Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

I want to start a discussion for those individuals interested in the role or performance of analysis in the larger CI process. Is this an area that you are required to perform in your role as practitioner, consultant, vendor, or academic? Do you do it well? How did you become an effective analyst? Are there tools that work particularly well for you, or ones you think are highly over-rated by most of us?

I'll try and get this started by loading up a slide deck that provides coverage of a chapter (#2) in my last book Business and Competitive Analysis (w/ B. Bensoussan, FT Press, 2007) on "performing the analysis process" to get some discussion started. Please feel free to chime in. I still think there is way more that we don't know and understand about this process than the reverse situation.

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Dear Craig,

A very complex question but to simplifyI will like to add:

Ideally depending on what the Objective is we do Analysis

Is our Analysis required for:

1. Corporate Strategy
2. Business Strategy
3. Functional Strategy etc...

Common management tools can be used in Phase I:

1. Value Chain Analysis
2. SWOT Analysis
3. Strategic Option Analysis
4. Benchmarking
5. Five Force Analysis
6. Six Force Analysis of Andy Grove
7. Country Analysis
8. PEST Analysis

Phase II:

1. Collate each Analysis and try to see the larger picture which is emerging
2. Draw Implications to your organisation
3. Draw implication to your Industry
4. Check out alignment to:

A. Vision of the Company
B. Mission of the Company
C. Goals of the Company.

Phase III:

Wargaming - Role Playing
1. Have we identified Strategic Inflection Points yet?
2. Possibilities

Phase IV:

Scenario Planning using Drivers
1. Have we identified Strategic Inflection Points yet?
2. Probability x Impact Analysis

Phase V:

Generate Actionable Intelligence ie Early Warning

We put all of the above Phase I to Phase V in a mixer-blender ie our mind and use INSIGHT to generate Early Warning which gives us Competitive Advantage and helps us outflank and outmaneuver our competitors in the Corporate Warfare.

Again we are back to square one: Key Intelligence Topics

1. Assessment of Strategies
2. Consumer Perceptions
3. Identification of Competitor capabilities:
A. Existing Competitors
B. Parallel Competitors
C. Latent Competitors

To simplify what is the Strategic Objective we are trying to achieve using OODA Loop

Very Complex Craig, a very good question. Cheers.

Are we going for Offensive Strategies in the Corporate Battlefield
Are we going for Defensive Strategies in the Corporate Battlefield
Are we going for Flanking Strategies in the Corporate Battlefield
Are we going in for Guerilla Strategies

A organisation may use multi pronged maneuver ie Offensive / Defensive / Flanking / Guerilla with Multiple Strategic Options such as Low Cost / Broad Differentiation / Best Cost / Focussed Low Cost / Focussed Differentiation

OODA LOOP is the Name of the Game
A very good question indeed Craig,

Further we may like to Monitor to avoid a Hostile takeover, which technically again is analysis of:

1. White Knights
2. Black Knights
3. Moat
4. Killer Bees option
5. Greenmailing
6. Golden Parachute
7. Grey Knights
8. Suicide Pill option
Analysis of Service Triangle

1. Our Service Triangle Analysis
2. Existing Competitors Service Triangle Analysis
3. Parallel Competitors Service Triangle Analysis
4. Latent Competitors Service Triangle Analysis
Hi Craig,
As a vendor, I have noticed during the last year a emerging shift in CI users' interest who do see in analysis tools a new way to better value their position and to share their finding with upper management in a more appealing way.
I am guessing the underlying reason for this shift is the renewed offer from CI vendors that now includes real time dashboards combining text analytics and visualization tools.
We do also see a similar shift in the BI field as explained in recent Seth Grimes' post.
I remember over the years whether I was doing assignments for:

1. Hill & Associates
2. Armor Group

Their clients were never really interested in OSINT.

What anybody really was looking for, was surgical extraction of information and analysis to provide cutting edge intelligence to the client.
The world keeps changing...:-)


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