Lessons On Competitive Intelligence Covid 19 Era

Published on October 12, 2023 by Sawyer Middeleer

Lessons On Competitive Intelligence Covid 19 Era

In a rapidly shifting world, marked by significant events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, competitive intelligence (CI) is more crucial for business survival and growth than ever. When societies and economies are upended so swiftly, the knowledge about competitors' market behaviour, strategies, and capabilities can define the difference between success and failure.

This article aims to shed light on the evolving realm of competitive intelligence in this COVID-19 era, bringing forward insights to help enterprises adapt and emerge victorious in these challenging times.

Lesson 1: Be Nimble, Be Quick

In this high-stakes, fast-paced business environment, slow and steady doesn't necessarily win the race. The massive transformations driven by the pandemic have underscored the need for quick adaptability and flexibility. Businesses now must be rapid in acquiring, analyzing, and applying CI.

For example, as lockdown measures forced businesses to close physical stores, keeping tabs on competitors enabled the swift identification of how rapidly they were shifting to online sales, thereby setting benchmarks for success. With this analysis, businesses could speedily adapt and ensure they weren’t left behind.

Lesson 2: Embrace Digital Transformation

Being physically distanced has made digitalization not just an option, but a necessity. Companies have tapped into AI and Machine Learning to automate CI collection and analysis, giving them a powerful edge and preparing them for future adversities.

Platforms like Aomni leverage AI to deliver comprehensive CI, from analyzing competitors' customer behavior to gauging their levels of digital adoption and identifying potential threats or opportunities. These insights are collated in real-time, gaining businesses a crucial advantage in planning and execution.

Lesson 3: Dive Deeper

Robust understanding of your competitors goes beyond basic knowledge of their products or services. Prying deeper into their structures, strategies, and crisis management plans provides a distinctive advantage.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that went the extra mile to study how competitors were managing the crisis - how they adapted to remote working, handled customer relations or adjusted market strategies, enjoyed a handy compass to navigate turbulent waters.

Lesson 4: Widen Your Scope

The pandemic highlighted the import of broadening the focus beyond immediate competition. With fast-evolving market dynamics, businesses learned to keep an eye on indirect competitors, new entrants, and disruptive technologies.

Take, for instance, e-commerce giant Amazon’s jump into healthcare with Amazon Pharmacy, amid the pandemic. Had pharmacy retailers focused only on their traditional counterparts, they would have missed significant shifts in the industry landscape.

Lesson 5: Use CI for Internal Improvements

Competitive Intelligence is as much about improving internal processes as about external competition. In times of unprecedented change, businesses learned to use CI to elevate their operations.

As companies transitioned to work from home, studying the practices of competitors that were faring well provided valuable insights into managing remote teams, boosting morale, and maintaining productivity, establishing the feedback loop that promotes continuous improvement.

Lesson 6: Cultivate a CI-Driven Culture

COVID-19 is a testament to how fostering a CI-driven culture benefits businesses. When every team understands the essence of CI and contributes to its cultivation, the organization gains a panoramic view of market realities.

For instance, companies like Cisco Systems and Procter & Gamble have designated CI champions across various departments. Each champion is responsible for staying abreast of developments in their respective areas and sharing insights with the core CI team.

Lesson 7: Never Underestimate the Power of Collaboration

The COVID-19 ordeal has brought forth a novel facet of CI: collaboration. As businesses grappled with the pandemic, they recognized the value of cooperative competition or “coopetition”. Through collaboration on aspects such as crisis management strategies and policy lobbying, they discovered the potency of CI as a tool for fostering cooperative relationships with competitors.


The world, as we know it, is changing. In the face of unpredictable market shifts like those precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging competitive intelligence has proven to be a powerful tool that has given companies the edge they need to not only survive, but thrive. It has re-emphasized the importance of adaptability, digital transformation, depth and scope of research, internal improvements, a CI-centric culture, and business collaboration.

Competitive intelligence platforms like Aomni provide the tools businesses need to weather such storms. By continuously evolving and making competitive intelligence a central part of their strategy, businesses can navigate the unpredictable waves of change and chart clear paths to continued success.

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