Running a Competitive Intelligence monitoring project is similar putting oil into your car. First, you need to identify what type of information (oil) you need to run your specific company (car) at the optimum speed to reach your desired destination (leading your industry).
That’s where Competitive Intelligence project deliverables come in.
Think of deliverables as an oil funnel used to pour large amounts of crucial information (oil) into the right tank in the engine (coworkers, strategists, key decision makers). Deliverables are an effective tool to get valuable information from your monitoring project to the right people (the company’s engine) who can convert insights into actions.
It’s important to consider what you are trying to accomplish and who you want to reach when creating and promoting your Competitive Intelligence deliverables. Every audience has different needs. We have listed five frequently used and effective Competitive Intelligence deliverables that can meet the needs of a variety of projects and audiences.
1. Alerts or Watchlists
Customised email alerts keep the members of your organization informed throughout the day. Creating email alerts can easily provide daily information to keep your colleagues abreast of current market trends, competitor activity, and industry news. Alerts tend to be beneficial for organizations that need quick bits of regular information to stay on top of their industry.
Dashboards help your audience visualize all data at a glance. Creating a dashboard, or multiple dashboards, allows you to validate and organize information according to topic, relevance, or audience. Your selected audience can log on to the dashboard to read articles, view data, and leave feedback.
You can create as many dashboards as you want and tailor them to your audience. For example, if you have 10 topics that you monitor and only one of them is relevant to a certain department, you can make that department a dashboard that focuses only on the relevant topic.
Newsletters are an effective way to deliver information to your audience and foster communication with them. Newsletters are most effective if you know precisely what your target audience wants to know and how often they want to receive information. With newsletters, you can send your audience multiple topics that are relevant to their interests all at once. You can also view this Competitive Intelligence Deliverable as a regular internal newspaper, and include all of the news and insights you have gathered about your topic in a single product.
Tip: When sending newsletters to key decision makers, it is helpful to add valuable graphics and figures to help them quickly understand and contextualize the information.
Newsletters are best sent to people who will take the time to read multiple articles/ pieces of information at a time. If you think that your target audience won’t read a weekly newsletter because of the length, consider enrolling them in alerts. Alerts are a way to get short bits of information to your “always-on-the-go” readers.
While newsletters can cover a variety of topics, reports tend to focus on a specific topic. Reports are great for delivering your analysis of the information, contextualizing information, and bringing added value.
If you are are looking for a more visual and impactful way to deliver your information, you can create a video that summarizes the information and delivers your analysis and insight.
Note: Reports tend to be more specific and include more of your own interpretation and insights. They may take more time to create, but they are a great vehicle for delivering your interpretation of the information you have gathered.
5. Competitor Profiles
Competitor profiles can provide valuable information in an easily accessible and consolidated deliverable.
When creating competitor profiles, some valuable information to collect and consider includes:
- Media coverage and press releases
- Consumer comments and discussions
- Annual reports
- Key players in the organization
- Performance in financial markets
- Market share
- Advertisements and promotional campaigns
- Information about future events, products, and company changes
Consider creating a one-page fact sheet or “resume” for each of your competitors so key decision makers can have important information at their fingertips. You could also create a dashboard for some of your main competitors so internal users can find the information they need about the competition easily.
How to Measure Success
Measuring the success of your efforts is crucial to evaluating your project and gaining the support of your management.
When creating Competitive Intelligence deliverables it’s important to consider which articles are the most read, liked, discussed and shared. You can use this information to adjust what you deliver to your internal audience. Constant monitoring and regular adjustments help you create effective products that are tailored to meet the needs of your audience.
Ask your Audience
Open regular lines of communication between you and your audience by asking for suggestions on your deliverables with satisfaction surveys and suggestion boxes.
Send out email surveys using an online survey tool asking:
- Is the information you received relevant?
- Was it timely?
- Is the frequency acceptable?
- How did you use the information from the last newsletter?
- What else would you like to see in the alerts/ newsletter/ dashboard?
Some Competitive Intelligence professionals ask their audience to tell them which pieces of information they use and how they use it. By keeping track of what is being used and how it is being used, you will be able to directly track the effectiveness of your efforts.
If you would prefer to use a suggestion box, place the box in a heavily trafficked location in the office (like the kitchen). Encourage people to provide their feedback by offering to turn the suggestion box into a monthly raffle.
Track how much information you have shared and how many people open and read the alters or newsletters, or how many users are active on the dashboards. The number of active recipients and users can be a key indicator of success. The more the merrier!
Don’t miss out on Digimind’s upcoming webinar where you can learn how to meet your organization’s goals, create deliverables, and engage your audience. Register now while there’s still time!