Competitive intelligence (CI) is the process of monitoring the activities of one’s competitors to gain an advantage in the marketplace. This can be done manually, but it’s time-consuming and often tricky. These days, there are several competitive intelligence tools available that can make this task much easier. Many of these tools are web-based, and some are even free. Here’s a look at some of the most popular competitive intelligence tools and how to choose the best one for your needs.
1. Figure Out What you Need
The first step is to determine what you need from a competitive – intelligence tool. Do you need something that will track your competitor’s online activity? Do you need something that will help you find new customers? Once you know what you need, you can start narrowing down your choices. There are several factors to consider when choosing a competitive – intelligence tool, including cost, features, and ease of use. Cost is always an important consideration when choosing any software. However, it’s especially important when choosing a competitive – intelligence tool. Some of these tools can be expensive, so you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend.
2. Consider the Features
Once you’ve figured out what you need, you can start looking at the features of different competitive – intelligence tools. Many of these tools offer a variety of features, so it’s essential to find one that has the features you need. Some popular features include social media monitoring, website analysis, and keyword research. Make sure to choose a tool that has the features you need. According to Gartner, “Competitive – intelligence tools that only offer a single view of the market (such as website analysis) are not as valuable as those that provide multiple views (such as keyword research and social media monitoring).”
3. Look for Ease of Use
Another important consideration is the ease of use. You’ll want to choose a tool that’s easy to use and understand. Otherwise, you’ll likely get frustrated and won’t get the most out of the tool. Many competitive – intelligence tools have a free trial period, so take advantage of this. This will allow you to try out the tool and see if it’s easy to use. In addition, be sure to read online reviews of competitive – intelligence tools before making your final decision.
4. Get a Free Trial
Many competitive – intelligence tools offer a free trial period. This is a great way to try out the device and see if it’s right for you. Be sure to take advantage of the free trial period and use it to test out the tool’s features. If you find the tool difficult to use or don’t have the parts you need, then you can move on to another tool.
5. Ask for Recommendations
Finally, don’t forget to ask for recommendations. Talk to other businesses in your industry and see what tools they’re using. NetBase Quid is a great way to get started. This tool offers a free trial, so you can try it out and see if it’s right for you. Services like this offer a variety of features, including social media monitoring, website analysis, and keyword research.
By following these steps, you can find the best competitive intelligence tool for your needs. These tools can be a great way to gain an advantage in the marketplace. Just be sure to take your time and choose the right one for you.