Business intelligence is an ongoing collective process by which a group of volunteer individuals track down and collect information on the advancements and strategic directions of the competition . When the latter is functional, it must allow a company to be permanently informed on the external competitive environment. Then, allow the company to adapt before the entry into application of the strategic reorientation of its competitor or the release of its new products.
Thereby, for competitive intelligence to become “strategic”, the watchdog must therefore, while taking into account the management style specific to his company, be the vector for changing mentalities. This underlines that its mission is to gather compelling information, which will subsequently influence the improvement of understanding of the policies and strategies of competitors.
“Competitive intelligence” generally consists of monitoring: – Competitor’s product news (innovations, launches, prices, etc.) – Marketing and advertising actions of competitors (prospectus, newsletter, advertising campaigns, etc.) – Their business practices – Competition events – Public data relating to the economic and commercial performance of competitors – Information from the sales force
This “strategic watch” process can operate in two distinct but non-exclusive modes: command mode and alert mode.
Command mode means that the active search for strategic intelligence information is triggered by the express request (the command) from a hierarchical superior who thus expresses a specific need for information. The initiative is therefore on the side of the potential user of the information, a manager for example.
The alert mode means that the active search for information is continuous on the part of certain people and that these people alert, on their own initiative, the hierarchical superior when they deem to have found interesting information, whereas this superior has not. not expressed a particular need for information. The initiative is therefore on the side of the leader of the strategic watch.