In this blog post we will take a look at one of the more common types of competitive intelligence project: the general competitor profile.
Broad competitor profiles usually take a look at all the key areas of a competitor's business without going too deeply into any particular one (for budget reasons). Typically the target is a small or medium company - no one will ask for a general overview of Pfizer or Boeing.
A profile will cover a number of topics: financials, strategy, structure, customers, sales, marketing strategy, pricing, products and international reach being some of them. A few of the questions you might need to answer are listed below (taken from our RFP template).
- Key strengths and weaknesses of the competitor
- Competitor’s strategic priorities
- Where is the competitor headed?
- What is the competitor’s positioning?
- What are the gaps in the competitor’s product range and market targeting?
- What are the implications for attacking the competitor?
- What is the competitor’s strategy and mission?
- What are the competitor’s plans for growth?
- What are the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Where can the competitor be most easily attacked?
- Where is the competitor most likely to go on the offensive?
These profiles are standard competitive intelligence work; table stakes for a good analyst. Some parts (for example who the key executives are, or the core financials) can be straightforward secondary information. Other parts, like pricing, may require primary research. Overall, a competitor profile of this nature is rarely a problem to produce.