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Intel and inspiration for the world's best marketers.

5 Tips for an Effective Competitive Intel Update

Posted by Ellie Mirman on November 07, 2017.

You work hard to stay on top of your competitors’ moves. You sift through big and small changes alike, and analyze the data to identify trends and strategies. What then? One of the biggest challenges with making use of competitive intelligence is distributing that intel to the relevant stakeholders within your organization.

The teams who are most successful at distributing intel have identified relevant communication channels, established a regular cadence for distribution, and, of course, crafted their CI updates to deliver immense value in a compact package.

Borrowing from the ideas of great CI updates, we’ve created a template for distributing competitive intelligence. Download the full guide and pack of templates here, or read on for recommendations to create your own.

Sample Competitive Intel Executive Summary

Competitive Intel Update - Executive Summary

#1: Make it Digestible

It’s easy to get lost in competitive intel, which can lead to not having enough time to act on the intel, or, even worse starting to ignore intel. Competitive intel digests should be digestible to encourage others to consistently review and evaluate the findings. Keep the digests short and focused. Leverage formatting as well to keep the content skimmable.

#2: Answer “So What”

In order for competitive intel to have an impact on your team, you need to help bridge the gap between what happened and why it matters. With every piece of intel you plan to share, ask and answer the question, “So what?” because that’s exactly what others will be thinking. Think of each piece of intel going through the following path: What Happened -> What It Means / Why It Matters -> What We Should Do About It

#3: Tailor it to the Audience

Each stakeholder within your organization has their own set of priorities. No single CI report will work for every audience, so think about how you can customize your update to each group.

#4: Keep up a Regular Cadence

Competitive intelligence is like eating healthy or going to the gym - you need to do it consistently over a long period of time to see the impact. That means whatever cadence you choose for CI should be maintained. This allows you to take advantage of both short term opportunities and long term trends.

#5: Look at the Short Term and Long Term

With a particular CI update cadence, you can risk boxing yourself into the intel delivered in that timeframe. Be sure to take a step back and identify longer term trends to watch, and take a deep dive into the long term view from time to time.

Following these suggestions, you’ll create an impactful CI digest that communicates critical intelligence and helps your business act on market changes.

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