How Continuous Intelligence Combats Disruption

It’s much easier to start a business or launch a new product today than it was just five years ago. And with the barrier to entry stretched thin, the potential that a competitor will break through and wreak havoc in your realm, much like a poltergeist, is very real. It requires little more than an internet connection and a bit of time to promote an offering, so any category can be disrupted by these invading entities. And businesses need to take steps to contain an emerging disruptor’s impact by staying ahead with the help of continuous intelligence..

importance of competitive intelligence for brand strategy

As we shared in a recent webinar with SCIP, How to Accelerate Your Business with Continuous Competitive Intelligence, the rapidly changing market landscape is driving brands’ competitive dynamics – or it should be. And this is particularly true when it comes to preparing for disruption.

Preparing for Disruption

Enterprise customers, even those in the Fortune 1000 space, are directing focus toward identifying potential disruptors as they emerge – and even predicting where they may enter the space. And an equally top-of-mind priority has brands rethinking how to remain competitive and pivot quickly to adapt to these market changes and potential threats as they emerge.

They recognize how easy it is to not only start a company, but also the corresponding simplicity of launching a marketing or advertising campaign that appears to drop out of nowhere – and hit your target consumers right in then ‘feelz.’

Previously, companies would hire a firm to develop an ad buy plan – but now that’s completed in a matter of minutes and typically handed in-house. The same goes for marketing campaigns and content creation. This doesn’t mean that creativity and all the things you need to produce these assets have disappeared – you actually need that talent more than ever. But the tools at your disposal to compete have evolved – and everything is done much faster.

Staying ahead of (or at least keeping pace with) these unexpected instances requires real-time social media monitoring and robust alerts.

alerts-starbucks

And this is a key element of top brands’ continuous intelligence capabilities. They keep the pulse of their category 24/7, because things are changing that fast around them. More specifically, thanks to their AI-powered capabilities, these companies are primed to immediately capture, analyze and take action around:

  • What is being said?
  • Who is saying it?
  • Where are they saying it?
  • What is their reach – and is it with your target audience?
  • Are these influencers aligned with competitors?
  • Has the media picked it up?
  • What are intial impressions?
  • Where is this message succeeding/failing -and where do we fit in the conversation?
  • Is this something we should be doing as well, differently, of not at all?
  • And more.

Let’s dig into why this is so game changing for these category leaders.

Putting Real-time Intel in Context

A study by Accenture shows that 61% of respondents from a recent survey reported moving from one brand to another – consumer brands, a service, a subscription service, most industries have been touched by consumers making a switch recently. As SCIP shared in its market predictions study, 77% of the respondents perceived that the biggest business risk to them is likely to come from a competitor that they hadn’t even identified yet.

The only real way to identify who may be a competitor somewhere down the line, expecting they may pivot from a related category into your space, requires constant monitoring. Businesses with parallel business objectives may eventually end up converging somewhere down the line with your offerings, and businesses need to keep an eye on some of these changes. And this is just one segment of competitive monitoring that’s a must for all companies today.

competitive-monitoring

And all of it is happening online in some way – there’s always buzz somewhere. It could be intel from the consumer intelligence side, existing somewhere on the social web including on forums, blogs, comment date, review sites and even shares of news media. Understanding what is being said about your brand or topic, compared with others is extremely valuable:

competitive-emotions-and-behaviors

And this brings us to the market intelligence side, where a variety of data sources that companies aren’t regularly monitoring – and should be – exist. This includes company data sources that can help you identify a variety of movement indicators, including:

  • Identifying emerging, fast-growing industry segments
  • Uncovering startups in a space
  • Defining competitor investment footprints

And patent data sources as well, revealing trends in IP and identify emerging technologies. It’s intel every company needs to access and monitor 24/7, because the competitors come out the woodwork at an alarming rate. According to HBr, there are more than 30,000 new products that are being released and created and marketed every single year. So when you think about the competition, there are really endless opportunities for someone to swoop in and start taking your share of the pie if you’re not aware of what’s happening around you

It may all sound overwhelming – it can be if a company is stuck on manual (for competitive intelligence capture) when it should be shifting into automated overdrive, powered by advanced AI-powered analytics!

Rethinking Continuous Intelligence Capture

There’s risk in all of these new products starting up around you, but there’s also a great opportunity. If you can identify new products, new marketing campaigns, new things that are hot in the market, that your company or your client can take advantage of – you can be a first mover and turn a challenge into a benefit. An amazing one that that.

Businesses are using the advanced insight to identify partnership and acquisition opportunities in adjacent categories, for example – substantial opportunities for growth and innovation.

company-heatmap-example

It’s quite exciting when viewed through that lens – and it’s a mindset shift that both the top brands, and the agencies that support them, have adopted.

When we consider brand efforts to capture relevant consumer and market intelligence to inform competitive planning and remember how this looked several years ago, it was very research intensive, very collection heavy, and the strategic planning process was very regimented. It had to be. A good number of businesses still operate in this way.

Others have moved on and look beyond the static list of competitors (one that is often outdate before it’s even printed) and capture a complete – and dynamic 360 view of their market and of their consumers. Are you ready to do this as well? Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how it looks – and how quickly your company can rethink its own processes and win again!

importance of competitive intelligence for brand strategy

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