Competitive intelligence (CI) is an integral part in developing a business strategy, acting as a function that generates returns across all areas of an organization. Competitive intelligence often leads to more sales wins, stronger marketing campaigns, and better product strategy. Effectively, CI is how companies gain and maintain a leading edge over their competitors.
In today’s technology-driven world, CI is no longer the manual and tedious process it once was. With modern competitive intelligence tools, you can track competitors in real time, extract historical context across data sets, and keep tabs on relevant peer announcements with customized alerts—all without the dreaded multiple website tabs or manually combing through tedious documents with CTRL+F.
Crayon and Klue are considered modern competitive intelligence tools, both of which provide relevant competitor news and information on emerging threats and opportunities in your business niche. They also offer the ability to build battlecards for sales strategies. Both tools are used by large corporations across various industries to increase revenue potential, identify new market opportunities, and gain a competitive edge.
In this post, we compare Crayon against Klue including how each platform works, the intended audiences for each, as well as their limitations. We then compare Crayon and Klue with AlphaSense, our all-in-one market intelligence platform, namely how AlphaSense can meet your research and analysis needs and where Crayon and Klue fall short.
We use the following comparison criteria:
- Ease of use
- Customer support
- Reviews and ratings
First, here’s a quick overview of each platform:
Best for: tracking a small number of competitors and streamlining product marketing operations
Crayon is a competitive intelligence platform company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Using Crayon’s platform, users and businesses can track their competitor’s digital footprint by studying their marketing, product launches, and pricing.
Using Crayon’s advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities, businesses can collect critical information from their competitors, both online and offline. Some data sources used by Crayon are news, events, competitor website content, social media, support threads, and customer reviews.
From one platform, you can access the following competitor information:
- Go-to-market strategy
- Web presence and positioning, including website copy and branding
- Product packaging and pricing strategies
- News, events, and public relations
- Teams and human resources
- Content, media, and social media presence and strategies
- Customer reviews and support
- Partners and investors
- Sales enablement
Many businesses across a number of industries use Crayon’s platform to keep up with market trends, including finance, retail, pharmaceutical, and technology companies. However, Crayon may not be right for companies who have a large amount of competitors to track, or who need to frequently modify the competitors they are monitoring. The company still uses human analysts to process data, so scalability is a challenge.
- Uses cutting-edge AI and ML capabilities to source useful data on competitors
- User-friendly platform
- Supports multiple integrations with other software
- Supports automated alerts and newsletters
- Offers in-depth analytics and metrics
- Supports customizable reports and battlecards
- Ability to tag or like relevant items, which then leads to more personalized competitor insights
- Less scalable and modifiable than similar tools
- Does not host content on its platform; only provides links to URLs
- Does not have an expert call library
- No advanced search capabilities, such as keyword and synonym recognition, thematic search, and sentiment analysis
- No way to track peers’ R&D trends via the platform
- No SEC filings, earnings estimates, financial reports, and modeling
- No industry-specific reports or thought leadership
- No broker research reports
Best for: sales enablement and tracking unlimited competitors
Based in Canada, Klue is a competitive intelligence tool that enables product marketers to collect, curate, and deliver competitive intelligence across departments. Klue uses an automated web crawler to keep track of your competitors’ product launches, pricing changes, and marketing campaigns. It then uses AI to verify and deliver key insights from the findings, helping users make data-conscious decisions. However, Klue’s AI does not deliver insights in real time, often generating noise and missing certain insights entirely.
Klue sources its data from various public sources on the web, including social media, reviews, product launches, and press mentions. Klue also allows users to add their own insights.
Klue features tools that help you perform several key functions for your competitive analysis:
- Collect actionable insights from multiple public sources across the web. That includes tracking changes on your competitor’s website, social media, press releases, and product launches.
- Using an internal algorithm, Klue analyzes, curates, and generates market research insights for users right from their online platform.
- From multiple customizable dashboards, Klue helps you generate and maintain actionable landing pages, data cards, battlecards, and tags. You can also configure this board to show unique data points.
- Using internal sharing tools, Klue allows you to share critical competitive intelligence with your sales team.
- From these tools, you can also measure the impact of your efforts on your business.
Klue is used by many companies’ marketing teams and spreads across a handful of industries, such as finance, pharmaceutical, technology, and healthcare.
