From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM
Know Your Competition Like a Spy
Many EDOs and EDCs apply extensive resources to the collection, management, packaging and delivery of digital data about their communities to prospective new business and industry investors. But, what about your smart data strategy for collection and analysis of competitive intelligence for outreach and marketing?
To insure Homeland security, the Central Intelligence Agency does not collect vast amounts of data on what the United States has to offer, but rather, gathers extensive data on what our competitors and enemies are doing, where they are going, and what they intend.
The same applies to Business Intelligence. Knowing what your competitors are offering and doing and where they are marketing is just as important as knowing what your prospects want, where they are looking for it, and how to attract them.
Digital Information and fast, mobile, internet access are driving an unprecedented and transformational shift in communication, intelligence, business applications, and human expectations like none we’ve ever seen before. Access to and analysis of large amounts of data is now an exponentially powerful advantage – creating entirely new competitors and processes, while rendering older ones obsolete. New opportunities and threats are real.
This widespread digital connectivity affects how people think and behave, and what they expect. It affects how business is won or lost. This same digital connectivity and technology also affords us the ability to see digital footprints of prospects and competitors as they search and move across the internet. It’s the permission we all willingly grant for the utility of access we receive.
Just like traditional spy-craft, gathering key data about your competitors can significantly leverage your advantage over them.
For economic development, intelligence gathering is based on a strategy that captures your competitors’ and prospects’ digital traffic, whereabouts, and responses. The resulting data-driven insights then guide your marketing tactics.
Marketing Insights from Digital Intel Gathering include:
- How much qualified traffic are you getting to your digital presence? From where? Who are your best prospects? How can you identify these prospect types in a different industry sector or geography?
- How does your website content stack up to your competition’s? Are your competitors getting more webpage visits and longer stays? Are more prospects drawn to your competitors’ sites than yours? Where were your webpage visitors before they came to you? And where did they go after they left your site? Did they come back?
- Which competitors are generating higher digital traffic because of a more effective brand and prospect engagement strategy?
- Are your competitors using social media better? Is your rival EDC telling a better story because they have a more engaging social media and channel strategy?
- Does your competitor consistently win projects because their information is easier to obtain? How does your website experience compare to your rivals? Are you getting as many inquiries as your competitors?
- Do you know where your EDC is ahead, behind, or on par with your competition? Do you know if your information is presented in the most convenient way for a prospect?
If your competitive intelligence is based on prospect hearsay or speculation and not from hard data, your outreach and marketing efforts may be wasted. Valuable competitive information is available and waiting to be collected, analyzed, and utilized. Having it measurably improves your success.