Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries
Hello everyone! :-)
I'm a college student (majoring in business) from Germany, and have been working (and mostly researching lol) in SEO/Internet Marketing/web analytics for the past few years.
I really enjoy that "web stuff", but the more I keep doing it the more I realize that research is my main passion, and people continue to ask me to research things for them (for free LOL)...thus am wondering if I can specialize in a field that's primary about research.
What are the best competitive intelligence researchers you know of..like...typically? My guess would be that the personality traits curiosity & persistence (& a systematic way of thinking) may be the difference makers to succeed in this career.
However, I'm here to ask people who actually know this and dont need to guess like I do ;-)
cant help but add this - I just read (in another forum post), that a difference between CI and market research...was that CI folks usually have to dig deeper.
Is this true? just asking because I LOVE to dig deep ;-)
I'm going to split this question up:
1. What are the traits that make a GOOD analyst?
2. What are the traits that make a SUCCESSFUL analyst?
Your ability to provide predictive analysis that lets people make better decisions is what makes you GOOD. Do everything Monica just said, and you'll be really, really good.
But to be SUCCESSFUL is another matter entirely. It depends on the bureaucracy in which you operate. I have worked with many internal analysts for whom following the above gameplan would be career suicide. You see, the industry might be quite "old school" with many of the senior managers possessing thirty or more years experience. These types of executives likely achieved success with somewhat of a "pre-CI" mindset, and if you just start flinging competitive intelligence dossiers full of threats and opportunities at their heads, they will find you about as much fun as a surprise colonoscopy.
<WARNING: SHAMELESS PLUG> My new book is actually about how the political reality of bureaucracy keeps us from using intelligence properly. The reality of competitive intelligence is kinda like the reality of being married - it doesn't matter if you're right in the sense of Platonic idealism if your relationship crumbles and you're sleeping on the couch after a few hours of dodging flying crockery.</PLUG>
Playing the political game is the key to success as an analyst. Learning your skills properly is the key to being good. The latter is much, much harder, and also much more deserving of respect.
wow thanks for the replies, everyone! Unfortunately my PC is giving me issues (at home), so Im only at the library now and cant reply to all of this, but I'll sure get back to it.
quick reply, though ;-):
1. I'm looking for a field that is mainly about doing what I would call "deep research" - e.g. where the deeper you can dig, the better you're gonna be. It seems that CI is about much more than that and the main task of it doesn't equal "digging deep"?
2. I know (by now hehe) that there's a difference between being good at something and being successful at it (meaning that being good at a certain skill doesnt necessarily mean youll be able to charge a high price for it in the market, etc...) - I assume that's what the difference of "good" and "successful" was about?
I just read all the replies, again ...but cant really reply,yet ..gonna have to read it another time to remember and address the right points! just saying this so you wont think i dont appreciate it.
However, one thing Id really like to ask, already...is competitive intelligence different from competitive intelligence RESEARCH ...as in the latter being a subset of the former.... or does competitive intelligence research not really exist
thank you again!!
Hello Monica - thanks for the reply!
As for me being a number crunching guy or a qualitative guy...I think Im probably neither :-). What I enjoy doing is deep research, research that is a challenge (to figure something out,etc.). Usually it has little to do with numbers, though I'm not opposed to number crunching, either. ...eh maybe I dont understand the word qualitative right - I'll shoot you a PM about this.
I really just found the field of CI and this forum because of trying to find a venue where I could do this type of research. It seems that my understanding of CI was too narrow!
however, actually I do enjoy anticipating opportunities, problems,etc.. I usually do this in my life on a regular basis trying to gauge which life problems are next. Anticipating problems that are about to arise (many in life are just waiting to happen, because they happen to everyone, or everyone who is similar to yourself) is my favorite "problem solving" technique actually!;-).
So even though CI seems not to be what I was lookinng for in terms of doing mostly research...it could still be an option for the future (Im still in college, anyway). but for now, Im probably wrong, here!
Thanks for everyone who answered my questions, of course!
EDIT: Oops, just noticed, that I can't message you until youve accepted my friend request (in case you do accept it). I wanted to ask you something about the research part, but it includes information about myself that I'd prefer not to share on a public forum. ...It's nothing bad just something Id prefer not to be on the public www....and of course I'll make sure I keep the message to 3-4 lines and ask a precise question! :-)
hope this isnt asking for too much!
I thought about competitive intelligence and it being anticipatory, at the back of my mind.... and trying to create a competitive advantage for the company. I think I'm already doing something like this in online marketing - let me give an example:
the mobile phones/mobile web isnt really that big, yet (then again I dont know if this may be different in the US?). However in Japan the mobile web is big already. Ive been pondering the question if "foot traffic" will become big once everyone is starting to use the mobile phone to access the web. right now its all about search engine traffic, and paid for traffic. in the future, once mobile gets big people may start typing in web addresses they see somewhere. Right now im trying to find someone from Japan to ask questions about how mobile web access has changed the job of online marketers in Japan....this could then be leveraged as a competitive advantage for a website in the US. - in theory, anyway LOL Im not sure if this is gonna be actionable, to be honest ;-).
Another example would be that understanding the underlying factors of the market environment....and understanding them to a deep level (so you can spot changes sooner than the competition)...is something else that could be leveraged to be ahead of your competitors. ...for example when it comes to bidding on keywords in PPC Marketing (pay per click marketing basically means that internet marketers bid on keywords that people search for on the internet. ...if you bid on them youll have one of those ads that are displayed at the right side ofgoogle's search results.
if oyu can anticipate such changes of underlying factors, you should be able to be the first to bid on a keyword, that only now becomes highly searched for....and have a first mover advantage over your competitors.
Is this kind of thing going on in competitive intelligence? thank you!