By Allyse Slocum, Director, Product Marketing, Collective
An ad tech business’s competitive landscape is just like the industry itself – constantly in flux. With the continuous market evolution, organizations cannot settle for just keeping up with the Joneses; they need to proactively stay ahead of the competition to be successful. Of course, collecting information on competitors is necessary, but simply having it at your disposal is not enough. To make the most of the information you’ve gathered, you must have a process in place to analyze and disseminate this information regularly and thoughtfully to your organization.
Here are some best practices to help keep an organization informed:
One size does not fit all.
There is a wealth of competitive information out there, making it close to impossible to gather and analyze every single thing. It’s also very likely that different departments in your organization will need different types of information to accomplish their particular goals. According to Pragmaticmarketing.com, three major uses for competitive intelligence are: 1) to sell better against the competition; 2) to determine how your product features compare to the market; and 3) to identify products and companies to purchase or be purchased by. Before you begin your research, understand how each department in your organization will use competitive intelligence. After gathering the necessary information, pare it down into what is most applicable for each department, then adapt your formatting and delivery to serve their unique needs.
Maintain an open dialogue.
No one person can be responsible for gathering competitive intelligence at an organization, no matter how knowledgeable they are. While Product Management or Product Marketing departments typically manage competitive intelligence for an organization, some of the best information comes from new or potential customers, making your Sales or Account Management teams excellent sources for insights. Keep the lines of communication open to make it easy for all team members to give and receive new information. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much information your organization already has on the competition.
Keep it informal, but structured.
While creating some structure around gathering competitive information is necessary, adding too many formalities will deter team members from participating. Make team members feel helpful and empowered, not confined to a set of guidelines. Give your entire organization an open channel to provide any feedback they have, but dedicate one team to manage the information and send out regular updates. This will keep the competitive landscape top of mind without being burdensome to employees.
Having a structured process in place that encourages organizational input will allow you to manage fluctuating information more easily and will encourage team members to actively contribute their wealth of competitive insights.