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Competitive Intelligence - Where Do You Start?

Competitive Intelligence tends to address specific needs or fill competitive knowledge gaps due to a specific situation. These situations generally pertain to learning more about wins and trying hard to avoid losses. But where do these reactive competitive intelligence projects start? Typically by aiming the lens at competitors - their product features, go-to market strategy, price, and so on. “What are they doing? How are they doing it? How can we do it better?”

This approach is backwards.

Why? Because the lens should be on the buyer, not the competitor. You need to “Start with Buy”.

An homage to Simon Sinek’s breakthrough book and movement Start with Why, Alan Armstrong argues that you must start in a different place, with a totally different lens.

Turn that lens towards your buyers and focus on their buying behavior and decisions. When done correctly, CI is buyer-centric, not competitor-centric, and thus Buyer Intelligence (BI) is a critical starting place - an essential underlying framework for the CI function. BI programs can be both proactive and reactive, and are necessary to stay on top of the CI game.


Want to learn more? Alan Armstrong will be speaking about how you and your teams can effectively initiate CI and how your buyers can reveal deep insights about your competition. On December 9th, alongside Pragmatic Marketing, SiriusDecisions and CEB, the Product Marketing Community will host a crowd of product marketing thought leaders and peers from SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Intel, VMware, and Twilio (to name a few), plunging elbow-deep into tactics to understand the market. They're coming to San Francisco with a full-day packed with insights, networking, and "Aha" moments.

Their inaugural Toronto conference held last spring drew 250 of the best and brightest product marketers and their peers.

Can’t make it? Contact us for a one-on-one discussion about how you can create a CI program built on an effective framework, using the right tools, and with a lens on your buyer.

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