Writing the research scope for competitive intelligence

Many of our clients are hiring a competitive intelligence agency for the first time. They need to scope out the research and it can be helpfult to have a ready-made starting point. What questions should frame a research proposal? What is it possible to discover about competitors? What is a good structure?

Below are some the questions that typically go into a competitor profile. These lean towards analyzing a technology company, but can be easily adapted across industries

Corporate background

  • What is their funding history?

  • What is their revenue history?

    • How are their revenues split by global regions?

    • How are their revenues split by client size?

    • How are their revenues split by industry?

  • How many employees?

    • How many engineers?

    • How many sales employees?

    • How many marketing employees?


  • What do customers like and dislike?

  • Why do customers buy from the competitor?

  • For prospects who did not convert, why did they turn down the competitor?

  • Who are some of the competitor’s customers?

Product strategy and capabilities

  • What is their range of products?

  • What are the key product features?

  • What are their capabilities for mobile?

  • What are their analytics and reporting capabilities?

  • What is their product roadmap?

  • Is the product localized? What languages are available?

  • How easy is the product to customize?

  • Do they have a professional services team?

  • What is the implementation effort required? How long does implementation take? What resources do they offer? What resources must the client provide?


  • How much does the product cost?

  • What are the pricing tiers? What modules are an additional cost?

  • What are typical discount levels for multi-year contracts, for volume and for competitive wins?

  • How much is a typical deal?

Sales pitch

  • What is their go-to-market messaging?

  • How do they position themselves against competitors? Whom do they consider their primary competitors? How do they pitch against us?

  • What are their proof points that they can successfully drive engagement and ROI?

Partners and developer ecosystem

  • What percentage of revenue is from resellers and similar partners?

  • Who are their significant partners? How much revenue do they generate?

  • How successful is their developer ecosystem?

  • How do they recruit and motivate developers?

  • What tools and SDKs do they provide developers?

If you are thinking about analyzing your competitors, contact us.