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Digital Competitive Intelligence Strategy

Social Listening

Competitive Intelligence is something that business has done for decades in one form or another. From mystery shopping to market research using various methodologies, everyone seems to be spying on everyone else. However, many businesses have been slow to consider using social media and online research, for competitive intelligence, as a way to increase market share and to gain an overall competitive edge.

For the purpose of this blog post, we will zero in on the aspects of using online resources as a way to gain digital competitive intelligence. As artificial intelligence and algorithms continue to perfect, so does the need for good software. Social listening and analytic software options are plentiful and the financial commitment for using them can be huge.

The Forrester Wave™: Social Listening Platforms, Q4 2020

According to Forrester, vendors that can provide advanced analytics, brand measurement in visualizations, and broad tech integrations, position themselves to successfully deliver enterprise-wide consumer and social intelligence to their customers (Digimond reports from the study and is named as one of the top software providers).

Digimind is a Strong Performer

In 2020, a Forrester’s customer survey found that 59% of respondents incorporate social data into market research data sets, 57% into voice of the customer (VoC) data, and 48% into audience segmentation.

It is important to mention that while social data plays a significant role, data collection from non-social media data can be equally important.

Social Media data for competitive intelligence was something we covered in a previous blog.

According to Hootesuite, social media competitive analysis, includes the following:

  • Identify who your competitors are on social media
  • Know which social platforms they’re on
  • Know how they’re using those platforms
  • Understand how well their social strategy is working
  • Benchmark your social results against the competition
  • Identify social threats to your business
  • Find gaps in your own social media strategy

Online Research Strategy Steps

The Importance of Media Monitoring for Businesses on a regular basis with ongoing detailed reporting. Select your brand with at least two top competitors and gather intelligence on a regular basis.

A Competitor Website is home to a great deal of information that can be used for competitive intelligence. From product and pricing information to new product launches to press releases.

Review and support sites should be monitored as well. Customers are very vocal online, providing a good deal of detail of product reviews.

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Gathering of Competitive Intelligence For Your Business

Competitive Intelligence

We began conducting competitive intelligence for our clients over fifteen years ago. Back then, we primarily used Mystery Shopping as a way to gain valuable information for our clients on their top competitors. We have worked with start ups, established businesses as well as companies who need information for the acquisition process.

Types of Competitive Intelligence Gained:

  1. Website Impressions: Your website is your business. While it may look great to you, unless you research how it resonates with your customers, you may never know the truth. Same is true for a competitive mystery shop. Ease of use is very important as well as using very understandable language surrounding service offerings.
Competitive Intelligence
Website Impression

2. Contact us: Be sure to test this area through every channel possible and then gauge the amount of time it takes for a representative to get back to you. In an April blog post, we shared a case study where it took a representative 6 days to get in touch with our evaluator posing as a potential business customer.

3. Pricing: Asking for a quote after going through the sales process is usually the top determining factor for conducting the research in the first place. Additionally, we upload all marketing collateral right within the evaluation form.

4. Follow up: How well does the representative follow up? Depending on the scope of work, we usually allow 5 business days to measure this. Many times, there isn’t any follow up at all.

Social Media Competitor Analysis

According to Hootesuite, social media competitive analysis, includes the following:

  • Identify who your competitors are on social media
  • Know which social platforms they’re on
  • Know how they’re using those platforms
  • Understand how well their social strategy is working
  • Benchmark your social results against the competition
  • Identify social threats to your business
  • Find gaps in your own social media strategy

When was the last time you took a closer look at your competition?

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Predictable Vs. Experience. The Retail & Hospitality Shift.

Hospitality

There are over 74,000 clothing boutique businesses in the United States. Included in that high number are online boutiques, who have brought a unique frenzy to the retail industry. Trendy, stylish, and exclusive. There’s been shift from “you’re a predictable brand I trust” to “I am loving this exclusive boutique experience.” With more and more online boutiques popping up, shoppers are provided an unshared, chic, shopping experiences that doesn’t feel like the Gap store down the street.  

Interesting enough, there is a similar pivot within the hospitality industry. Large hotel franchises and chains are changing their hotel concepts to reflect a more unique appeal that correlates to the city or town of their hotel location. These changes then compete with smaller, independently owned hotels who are gaining in popularity. The one-of-a kind charm is alluring travelers across the globe. Guests are constantly looking for what is postable, or the “social return,” according to a recent article by Kristen Morales. With more and more people waking up and looking at their Instagram accounts, posting incredible places they’ve been, the increase in social media influences, and Gen Z gearing up to lead the way, hotels are following suit and adjusting strategy.  

Social Media’s Role

Social media has turned the hotel stay into much more than good service and a clean room. According to a new study by University of Georgia researches, it’s all about the ‘experience’.

Guests are taking to social media to post and show their followers and friends the brand-new experience they had. It’s all about the post and what that individual will get in return from sharing that post.

Bynum Boley, an associate professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, says it best, “When you have all these choices out there, you’re going with the one that’s least risky. But service quality is so standardized now-there’s all these reviews online, and service quality is almost a given,” Boley said. “But there’s also a rising influence of people who want a unique experience and also want to be able to broadcast their travel experiences through social media.”

Showing Instagram or Facebook followers the different experiences you are able to have sets you apart. It’s easy nowadays to pull up reviews on a hotel to see how they rank with cleanliness and quality. Going above and beyond for a guest is providing them with an exclusive experience that only comes from them staying at your hotel.

Adjusting Your Focus

So what are major hotels doing to compete with the independent boutique hotel? They are securing their place in the hotel race with new glamorous and attractive accommodations.  The Ranch at Rock Creek offers a Father’s Day getaway that is inspired by iconic film characters. Yes, dads can finally really feel like Jason Bourne or Indiana Jones. Or Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, provides kids with an enchanting education journey through the land of Ubud. Everything from yoga, rock painting, to dance fit, and shadow puppet making is provided.  

Social Media Transparency  

From retail to the hotel boutique experience, both industries have one thing in common, their need to be tech savvy in an ever evolving, competitive market. Transparency is vital as you build your online brand and community. Listening and responding to what is being said about your hotel franchise or independent hotel is a great step forward. For most consumers, the customer journey begins with online reviews. Whether they are seeking to find a new hotel experience or checking out a new shopping boutique. This drives behavior and decisions. Monitoring this activity helps you manage and promote your brand.

About Us:

We monitor social media, and every public review site on the web using unique and multiple software platforms. Let us provide you with a comprehensive report of your online reputation and help increase your sales. The face is, 91% of 18-34 year-olds trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendations.

How are you going to stand out?

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