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Digital Competitive Intelligence Strategy

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.


Improving the OmniChannel Experience


There have been a number of news stories in recent weeks about omnichannel marketing, and “getting it right” when it comes to mobile. Brick and mortar stores understand the importance of mobile sites, digital marketing and purchase abilities, and making it all seamless. But, that can be more difficult than people think.


Take, for example, American Eagle’s challenges that they recently shared at Etail West 2014 during “The Keys to Omnichannel Success at American Eagle Outfitters” segment.


A couple of their challenges are not unique to their business, and are good examples of considerations to make and test when rolling out omnichannel opportunities for customers:


1. Make sure online and mobile match: one challenge the retailer shared was ensuring that when customers clicked on email links from their mobile devices, that they had a landing place to reach. They found that customers were reaching a page that said, “Sorry, you can’t do this on mobile, but keep checking back.”


2. Honoring loyalty without frustration: another experience they shared revolved around customers who needed to sign in to continue on their online journey. They found that customers would stop where they were to sign in, and the site would reroute them to the home page, rather than the last page they were on before signing in, creating frustration and what experts refer to as “friction” in the customer journey.


On a similar note, also at ETail West 2014, 1-800 Flowers shared their experience with digital footprints – a way to track data across devices. One of their goals sheds light on another challenged faced with the omnichannel experience: pushing mobile browsers to purchases. According to the article, they are finding that consumers spend time browsing on their mobile device, but not making a purchase. The company is trying to find ways to encourage browsing on mobile, but somehow providing a seamless experience when they move to their desktop or tablet, presumably at the point where they have more time to sit down to make that purchase. Similarly, they are looking for ways to easily encourage those browsers on mobile to turn into buyers from the mobile experience.


While omnichannel experiences aren’t new, there are still stumbling blocks and challenges for companies. However, starting small, testing along the way, and gathering feedback from customers will help make the process as smooth as possible.