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Competitive Intelligence Boom: What's Driving Demand & How Can CI Professionals Accelerate the Time to Insight?

June 04, 2020

According to a recent study, 90% of companies say their industry has become ‘somewhat’ or ‘much more’ competitive in the past year. Is it any wonder that 94% of companies currently conduct competitive intelligence (CI) research?

While the reasons for this increased competition vary from one industry to the next, one common factor is the digital transformation underway across the business landscape. Digital frontrunners routinely outperform their competitors; they are 23% more profitable and 64% more likely to hit their business goals than digital laggards, based on statistics gathered by Forbes. Another factor is declining customer loyalty. Whether its for convenience or for a better customer experience, reports Business Insider, 73% of consumers say they are open to trying a new brand—and let’s face it, because of digital transformation, they’re only a few clicks away from making the switch.

Companies that want to get ahead and stay there need to up their competitive intelligence game.

Finding the needle in the CI haystack

While small businesses may rely on reviewing competitor websites or taking ‘secret shopper’ expeditions to collect competitive intelligence, in general those tactics will fall far short of delivering the insights companies need. Most companies need more information to paint a clear picture of their industry, marketplace, and competitors. Where should they look?

The open web is not the answer. First and foremost, search engines like Google and Yahoo are also marketing sites, which means that sponsored content, paid ads, and SEO marketing copy dominate search results. Moreover, the open web is a publishing platform for any and every one, making it more difficult to validate the origin, the accuracy, or the timeliness of the content. Do you really want to define critical business strategies based on competitive intelligence gathered from questionable sources?

Choosing a research platform designed for gathering business intelligence is the smarter choice for several reasons.

  1. Focused content—Unlike the open web, a competitive intelligence research solution homes in on the content most likely to provide value. This means your search results won’t frontload with display ads and keyword stuffed webpages. It won’t pull in random Reddit discussions or Wiki links. Instead, a solution like Nexis® for Competitive Intelligence allows you to search a single type of content or the entire content collection spanning more than 40,000 sources of print, broadcast and webnews, company and executive data, market and industry analysis, patents, legal cases, and regulatory information. Plus, the content is aggregated from trusted publishers from around the world, allowing companies to capture a global point of view much more quickly. Public search engines tend to serve up content based on the users country of origin, so if you want a global perspective, you must craft multiple search queries as a work around.
  2. Enriched content—On the open web, your search results lack specificity because content has been optimized for the content providers’ needs (lead generation) and some basic filters (date, geo, or price, for example).That’s fine when you want to find a great restaurant nearby or do some bargain hunting, but it is less effective when you’re searching for relevant business intelligence. Nexis for Competitive Intelligence, on the other hand, allows for efficient pre- and post-search filtering based on rigorous content enrichment that includes using our proprietary LexisNexis® SmartIndexing Technology™ to analyze and tag content based on more than 350,000 company name terms, 1000’s of people, industry and subject topics and in excess of 900 geographic terms related to cities, states, regions and nations across the globe.
  3. Automated reports—If you hunt, you can find reports on the open web, but often it’s a familiar bait and switch. The results description looks tempting, but when you land on the page, that tempting bit of information is behind a paywall. With Nexis for Competitive Intelligence, you can access industry and market analysis reports. You can connect to Nexis Dossier for company and executive research, generating quick snapshots on an entity or executive. You can even generate SWOT analyses on the fly. All without ever encountering a paywall.

These advantages add up to a huge time savings. Instead of frustrating, inefficient scavenger hunts on the open web, you can quickly conduct competitive intelligence research across a world-leading database using natural language or Boolean search queries. You can efficiently narrow your search results and surface the relevant information quickly. And you can create shareable Alerts to keep you and your colleagues current with the latest competitive intelligence.

Learn more about the advantages of a research platform designed with the needs of businesses in mind. Download the Nexis Overview now or connect with us to arrange a personalized demo at your convenience.