2014 Update: Books on Analytic Tools for Competitive Intelligence

This is an update of books on competitive intelligence tools and techniques from a 2009 blog. Analysis Without Paralysis was updated in 2012 and now includes 12 techniques, 2 more than the first edition in 2006. Mercyhurst University students and staff published The Analyst’s Cookbook, Volume 2, available only in Kindle format.

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Visualize Your Competitors on a Radar Screen Competitor Map, a Great Competitive Intelligence Tool

The Radar Screen is one of my favorite competitive intelligence tools. It is totally visual, and fits on one page for easy digestion. It can be used both strategically and tactically, and is a rich communication tool. Read about it in Adrian Slywotsky’s Value Migration. It’s a great way to visualize how competitors are positioned relative to you and each other. The uses for the Radar Screen competitor map are as rich as your imagination. The screen can be divided into 4 quadrants which might depict competitors by 4 separate business units, 4 different geographies, and on a tactical level 4 different reasons why customers buy.

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Capture Competitive Intelligence from Sales: Switching Cost Analysis

One tool that been very popular with Sales forces over the years is “Switching Cost Analysis.” The goal is to help retain your customers! Identify all the hidden costs of the competitor’s solution which might make it more expensive for the customer to switch. Find enough omitted costs and the customer might wonder what else the competitor is not telling them!

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Take a Cooperative Approach to Conflict Resolution

I like the cooperative approach shared in Hot Buttons to solve conflicts with colleagues as it’s objective, focuses on constructive communication, and not “who dunnit? While cooperative intelligence skills of leadership, connection and communication don’t guarantee job security, they will help you stand out since many people have lower emotional intelligence: that is they have weak people skills.

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Presenting at SCIP’s 2009 Annual Conference, April 22 – 25, Chicago, IL

I just finished creating two presentations for SCIP’s (Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals) Annual Conference in Chicago from April 22 – 25. The first talk is “Build a Sustainable Early Warning Process through Cooperative Connection” and the second is “Capture Competitive Intelligence from Sales and Customers for Lucrative Product Development.” I hope to see you at SCIP’s annual conference! Feel free to post any questions on this blog post and I’ll find answers for you.

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Print Media Demise: Farewell to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News

Today is the last day for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News. While we will miss our Rocky Mountain News, Denver is a mid-tier large city which challenges the limits of supporting two local papers. Print media in its many forms is threatened as people read their news, for free, on the Internet before it hits the newspapers. We have become a nation of “6 or 10 points of how to do something,” which while interesting, is cursory communication. Will we lose our competitive edge due to relying on this more shallow electronic communication?

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2009 AIIP Annual Conference: March 26-29, Albuquerque, NM

AIIP (Association of Independent Information Professionals) is holding its 23rd Annual Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott from March 25 – 29. More details http://aiip.org/ConferenceSchedule. SCIP and SLA members receive the AIIP discounted price. Feb. 20 is the last day for early bird registration http://aiip.org/ConferenceRegistration.

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More Competitive Technical Intelligence – CTI

CTI is action oriented findings of science and technology events and trends that can affect an organization’s competitive position, either presently or in the future. Here is a sneak preview of a portion of my chapter for SCIP’s upcoming book on Competitive Technical Intelligence, which focuses on Best Practices in CTI.

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Next Generation Competitive Intelligence Deliverables: SCIP Webinar

Next generation companies will be more collaborative, with far more interactions among their customers, suppliers, employees and partners. This will mandate that competitive intelligence professionals incorporate next generation technology when they create competitive intelligence deliverables. This webinar illustrates cooperative intelligence practices, both cooperative communication and cooperative connection, by adding Web 2.0 to your communication and connection arsenal. Marty will illustrate case studies from his deep experience at Cisco Systems. While he focuses on competitive intelligence cases, these practices will benefit anyone who provides a service.

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Getting into Your Competitor’s Head: A Case Study

Competitive intelligence professionals often spend too much time collecting competitive data and not enough time digesting what it really means. In the February McKinsey Quarterly, “Getting into Your Competitor’s Head,” the authors assert that in order to be more predictive you need to insert yourself into both your competitor’s company moves as well as their decision-making, which often don’t match. Some companies conduct elaborate wargames to get into their competitor’s head which is warranted in complex cases. Sometimes it’s as easy as identifying the key decision-maker’s motivation, personality style and track record through personality profiling.

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