When a competitor announces a major product release or an acquisition, the natural reaction is to wish you’d known about it sooner—because the sooner you know, the more time you have to prepare internal communications, external talking points, etc.
Sometimes you get lucky. Maybe one of your competitor’s unhappy customers forwards you a roadmap presentation. Stuff like that happens occasionally … but you can’t count on it.
The good news is that you may not need to count on it—because your competitors may be dropping hints in their content marketing.
Today, I’ll walk through 11 real-world examples of companies that hinted at major product announcements with their content marketing. Every press release and piece of content featured in this blog post was captured in real time by Crayon’s competitor tracking technology.
Disclaimer: Obviously, just because your competitor publishes a blog post about email marketing, doesn’t mean they’re going to release/acquire an email marketing tool. To anticipate your competitors’ announcements, you need to analyze their marketing output through the lens of their shortcomings and the market’s demands. If you know that your competitor’s customers have been asking for an email marketing tool for years, then that blog post probably indicates that something is in the works.
The announcement: On August 15, GoDaddy announced the release of Instant Video, an AI tool that helps entrepreneurs create videos.
The hint: On July 25, GoDaddy published a blog post with tips for creating videos.
2. Bold Commerce
The announcement: On July 19, Bold Commerce announced the release of Checkout Unleashed, a tool that enables ecommerce brands to integrate checkout into video, email, and other marketing experiences.
The hint: On June 1, Bold Commerce published a blog post about the evolution of the ecommerce checkout experience.
The announcement: On April 10, Mailchimp announced the release of Email Content Generator, an AI tool that helps marketers create email campaigns.
The hint: On February 8, Mailchimp announced that they’d be using their AI text generator to live tweet the Super Bowl. Included in the post was the claim that “[their] AI generator has email marketing covered.”
The announcement: On July 26, Smartsheet announced the release of AI features designed to “help enterprises tackle their mission-critical work more strategically and efficiently.”
The hint: On July 13, Smartsheet published a blog post with tips from marketing leaders on how to use AI to do more with less.
The announcement: On June 12, Docebo announced the acquisition of Edugo.AI, a “generative AI-based learning technology.”
The hint: On March 20, Docebo published a blog post about the potential of generative AI to transform corporate learning and development functions.
6. Sprout Social
The announcement: On August 3, Sprout Social announced the acquisition of Tagger Media, an influencer marketing platform.
The first hint: On April 17, Sprout Social published a blog post with tips for developing an influencer marketing strategy.
The second hint: On April 24, Sprout Social published another blog post about influencer marketing.
The announcement: On May 25, Brandwatch announced the addition of a new category of Reddit data to its social intelligence platform.
The hint: On March 30, Brandwatch published a blog post about using Reddit for social listening.
The announcement: On June 6, 6sense announced the release of an AI email writing feature.
The hint: On April 4, 6sense published a blog post with tips for editing AI-generated content.
The announcement: On July 25, Demandbase announced the release of a connected TV solution for B2B advertisers.
The hint: On June 27, Demandbase published a blog post explaining why B2B advertisers should care about connected TV.
The announcement: On June 21, Salesloft announced the release of Rhythm, an AI tool that “translates buyer behavior into the most immediate and impactful seller actions in a single prioritized workflow.” Included in the announcement was the claim that “the future of sales is here.”
The hint: On June 7, Salesloft published a webinar about the sales workflow of the future.
The announcement: On May 2, Mindtickle announced the acquisition of Enable Us, a provider of digital sales room technology.
The hint: On October 20 (of the prior year), Mindtickle published a blog post about the value of digital sales rooms. They republished the blog post following the announcement.
If you suspect your competitor is preparing to make a major announcement, I recommend using analysis of competing hypotheses to organize your thinking and determine which explanations are more or less likely to be true.
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