The Increasing Importance of Competitive Intelligence

Niraj Sharma |
 07/14/20 |
5 min read

The Increasing Importance of Competitive Intelligence

Understanding the consumer and market landscape has always been important. But, as ecommerce and mcommerce opportunities explode, the increasing importance of competitive intelligence cannot be denied.

Knowing not just your obvious competitors, but also those who might not stand out is crucial. Equal to this is understanding your consumers – both yours and those of your competitors. This can show you a whole new world of opportunity, if you have the right tools.

Next generation AI-powered digital consumer analysis is unique because there’s no bias, no human input to muck it up. And that may sound like something out of a Ridley Scott film, but it it’s less scary and simpler to navigate. So, hang on, we are going to blast off into the world of competitive intelligence.

how to make sma work for you

Two New Reports Sharing Everything You Need

We have two new reports on How to Perform a Competitor Analysis and another detailing the Importance of Competitive Intelligence that will inform your efforts. Each approach the topic from distinct angles – and we’ll preview them below! Some highlights include:

  • Using competitor analysis to anticipate problems
  • Understanding and winning a larger share of voice
  • Tracking competitive product launches, events and partnerships

And here are some competitive intelligence stats to be aware of:

  • 94% of business professionals say data analytics is central to their business growth and digital transformation.
  • B2B companies with brands that consumers perceive warmly generate a higher EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin than others.

Sentiment Analysis for Consumer Understanding

Next generation AI-powered analytics recognizes all human language eccentricities, i.e., pop culture, slang, sarcasm, netspeak, and emojis. It also captures related themes, without any human input/bias interfering in the results. Because it’s not enough to know if your customer ‘likes’ a cookie. As a cookie-maker you need to know more, including:

  • What they like about it, specifically.
  • Other tastes that are connected to it.
  • And if they likes a competitor’s cookie better – and why.

Using cookie’s arch nemesis, active wear, as our example, we can see a word cloud that reveals relevant results. Each of these attributes are important to know related themes, emotions and behaviors. Green words indicate positive sentiment, and red, much like a teacher’s correction pen, indicates a negative.

We have givens like Best Women Activewear, however others stand out as clues to what consumers want – like:

  • easy to use
  • feature cool new print

Both alluding to excitement for more options. And red terms such as old lady and uninspired may speak to dissatisfaction. And a place to dig in to sort out what to avoid!


As you investigate these terms, you’ll find related brands bubbling up and you may be surprised by who is and isn’t mentioned. Will Nike be there? How about the ever fashion forward Lululemon? Or maybe you discover a consumer profile of someone influencing activewear trends? It could be a potential collaboration – one your competitors haven’t found out about yet. Exciting!

The point is, there is no limit to what you can discover, including, and especially your competitors’ intelligence. Using them to help you solve problems within your own brand is the tastiest treat of all, even in activewear land.

how to make sma work for you

Competitor Analysis to Solve Problems

Why would you want to know what other brands are doing? For starters, to see if your brand needs to change its approach based on what you find out in a competitor analysis. If a competitor is doing well with something – maybe you will too! And if they’ve already tried something you’re about to launch, why not learn from their challenges? With consumer and market intelligence, you can.

Let’s consider what can be explored – and capabilities we reveal – in our report that details implementing this strategy:

  • Track competitors known to you, and discover new ones using social listening.
  • Theme analysis that allows a brand to identify differences in volume and sentiment across sub-sections of the conversations – providing deeper competitor insights.
  • How to set up alerts for an ongoing analysis to identify trends and deviations that could affect your product or brand.

And then all of this allows you to correlate key performance indicators (KPIs) to operative metrics and make important decisions around processes, spend, resources, and developing new ideas to grow market share and protect brand health.

In short: If a competitor fails, you’ll have an opportunity to see where the misstep happened, as well as a prospect for new consumers looking to hop off that train. If a competitor wins, you’ll have a unique vantage point to take notes and apply some of the same strategy to your own brand. It’s a win/win.


The Mocktails Tale

For instance, Ocean Spray used social analytics together with competitor analysis to see what was happening and lacking in the consumer drinking scene. And thus, Mocktails took the world by storm – from sober culture to pregnant mamas – and further, to an after-workout hydration regimen. This drink filled many niches that were there thirsting for discovery.


The only constant in any vertical after all is change. Understanding this helped Ocean Spray spot an opportunity and act on it. Expecting what worked in the past to work presently is a common mistake that many companies make. Another is not understanding where your brand truly stands in context of its competitors.

Competitor analysis is your pot of gold when it comes to strategy and a splash of cold water that many executives need around positioning. It helps brands reach new consumers, release new products, and the list goes on. The boundaries of consumer/competitor understanding are pretty limitless with the right tools at your disposal! And having a holistic view of things is very important.

Holistic Competitive Intelligence Understanding

A detailed overview of themes within a company, category or topic provides direct links to explanatory articles, blogs and reports. For example, here we have conversations around ecommerce. We see the many facets of the topic dominating the world, from website development to capture new consumers to cross-border concerns and payment fraud. Lots of avenues to explore.


We can filter to focus on specific countries we are interested in, or focus solely on one conversational cluster. Here we’ve filtered to show ecommerce tips only, to see what aspects publications are focused on. Each nodule is clickable by hovering over it, or accessing it directly in the information tab:


Our report can show you how to fine tune your interests, capturing insight during a specific time period or ways to fine tune it to capture competitive product launches, events, and mergers or acquisitions that your company should be aware of. There are so many ways to slice and dice the data to help you identify patterns or emerging trends in your vertical.

The power duo of consumer and market intelligence available creates a complete picture to inform your next move. Be sure to download How to Perform a Competitor Analysis and the Importance of Competitive Intelligence to inform your efforts! And reach out to us for a demo to see it all in action and answer those business critical questions ahead of the competition.

how to make sma work for you

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