Competitive Intelligence Tools
What are Competitive Intelligence Tools?
Competitive Intelligence Tools are used by businesses to help gauge how well their competition is performing within their particular field. This is done by data-driven research that analyzes, tracks, collects, and stores information on other businesses within the same industry. These types of tools track success outcomes for competing businesses such as traffic, market share, revenue, funding rounds, etc.
Most B2B and B2C markets are already saturated with products today. This market saturation then requires businesses to keep pace with their competitors. A well-known example is Apple’s innovative creation of the iPhone, which launched the smartphone revolution. The iPhone spurred other companies like Samsung and Windows to develop their version of smartphones. Though this is an extreme example, Competitive Intelligence Tools use their data-driven analyses for market prediction as well and could be the difference between you or your competitor addressing a critical need in the market.
Competitive Intelligence Tools are not designed to steal ideas but rather to learn and research the competitor’s business methods and how well they are performing in the market, relative to your product or service. This is done by analyzing multiple sources of competitive data, including SEO and traffic data, social listening and monitoring data, and intent data. Some types of Competitive Intelligence Tools may specialize in one or more of these areas.
Competitive Intelligence Tools Features
Most Competitive Intelligence Tools share standard features without the need to purchase extra features. They include:
Competitor Price Tracking
Social Media Monitoring
Competitive Intelligence Tools Comparison
Several factors go into the decision-making process before purchasing a Competitive Intelligence Tool. Some to keep in mind include:
Functionality: Be sure to keep in mind the product’s functionality, which includes overall data quality and integrity. Though most of the features listed can be obtained without the purchase of a premium plan, it is best to make sure these features will help you achieve your overall goals and will provide you with desired business outcomes.
Ease of Use: How easy or challenging to use is the particular tool for you and your team? This may involve the ability to set up the product and easily interpret the data that is being presented. Having a smooth transition saves the business time, while effectively understanding the data will result in more favorable outcomes and better overall results for the business.
Almost every Competitive Intelligence Tool will feature a free trial which should be taken advantage of before agreeing to pay. Some products, such as Ahrefs and Semrush, offer the option for a completely free account which is, of course, limited compared to the accounts with monthly subscriptions.
Monthly subscription plans can range anywhere from $99 to $1,000 a month, depending on the number of features and volume of data you’re looking for. The more expensive monthly plans will offer more advanced features such as knowing your competitor’s traffic sources, a content marketing toolkit, White label reports, API access, historical data, and more results per report and reports per day.
Zoho Social helps marketers in small to large organizations to grow the social media presence of their brand with actionable insights focused on content and engagement. Zoho Social provides marketers with pre-publishing insights based on the engagement level of previous posts and…
SEMRush is a relatively popular search engine optimization tool set from the company of the same name based in Pennsylvania and founded in 2008. Largely the platforms relies on competitive intelligence, and features SEO staples like backlink checking, keyword analysis to refine SEO…
Sprout Social provides social media management, marketing, customer care, data and intelligence, and employee advocacy solutions for leading brands and agencies, including Ticketmaster, Chipotle, Grubhub, Subaru, Zendesk and many more. Sprout’s platform is designed with ease of use…
Ahrefs is an SEO tool providers. Ahrefs Site Explorer provides a suite of tools including a component for backlink & on-page SEO analysis, online brand mentions tracking, and domain comparison tool for competitor analysis, etc. They refer to themselves as “the largest index of live…
Birdeye is an all-in-one customer experience platform that provides businesses with the tools to deliver great experiences at every step of the customer journey. More than 60,000 businesses of all sizes use Birdeye every day to be found online and chosen through listings and reviews,…
Meltwater Media Intelligence platform is a set of public relations software tools for media monitoring, social media monitoring, and collecting brand insights. The four areas of functionality are Monitor, Analyze, Distribute, and Engage. (Note that this product combines features…
Sprinklr Modern Research enables users to listen, learn and act on insights gleaned from modern channels. The vendor states users can improve products and services by leveraging actionable insights derived from real-time, voice-of-the-customer conversations, save time with automated…
Hootsuite Insights (formerly uberVU) shows businesses what they need to know in real time. Hootsuite Insights analyzes big social data, combining monitoring capabilities, data analysis and reporting features to show insights like influencers, stories, and trends.
Knowledge360 (formerly Knowledge.Works) from Consensus Point company Cipher Systems (acquired December 2019) is a competitive intelligence software system that acts as a single, custom repository for all intelligence sources, including web news, internal reports, syndicated research,…
Frequently Asked Questions
In a crowded B2B or B2C market, it's crucial to understand how your own online presence stacks up against your competitors’ online presence and success. Competitive Intelligence Tools do this by offering services such as:
- Competitor product pricing research
- Competitor social media strategy research
- Competitor product positioning
- Content research
- Intent Data analysis