- Comprehensive competitor tracking
- Offers real-time alerts
- Creates beautifully designed battlecards
- Supports collaboration and data visualization tools
- User-friendly and scalable platform
- Supports integrations with plenty of tools, including Slack, Salesforce, and other CRMs
- Offers high security for your company data
- Has a community forum
- Limited data sources—only public data
- No data storage function
- No broker analysis
- No sentiment analysis
- Steeper learning curve than other tools
- No expert call analysis
- No SEC filings, earnings estimates, or financial reports
Best for: conducting comprehensive competitive research and analysis with advanced AI features for added speed, accuracy, and scope—all in one place
Founded in 2011, AlphaSense has close to 4,000 enterprise clients, including 85% of the S&P 100, 80% of the top consultancies, 75% of the top asset management firms, and 20 of the largest pharmaceutical companies. This platform is used by corporations for strategy, competitive intelligence, and market landscaping, as well as by IR and financial professionals for messaging research, due diligence, market monitoring, and deal sourcing.
AlphaSense sources information from over 10,000+ different content sources, including company documents and regulatory filings, news and trade journals, broker research, and expert call transcripts. Coupled with this vast universe of content, AlphaSense’s smart search and AI capabilities help shorten the time to insight and take your research process from reactive to proactive.
In addition, AlphaSense features two proprietary content sets:
- Wall Street Insights® – A collection of leading equity research from 1,000+ sell-side and independent firms, covering global industries, sector themes, and companies. These resources are indexed, searchable, and available from the AlphaSense platform.
- Expert Insights – Expert Insights solutions includes the Expert Transcript Library—an ever-expanding library that currently hosts 35,000+ expert call transcripts with competitors, industry experts, professionals, customers, and former and current executives—as well as Expert Call Services. Expert Insights prioritizes compliance throughout the content development process and has a team of trained compliance reviewers who ensure research safety for clients.
Some additional features you’ll experience in the AlphaSense platform include:
With real-time alerts, AlphaSense allows you to set up automated updates on the emerging trends, news, topics, markets, and companies you are most concerned with. Automated monitoring takes regular snapshots of your companies and topics of interest and sends notifications, keeping you on top of critical competitor information, insights, and market changes.
Instant Company Insights
If you’re keeping tabs on a single company, AlphaSense offers Search Analytics and Company Tearsheets that provide updates on the companies currently on your radar, giving you an in-depth reach across document types, industries, and regions. Using company insights, you can also focus and ground your research into a particular competitor, discovering critical insights that can propel your market analysis to the next level.
Using sentiment analysis, a feature built with natural language processing (NLP), AlphaSense identifies changes in a text’s tone and subjective meaning. Then, using different color codes, it helps you identify if the document has positive, negative, or neutral sentiments.
Each search term gets a sentiment change score that helps you track any slight change in market sentiments across time. With this feature, you can catch subtle inflection points in language that move markets and provide early indicators of shifting corporate performance.
Another feature is the AI-based Smart Synonyms™ technology—a capability that studies keywords and intent behind your search engine queries. Using advanced algorithms, AlphaSense eliminates noise from your search, including content with matching keywords that is irrelevant to search objectives. AI search functionality lets you find the exact documents and snippets most relevant to your search, saving time and energy for more high-level tasks like analysis.
Unlike other consumer-grade generative AI (genAI) tools trained on publicly available data, AlphaSense takes an entirely different approach. Our industry-leading suite of generative AI tools is purpose-built to deliver business-grade insights and leans on 10+ years of AI tech development. Our proprietary AlphaSense Large Language Model (ASLLM)—trained specifically on business and financial data—matches or beats the leading third-party LLMs over 90% of the time.
Our suite of tools currently includes:
- Smart Summaries – this feature allows you to glean instant earnings insights—reducing time spent on research during earnings season, quickly capture company outlook, and generate an expert-approved SWOT analysis straight from former competitors, partners, and employees
- Enterprise Intelligence – a first-of-its-kind offering that delivers AlphaSense’s AI-powered search and summarization capabilities to customers’ internal organizational knowledge.
- AlphaSense Assistant – a generative AI chat experience that transforms how users can extract insights from hundreds of millions of premium content sources
Integrations and APIs
It’s now becoming industry standard for many market intelligence platforms to offer integration of internal content containing both structured and unstructured data, but it’s key that this content is indexed and immediately available. A market intelligence platform should also offer the ability to upload new external content sources (such as RSS or web content), so that you can leverage the platform’s analysis tools to pull relevant insights.
AlphaSense provides integration with commonly used programs like OneNote, Sharepoint, Box, and Evernote, enabling streamlined collaboration with members across your organization and improving team productivity. It also allows you to search across all internal and external company content to find key insights, and the proprietary AI technology catches what other platforms miss in a secure and automated way.
- Extensive content universe organized around the four key perspectives
- Proprietary content sets like Wall Street Insights® and Expert Insights
- NLP and AI-based search technology and sentiment analysis
- All-in-one research platform
- Intuitive user interface
- Collaboration and integration features
- Automated and customizable alerts
- Visualization tools are limited to financial data at this time
- Lack of collaborative tools for knowledge management
Ease of Use
Crayon’s web interface, according to many users, is easy to navigate. It features a clean layout with useful filters and search features, making it easy to track competitor metrics. Users report that battlecards are quick and easy to make, though the tool for building them lacks some creative flexibility and can be buggy.
