How Competitive Intelligence Reveals Challenges & Ways to Overcome Them

Learning from a competitor’s success instead of reinventing the wheel is smart, as is learning from their mistakes. Competitive intelligence is the key to it all. It reveals ways to overcome any number of challenges, if your brand is listening effectively. Here’s how to do exactly that!

We’ll explore how social listening and other tactics look here, as well as:

  • Taking a bird’s eye view of competitive intelligence.
  • Tracking conversational shifts through market intelligence.
  • Seeing how consumer intelligence captures competitive opportunities.

Before we get going, here’s a couple of related statistics to keep in mind:

  • Crayon’s 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey found that 48% of respondents say their industry has become much more competitive over the past three years.
  • Companies that update their competitor intelligence on a weekly basis are 2x more likely to see positive revenue impacts than those who update less frequently.

With that in mind, let’s dive in and see how competitive intelligence reveals challenges for brands and the ways to overcome them.

competitor analysis

Competitive Intelligence Overarching Understanding 

Competitive intelligence is a key ingredient in a robust market intelligence strategy that aims to bolster marketing performance, increase sales and improve product strategy. It’s an ongoing analysis of the competition, and one that needs to be very specifically focused to be of real value to brands.

It’s important for brands to understand not only what other brands are getting right, but what they’re getting wrong as well. Insights into the competition are evolving 24/7 through social media and online publications. This creates an absolute need for brands to keep tabs on the competition, or else they risk operating on yesterday’s intel, which is often irrelevant.

Further, your brand should operate on the presumption that the competition is monitoring you. Therefore, you need to know as much as you can about your competition so you can put that information to work in everything you do. Everything from marketing, product development, influencer identification and investment strategy can benefit from a comprehensive understanding of your competition’s successes and missteps.


Your market intelligence strategy will alert you to gaps in consumer need which allows you to adjust and capture market share. And your competitive intelligence will show you where the other guy drops the ball, so you can fine-tune your performance to pick up the pieces and run with it.

And this intel is imperative as markets shift. Consumer sentiment rapidly evolves. For example, the food delivery market has seen a substantial metamorphosis this year, and everything about it has shifted dramatically . . .


Market Intelligence Signals Shifts

Sure, everyone has to eat – but who knew back in the beginning of the year that food delivery would become such a necessity? Here’s a snapshot of the conversation in the U.S. surrounding food delivery from January 1st to the end of April.


Of course, if your brand is involved in the food delivery industry there is a wealth of information here to explore that’s directly related to the competition. As a matter of fact, when we separate the clusters by relevant tags, we find that 13% of the conversation is geared toward specific companies, sales reports and market analyses.


Digging just below the surface, we find articles related to Grubhub’s M&A rumors and stock fluctuations; Uber and Lyft’s shift of focus to delivery; and, market analyses related to the food delivery market.


If Grubhub were our competition then it’d be smart to keep tabs on them in the best of times, but if there’s an earthquake in the industry – it’s borderline suicidal not to know exactly what’s going on with them. If we’re planning on rolling out a new delivery service and Grubhub announces a merger while the coronavirus is causing unforeseen turbulence, then we are in for a rocky road at best.

competitor analysis

A brand’s competitive intelligence must be on point as the global conversation can change overnight. That’s exactly what happened with the food delivery narrative at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. Check out how the conversation skyrocketed in one week via our News/Blogs search:


And as part of your competitive intelligence strategy, make sure that you’re taking full advantage of Quid’s company dataset. It allows brands to directly monitor the competition in a given industry, so you know exactly where you stand:


Consumer Intelligence Captures Competitive Opportunities

Another way to monitor the competition effectively is by performing a comparative analysis using social media analytics. Using the power of next generation artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics, we can mine social media for actionable insights. This gives any brand a significant competitive advantage.

But taken note: it’s not enough to monitor your own social media performance and call it a day. Seeing how your competition is stacking up is easy, and it will help you spot areas to leverage to your advantage by monitoring the competition’s spikes and dips in the conversation – down to a granular level.


And arguably one of the best tools to see how the competition is performing is the crosstab comparison function. Below, we created topics for three competitors in the food delivery space and ran a ‘topics vs. themes’ analysis to find their strengths and weaknesses across six certified themes. In NetBase, there are a multitude of certified themes to choose from – or you can create your own:

It’s quickly apparent that Doordash is lagging pretty far behind on delivery, and doing very well on quality. Grubhub has issues with consumer trust, but fares decently in the food and drink category. And Waitr has a long way to go in the customer service department, while shining in the quality department.

Crosstabs are Customizable

A crosstab analysis of your competition is highly customizable, and this analysis alone gives a brand actionable insight that could help them target flagged areas (either their own or a competitors’) and capitalize on successes and shortcomings.

In a nutshell, a strong competitive intelligence strategy can effectively inform many of your brand decisions, thereby reducing risk. As markets and consumer sentiments shift, it lends confidence to your brand choices by reducing the number of unknowns between your brand and the competition – and consumers!

Make sure your brand is using every competitive intelligence tool at its disposal to get the edge on your competitors. And be sure to reach out for a demo of this best in class option to kick off your search!

competitor analysis

Premier social media analytics platform

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Media coverage for historical & real-time monitoring

Data streams & custom KPIs for advanced data science

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources