How Much Time Competitive Intelligence

Published on October 12, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

How Much Time Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is a critical tool in the B2B market. Understandably, companies are willing to invest in it heavily. However, the question often lingers: how much time does competitive intelligence actually take? Today, we'll dismantle some myths and give you a solid understanding of the time investment necessary to build competitive intelligence.

Understanding Competitive Intelligence

Firstly, let's clearly define competitive intelligence. In layman's terms, it's the collective information about your competitive environment. It covers areas like your competitor's strategies, their products' strengths and weaknesses, and market trends, to name a few. This allows companies to anticipate challenges and opportunities, make informed decisions, and construct a winning business strategy.

The Time Dilemma

Competitive intelligence is a perpetual activity. Markets keep changing; competitors keep adapting. So, the first thing to understand is that competitive intelligence isn't a one-time task. Gathering, analyzing, and deploying this intelligence is an ongoing task that requires frequent attention.

The sheer volume of necessary data can make the process time-consuming, especially when considering that this data often spans across numerous sources in varied formats. Furthermore, the data needs to be not just collected, but sorted, analyzed, synthesized, and finally presented in an easily digestible form to the decision-makers.

This is the crux of the issue - it is not just about gathering data, but turning it into intelligence. Incorrect or incomplete data can lead to misguided strategies that could cost your company significantly. On the other hand, timely, accurate, and valuable intelligence can steer your organization towards seizing market opportunities and gaining a competitive advantage.

Breaking Down the Time Factor

Let's break down some of the tasks involved in competitive intelligence:

  • Data Gathering: This initial phase can be incredibly time-consuming, as it involves extensive research into competitors, markets, trends, and more. It could take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on the breadth of the sector and the depth of the needed insights.

  • Data Analysis: Once the data is collected, it must be analyzed. This means filtering, sorting, and determining its implications for your business. This could easily consume a similar amount of time as the data gathering phase.

  • Report Generation: Finally, the findings need to be compiled into an actionable report or dashboard. This report needs to be comprehensible for key decision makers. This might take several hours more, depending on the complexity and volume of the data.

Therefore, the process could easily consume a couple of weeks each time, assuming it’s done manually. That’s not accounting for the need to continuously monitor and update these reports as markets change.

Streamlining Competitive Intelligence

The time challenge can be mitigated through smart approaches:

Outsourcing: Some organizations outsource their competitive intelligence. Managed services can handle the time-consuming tasks of gathering, analyzing, and reporting.

Automating: With technology advancements, several tools and platforms can automate the competitive intelligence process. Such AI-driven platforms gather data in real time from a variety of sources, analyze it, and provide actionable insights without humans having to spend extensive man hours. Aomni is one such platform that bridges the gap between data collection, analysis, and action by delivering insights in minutes rather than weeks.

Dedicating In-house Teams: Some companies prefer to dedicate in-house teams to competitive intelligence. This gives them maximum control, but it comes with the cost of hiring, training, and maintaining such a team.

So, How Much Time Does Competitive Intelligence Take?

It really depends on your approach. Done manually, comprehensive competitive intelligence could easily take up weeks of man-hours. On the other hand, with appropriate outsourcing or automation tools, the time could be drastically reduced to minutes or hours.

Final Thoughts

The importance of competitive intelligence cannot be understated. It gives you the edge in a fiercely competitive business environment. However, its labour and time intensity can dissuade organizations from investing in it.

The good news is that with the rise of AI, the time factor is no longer a hindrance. Tools like Aomni can deliver competitive intelligence within minutes, with zero effort required from you – a tremendous advantage in the fast-paced world of B2B sales. So, the time for competitive intelligence is now.

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