Further, new messaging or product releases from competitors may not be instantly available. Additionally, many users express that analytics, trends analysis, and reporting are relatively manual processes currently, and more automation is necessary to save valuable time.
Like Crayon, Klue has a clean and navigable user interface with an intuitive layout, filter, and search capabilities. One major positive is that Klue updates data as soon as it is available, which increases users’ confidence in their research process. Users also appreciate that Klue makes it easy to keep all competitive intel data in one place, update data as needed, and share it out across the organization.
However, multiple Klue users have reported that the platform has a steep learning curve for beginners, which is not the case for several Klue competitors. Klue also does not have a battlecard builder and does not support autosaving, and there is no data storage function. Additionally, formatting can be a bit challenging to update, and some important formatting options are missing entirely.
The AlphaSense platform is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive from the start. And unlike its competitors, AlphaSense is a one stop shop for market intelligence, giving you aggregated access to company documents, news, expert call transcripts, and broker research.
With AlphaSense, users can cut out cumbersome manual research tasks like combing through multiple tabs of research reports and CTRL+F’ing through documents with limited keywords.The AlphaSense UI works seamlessly with competitive research workflows and is customizable for further fine-tuning.
Clients across a wide range of verticals—from life sciences and technology to investment banking and asset management—find that AlphaSense’s AI search technology, like synonym recognition, pre-set search feeds, and smart keyword suggestions, speed up data and insight discovery even when searching across different sources. The key reasons users stick to AlphaSense are the speed of surfacing valuable data, the unparalleled accuracy lent by smart AI functionalities, and access to premium content like broker research and expert call transcripts.
Crayon offers exceptional customer support for all its users, typically helping them resolve issues within a day. Crayon support is available via phone calls, emails, and live chat.
Besides being responsive, customer support is reportedly very helpful, creating an easier onboarding experience for users and resolving issues quickly. They also offer personalized responses, including battle card templates and videos to help users fix everyday issues. They take feedback about products seriously and suggest ways for users to enhance their customer experience.
Klue also offers outstanding customer support, with standard live chat and dedicated customer support agents who are available to help users resolve issues and concerns during working hours.
Also, customer support agents can assist new users with onboarding to Klue, leading to a seamless transition into Klue’s Customer Intelligence platform.
AlphaSense’s product and customer education teams provide ramp-up and learning sessions with hands-on training and demonstrations. Additionally, all AlphaSense users have a dedicated account representative available for questions and guidance. The product specialist team is also available to put together searches for research professionals to streamline their workflows.
AlphaSense maintains a regular training calendar for live, virtual, instructor-led AlphaSense Education webinars, and the website has a live Help button, where users can chat with product specialists 24/7 and receive instant support for any issues or queries.
Reviews and Ratings
- Excellent customer support team
- Battlecards are great for sharing competitive intel with the team
- Ability to house all competitive intelligence in one platform
- Crayon didn’t always have updated content, and updates took time
- Users wanted a battlecard builder more often than they wanted templates
- Crayon could improve the admin user interface and capabilities
- Excellent customer support team
- Functions as a centralized, curated repository of competitive intelligence info, easily accessible in one place and simple to update and share out across the organization
- Klue has a steeper learning curve and takes some getting used to
- No data storage function
- Limited battlecard templates
- Comprehensive data and analysis on public and private markets
- Real-time data availability
- Easy-to-find relevant and high-quality results
- Intuitive interface and great customer support
- Smart AI-powered search leads to quicker, more accurate insights
- Visualization tools are limited to financial data at this time
- Lack of collaborative tools for knowledge management
A Better Alternative to Crayon and Klue?
Crayon and Klue are two outstanding competitive intelligence platforms that help you stay at the top of your industry and niche. However, they are not robust enough for building a comprehensive competitive and market intelligence strategy.
Both Crayon and Klue have limited value outside of CI roles, and they lack multiple integral content sets that help create a complete market and landscape picture. Further, neither platform has AI search or sentiment analysis capabilities that measure up to AlphaSense’s.
AlphaSense is the best choice for you if:
- You are looking for a platform that can be utilized across your organization and for various strategic goals, not just competitive intelligence.
- You need a platform that takes away the tedious, manual parts of research and surfaces relevant, real-time insights, saving you precious time for deeper analysis and strategy.
- You are interested in accessing an expansive content universe of proprietary, premium, private, and public content that is inaccessible to the general public and many of your peers.
- You want a platform that will replace all your various other research avenues and be the one stop shop for all your market intelligence needs.
- You want a platform that will work behind the scenes to ensure you never fall behind or miss critical information, with customizable real-time alerts, watchlists, and dashboards.