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Competitive Intelligence: A Sword For That War Called Business Jill Ann Hurst Hurst Associates, Ltd. Copyright © 2004, Hurst Associates,

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Presentation on theme: "Competitive Intelligence: A Sword For That War Called Business Jill Ann Hurst Hurst Associates, Ltd. Copyright © 2004, Hurst Associates,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Competitive Intelligence: A Sword For That War Called Business Jill Ann Hurst Hurst Associates, Ltd. Copyright © 2004, Hurst Associates, Ltd. All rights reserved.

2 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Agenda Workshop goals Introductions What is competitive intelligence (CI)? How do you start a CI program? What resources do you need? How do you use CI resources to…? How do you make CI a long-term activity?

3 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Workshop Goals To help you begin to create a competitive intelligence (CI) system for your company. To move you from doing competitive intelligence as a “seat of the pants” operation to making it an essential business practice.

4 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Introductions Who am I? –Information consultant –CI for 15+ years Who are you? –What do you want to learn from this session?

5 Hurst Associates, Ltd. What is competitive intelligence? According to the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals: –“A systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing, and managing external information that can affect your company's plans, decisions, and operations.” With 80% – 90% of all information part of public knowledge, you do not have to spy.

6 Hurst Associates, Ltd. CI believes that business decisions should not be made on instinct or intuition, but on information that has been gathered and analyzed. –Analyzed from your point of view.

7 Hurst Associates, Ltd. The CI analytical process Define the question Gather & organize data Synthesize/relate & filter the data Analyze appropriate data Prepare findings & draw insights Prepare recommendations Draft, review, approve, and issue report Follow-up –update the process

8 Hurst Associates, Ltd. CI should include tracking: –Competitors –New technologies –Market trends –Government regulations

9 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Value to the organization Fewer surprises Validate rumors Able to put competitive actions in context Less frustration trying to interpret overwhelming or contradictory information What about more money?

10 Hurst Associates, Ltd. If only they had done CI Corporate mistakes often could have been avoided with good CI. For example, companies have: –Developed and introduced a new product that was opposite of market trends. –Ignored an “inferior” competitor who was going to put them out of business. –Believed in a vendor’s story that turned out to be false.

11 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Learning specific skills Traits: creativity, persistence, analytical ability, understanding of scientific methodology, business savvy. Teachable Skills: strategic thinking, business terminology, market research and presentation skills, knowledge of primary information sources and research methods. Professional Experience Mentoring

12 Workshop exercises Meant to get you started… Get you thinking…you’ll need to follow-up back at the office. You will not have to share information from any of the exercises. Let’s jump in….

13 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Exercise #1: Make a list What companies do you compete with? Why? –Which company scares you the most? What idea, technology or condition could put you out of business?

14 Hurst Associates, Ltd. The list… Often don’t realize who we compete with and why. Might consider the “big guys” but not those small companies wanting to take our business. The biggest threat may not be a company, but a “thing.” CI can bring to light other threats.

15 Hurst Associates, Ltd. What do you need to start a CI program? Staff Resources Money

16 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Staff… Dedicated –CI is part of their jobs –May not do CI full-time Trained –In the methodology & a variety of resources –How to analysis and interpret the data Empowered –Can act with authority to gather data

17 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Resources include The Internet. –Although there is good information ON the Internet, consider it also as a WAY of accessing hundreds of resources. Free and fee-based databases that cover a full range of business and technical information (e.g., raw data, reports, articles, press releases, gov’t filings).

18 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Industry reports Financial analyst reports Newspapers –Hometown, hardcopy Business, trade & technical journals Press releases Industry and government experts

19 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Money… Need to spend money on resources and access to information, for example: –Articles –Databases –Reports –Trade shows –Site visits

20 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Exercise #2: Resources For the competitors (companies) listed in Exercise #1: –What type of information do you already gather on these competitors? Who has it? How is it used? –What information do you need on these competitors? Who on your staff could be deployed to obtain & analyze it?

21 Hurst Associates, Ltd. For the ideas, technologies or conditions that could put you out of business: –Is someone in your organization charged with tracking and reporting regularly on them? How do you decide to place new ideas, companies, technologies or conditions on your CI watch list?

22 Hurst Associates, Ltd. What is your #1 CI resource? What? Or is it who? CI is nothing without people. –People to carry out research and do the analysis. –People to track activity on an ongoing basis. –People to report what they have seen and heard in the field. –People (mgmt.) to support CI activities.

23 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Gathering info from the field You frequently run into your competitors – or the trails they leave behind at sales calls, trade shows, etc. You need to capture data from these encounters: –What are they doing? –Who are they working with? –What are they talking about? –What literature, articles, etc., are they producing?

24 Hurst Associates, Ltd. How do you use CI resources to… …locate new customers for your products? The same databases and resources can be used. For example: –Define your idea customer and use those characteristics to find new target customers. Target company’s sales range Number of employees Geographic location (state, city or zip code) SIC/NAICS codes What else can you do with these databases?

25 Hurst Associates, Ltd. How do you make CI a long-term activity? Dedicate people and resources. Provide CI training opportunities. Set information goals & deadlines. Have project teams & management review CI reports when making decisions. Inform everyone about the activities, why you are doing and how they can help. –You will never know who might come across that one gem that you need.

26 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Exercise #3: Your to do list Now that you have some lists and some knowledge, what do you need to do next? –Who do you need to talk with/convince? –What decision are on the horizon where CI would help? What specifically do you need? –Do you have the right resources? If not, how do you get them? –How will you continue to learn about CI?

27 Hurst Associates, Ltd. Resources: A few to get you started Fuld, Leonard M. Competitor intelligence: how to get it, how to use it. John Wiley & Sons, 1985. Tyson, Kirk W. M. The Complete Guide to Competitive Intelligence (2nd Edition) by Leading Edge Publ., 2002. – a glossary of business intelligence terms,

28 Hurst Associates, Ltd. sci.htm – list of web sites and databases used by CI professionals sci.htm – a web log (blog) that is packed full of useful information geared towards business researchers.

29 Hurst Associates, Ltd. – CI firm that also has CI tools on its web site. – collection of global news and business information. (JV of Reuters and Dow Jones.) – A portal meant for business executives.

30 Hurst Associates, Ltd. – Association of Independent Information Professionals – Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals – Intelligence is one of many products that can help organize documents (intelligence) for easy access. – Develops custom business lists for small and mid-size companies.

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