Goals of Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence can be argued to be a type of ‘course of action’ taken by businesses which is characterized by the assembly of relevant information and its utilization towards the maximization of competitive advantage in favor of the business. By saying ‘information’, different types of data can be identified as long as it contributes to helping companies make decisions that enhance their ‘edge’ in the competitive market. With this in mind, information of this sort can range from any data about products, competitors, potential customers, market targets and behaviors of different stakeholders in the business concerned.
The key goals of competitive intelligence are the following: 1) gather intelligence in a manner that is in abidance to the ethics and laws that are at work at the site of the business’ operation, 2) pin- point information that is relevant to the type of competitive advantage that is sought to be achieved by the business and 3) utilize the relevant information gathered in order to be used as references in making business decisions (Haag, 2006).
The first impression that one can get from looking at the different goals of competitive intelligence is that it is a ‘cost’ on the part of the company, which entails the challenge of efficiency. Information gathering in a nutshell implies expenditures, which means that the information gathered must match the agenda so that all efforts exerted are able to produce results that are ‘usable’ for the company (Gilad, 2008). For example, when trying to achieve advantage in price competition, a company must focus on gathering information on consumer demographics such as those answering the question of ‘who are most likely to buy your products and at what price?’
Haag, S. (2006). Management Information Systems for the Information Age. Third Edition. McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Gilad, B. (2008). The Future of Competitive Intelligence: Contest for the Profession's Soul. Competitive Intelligence Magazine.