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The importance of Competitive Intelligence in marketing of products & services

In order to be competitive and remain competitive in a particular marketplace, your business must constantly be aware of its competitors’ practices, products, and services.  Doing so will enable your business to create an effective marketing strategy that will drive customers away from your competitors.

Competitive intelligence is the practice of formulating effective marketing and business plans based upon the perceived needs of the customer and strengths of a business, and/or on the perceived weaknesses in a competitor’s products or services. In situations involving businesses without large marketing budgets, competitive intelligence can help your business compete against larger, wealthier businesses. In situations involving businesses with large marketing budgets, competitive intelligence can help your business dominate the marketplace.
Competitive Intelligence helps businesses in establishing some marketing strategies that focus on the weaknesses of the competition and provide the customers with a “better” alternative, which alternative is your business. Unlike other marketing campaigns that build customers through the strength or your business, focusing on the weakness of a competitor creates disdain and contempt for your competitor, with the goal of causing customers to try your products and services, not necessarily because your business is stronger or better, but because the customers are ready to move away from your competitor.

Competitive intelligence will enable your business to determine which marketing plan would be most effective with your customers at the least cost. If you can extract this information from the customers, your marketing efforts will be far more effective. Competitive intelligence can drive effective marketing because it enables a business to discover what customers really care about and what they want from your business. Whether marketing your strengths, capitalizing on your competitors’ weaknesses, or any combination of the two is what your customers want to hear, competitive intelligence will provide you with that information such that your marketing campaigns will be highly effective and not cost prohibitive.