When you think about relevance for competitive intelligence, it’s important to get granular. It’s one thing to find a document that’s relevant to what you’re researching. But the real value lies in being able to find the unique insights that will drive competitive advantage.
For example, say you’re researching a rising competitor in your market. Often, you’ll quickly be faced with a myriad of documents about the company you’re searching for. But actually parsing through that data to get to the truly relevant information you need is an entirely different process.
In this case, weeding out the less relevant documents for better insights boils down to understanding how to leverage your competitive intelligence sources. Newer documents are important when monitoring topics in real-time. But just because a document is “new” doesn’t mean it will always provide the most important insights for a specific keyword search.
What to do with all that data?
Real-time monitoring is where competitive intelligence is most likely to get weighed down by information overload. It’s the first step for data collection, and it’s constantly changing.
When your goal is to track the latest developments in real-time, some of the best sources to look at are:
- Breaking news
- Press releases
- Financial event data (10K/Qs, 8Ks, etc.)
- Social media
- Earnings call/Event transcripts or presentations
- Event coverage
- Government and regulatory websites
When it matters: The sources mentioned above are all relatively time-sensitive or event-based, which means the information provided will become less relevant more quickly. Push alerts come in handy here. Consider building a watchlist of companies you follow, or trends you’re monitoring, so you can track all your most important searches across all content sets.
Doing more with real-time data: When real-time data is looked at retrospectively, it can be leveraged to paint a picture of what the market was like at a certain point in time and benchmarked against current events.
For the long haul
Of course, the sources listed above are only one piece of the puzzle. There are tons of other sources that are just a bit more evergreen. For example:
- Company and subsidiary websites
- Broker research
- Industry reports
- Client feedback or customer reviews
When it matters: All of these sources are still subject to real-time monitoring. But these sources typically have more intricate information that can remain relevant long after it crosses your desk. This type of information is important when looking for more robust market intelligence, or studying positioning/overall competitor strategy.
Putting your competitive intelligence into context
Regardless of what sources you’re working with, what matters most is the strength of your keyword search. The most relevant results should contain the most actionable data, with your keywords put into the best context for the answers you’re looking for. With a strategy like that, you’ll always win.
Want more tips on improving your competitive intelligence strategy more agile? Download our best practices guide for agile competitive strategies.