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3 Reasons AI is the Ultimate Competitive Intelligence Colleague

Ten years ago, the digital footprints of companies were small. So small, a complete digital footprint only included a company website and maybe a Twitter profile. Today, there are many social media platforms, third-party review sites, content, news, and more. While it might be possible for a human to catalog that amount of data, it’s extremely time-consuming, and there are likely to be details missed and no time is left to actually act on the insights discovered. The key to ensuring you’re getting full insight into your competition is artificial intelligence. In fact, it’s been found that AI technology enhances business productivity by 40%, which means you can invest your time acting upon your competitive intelligence insights. Let’s dive into the three ways that AI is the missing piece to your competitive intelligence strategy.

AI Captures All of the Data Points

For competitive intelligence professionals or those who own their organization's CI strategy, the work that’s done is typically a fairly manual process. Maybe you’re setting up Google Alerts about a competitor or doing that for multiple competitors. Even though you’re getting the alerts straight to your inbox, you still have to sort through all of the information to decide what’s powerful enough to be used.

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In addition to Google Alerts, you may also be crawling your competitor's websites, looking for nuggets of intelligence to gain insight into their strategy or cataloging their marketing content. But even then, what are you actually looking for? How often do you check for updates? What are you recording and why are you recording it at all?

By leveraging artificial intelligence in your competitive intelligence strategy, you can let AI handle the act of capturing all of your relevant competitive intel. AI can crawl the web to find everything that you’re looking for, take in infinite amounts of data that would take ages to manually capture, and categorize the data into digestible sections so that you can easily analyze findings. In this sense, AI can track your competitors’ digital footprints and ensure that you’re capturing all of the information you may have normally missed with a manual process, all while saving you more time to invest your time elsewhere.  

AI Goes Above and Beyond The Skills You Have

Artificial intelligence definitely helps you capture the competitive intelligence data that matters most. In addition to that, AI can assist you in analyzing patterns and pulling out key insights that will benefit your business.

Without artificial intelligence, analyzing data and finding patterns within competitive intelligence data is much harder. Manually, you’re pulling in a lot of data, and it’s hard to comb through the large amounts of competitive insights to pull out the pieces that really matter, and identify key patterns. For example, if you track all of your competitors content creation, how likely are you to notice trends within their content that lead to a bigger announcement? If you see one article, would you have noticed the real significance behind their content efforts? Probably not.

But, with the help of AI, you can surface trends and see key updates highlighted in a way that the human eye likely would have missed. With the help of artificial intelligence, you will have better results in identifying anomalies, finding trends, and you can surface signals from all of the noise.

AI Maximizes the Work You’re Already Doing

Competitive intelligence data is valuable across your entire organization. Since CI professionals are working hard to capture and analyze data, it’s important that their organization is actually seeing the data and acting upon the findings. If your process is completely manual from start to finish, then you may also be storing your CI data in multiple locations such as a Wiki page or a CRM, and communicating updates over email or Slack. Keeping collateral up-to-date is tough when markets are always changing, and when you have to dig through the data to figure out what to include in your CI content. You want to make sure your CI resources are always up-to-date. You don’t want your sales team to be caught off guard, your marketing team to miss a major messaging update, or your product team to be the last to know about your competitor’s latest update.

With the help of artificial intelligence, Marketing can catch the trends of messaging and positioning updates, Sales can have up-to-date battlecards, and Product can stay on top of the competition, adjusting product roadmaps along the way if necessary - all in real-time.

Competitive intelligence is an integral part of every organization. Now, as we head into the future of competitive intelligence, artificial intelligence is the missing piece to improving upon CI strategies. AI can help your team more effectively capture, analyze, and act on competitive intelligence data, and act as the ultimate CI colleague.

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Emily Dumas
Emily Dumas is a product marketer who leads content strategy at ZoomInfo, a global leader in modern go-to-market software, data, and intelligence. Prior to joining ZoomInfo, she spent several years on the Crayon marketing team.