There are multiple tools that offer information about taxation and other aspects of business, based on data from business registers. Thus, we can know the incomes of a competitor, how many people they have on staff or the evolution of these data.