The speed at which disruption is happening in every industry can get overwhelming if you aren’t actively contributing to this change. According to research by Accenture, only 63% of companies are experiencing any sort of disruption in how they operate, engage, or bring value to their customers. Only 3% of publicly listed companies have made serious progress in transforming their organizations. There is a huge gap.
This gap can be bridged by having a competitive intelligence program in place.
What is competitive analysis?
The practice of gathering and analyzing competitive information to identify market opportunities, threats, and risks is called competitive analysis. Every business has to indulge in it as it helps you compete with the best in the industry. You will also be able to make data-driven decisions that will put your brand in a better position in the market.
While competitive intelligence programs have been common for quite some time, the entry of artificial intelligence (AI) in it has completely changed the way how it is done.
From improving customer service or operations with RPA (Robotic process automation) bots to predicting performance, AI is shaping the way how businesses operate. To say that it is changing the world would not be an overwhelming statement. In gathering competitor intelligence, too, AI has carved a niche for itself.
In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of integrating AI into your business’ competitor intelligence program.
Why is competitive analysis critical?
Competitive intelligence helps leaders make data-backed business decisions. It could entail anything from monitoring competitors’ products, marketing techniques, supply chain, market, operations strategy, patent strategy, etc. By doing so consistently, you will gain a competitive advantage and be in a position to stay ahead of your competitors.
When you are actively indulging in AI-powered competitive intelligence programs, you will rarely get surprised by the market or your competitors. Bloomberg says-” Competitive intelligence is your best alarm clock,” as it makes you take action when presented with a threat or opportunity.
Why is AI important to your competitive intelligence program?
- Helps gather relevant sources:
Gathering information about your competitors is an arduous task. Doing it manually can take off hundreds of thousands of person-hours that can be used elsewhere. Artificial Intelligence helps collate information from thousands of sources. It even identifies real-time updates and changes that the competitor is doing on several channels, including social media, external tracking, website tracking, forums, etc.
- Anticipate competitor’s actions:
With the help of AI-powered competitive intelligence, it may even be possible to predict competitors’ next steps, assuming that there are tonnes of data to analyze. Even otherwise, when you know what your competitors are about to do, you will be in a great position to counter any attack that may come from their side.
You need to react quickly to how the market behaves if you want to stay ahead of the competition. It is imperative that you find out as much as possible about all your main competitors so that you are never blindsided.
- Visualizes trends for decision making:
The ability to visualize trends based on the data collected is an essential part of decision-making. AI pulls out trends and visualizes data from multiple sources to help businesses see what is happening, at a never before seen scale and speed. Thanks to advanced levels of visualization that include the ability to filter, you can make the data actionable and see how it impacts your business.
Competitive intelligence programs help spark great new ideas and allow for different perspectives to form. It will help your business see how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market, and find out if there are any market gaps that they have not taken advantage of. 61% of leaders believe that artificial intelligence helps significantly in fleshing out opportunities for their business.
Artificial intelligence can act as a surveillant for multiple sources (even thousands) so that you don’t miss out on any updates about your industry or how your brand is perceived by those who are your prospective clients. From monitoring website content to thought leadership trends, it can keep a tab on everything. It even manages to save thousands of person-hours by doing all of this in an automated manner. All information that is relevant to your business will be kept track of.
You might have the best product in the market, but if your marketing game is not strong, your customers won’t know about it. Most businesses cannot attract the right kind of clientele because they have not been able to put themselves out in the right way.
Repetitive tasks can be mind-numbingly tedious for human beings, even resulting in mistakes that can cost the company. On the other hand, machine learning gathers intelligence by drawing inferences from patterns of activity.
One of the most challenging tasks associated with competitor intelligence is research.
- What is the data that you want to analyze?
- Which are the different pieces of information that you want to collect?
- What are the sources from where data will be collected?
Artificial intelligence makes all of this incredibly easy. You can analyze every single detail of your competitors at scale and in a significantly less period. The AI system will also make sure that the data collected is organized in a visually appealing manner that makes it easy to find patterns from it.
The AI crawlers that scrape the data can be as extensive as possible, and it is not even limited by geography. You can be assured of the fact that you are not missing out on any business use case.
Disadvantages of using AI for competitive intelligence programs:
Let us look at some of the cons of using AI for CI and how it can take the charm out of it if you don’t take the right steps.
AI might be able to find unexpected patterns, but it cannot tell you clearly why it occurred in the first place. You might feed a select set of data, but how the AI works and what it finds ‘related’ is not transparent. The business should put more effort in finding the context for certain insights.
How does your AI algorithm find relevant data points? The algorithm might not have included important aspects that are important for your business or there might be coding oversights, and this will give false-positive results. You have to be on top of the data to ensure that the algorithm is doing what exactly it intends to do.
There is so much innovation in artificial intelligence that the results you are getting currently might be terribly limited. Be on the lookout for the latest innovations to get what you want.
Popular AI use cases in competitive intelligence:
From identifying patterns in data to predicting future outcomes, artificial intelligence can make a world of difference in your competitive intelligence plan. It can even be programmed to gather information from disparate sources to analyze the data together.
AI has the ability to quickly identify opportunities in your industry. It is already being implemented across industries to predict the future by discovering trends or data patterns that might be missed by humans. News tracking, AI-enabled content recommendation, opportunity tracking, social media monitoring, auto-tagging, customer preference analysis, comparison with competitors across different categories, detailed data breakdown etc., are some of the use cases of AI in competitive intelligence programs.
Given the tonnes of competitor data that is available publicly, it would be unwise not to spend effort on collecting insights from them. Businesses will be doing themselves a disservice if they don’t invest in competitive intelligence programs to see what they can do to their existing IP strategy. Adding artificial intelligence into the fray increases the effectiveness of your competitor analysis.
If you are looking for end-to-end intellectual property services and AI-powered competitor analysis, get in touch with the Researchwire team. Let us walk you through how exactly we can help you with gaining relevant insights for your business using competitive intelligence programs.