Innovation by Global Practice Leaders
In business, we all know that one of the best ways to succeed is to make sure you are on the cutting edge. That is just as true in intelligence as anywhere else. And the very best way to get on that cutting edge is to work with the very best. Helicon has always been on that cutting edge. Helicon and its partners have helped invent Competitive Intelligence, but they have not stopped there. Their creative thinking and series of important books have continued to mark them as global opinion and practice leaders as well as innovators in Competitive Intelligence and related fields.
Click here to read one of their thought-provoking articles: “The Economy, Politics, and the Future of Competitive Intelligence” or “The Changing Landscape of Competitive Intelligence.”
Carolyn M. Vella and John J. McGonagle, Helicon’s partners, are the most prolific authors about Competitive Intelligence. The titles of their important CI books, and the reactions of the business community to them, say it all:
Outsmarting the Competition: Practical Approaches to Finding and Using Competitive Information: “[S]o comprehensive that few marketing managers will be able to take advantage of all its suggestions.” Business Marketing
Protecting Your Company Against Competitive Intelligence: “[A] fine resource for anyone interested in keeping rivals from obtaining the competitive advantage that systematic competitive intelligence can produce.” Competitive Intelligence Review
Bottom Line Competitive Intelligence: “[T]he essential tools for selecting the right kind of competitive intelligence and assessing its contribution to a company’s financial performance.” Business Horizons
Proactive Intelligence – The Successful Executive’s Guide to Intelligence: “Definitely an easy read and a great guide for any busy executive interested in being proactive about intelligence.” co-author of Analysis Without Paralysis: 12 Tools to Make Better Strategic Decisions
A New Archetype for Competitive Intelligence: “[A]pproaches CI [competitive intelligence] from the managerial/strategic perspective…” Competitive Intelligence Review
The Internet Age of Competitive Intelligence: “[A] solid overview of competitive intelligence in whole… [It] is a worthwhile investment.” Journal of Business To Business Marketing
The Manager’s Guide to Competitive Intelligence: “[S]hould be on the bookshelf of any professional who is serious about establishing and maintaining a stellar unit.” Competia Online
What Is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive Intelligence (CI) is often called strategic intelligence, business intelligence, corporate intelligence, competitive information, commercial intelligence, competitor intelligence, and marketing intelligence.
Whatever its name, CI consists of two key elements.
- First – the use of public sources to develop data (raw facts) on competition, competitors, and the market environment.
- Second – the transformation, by analysis, of that data into information (usable/actionable results).
A key maxim is that 90 percent of all information that a company needs to make key decisions and to understand its market and competitors is already public or can be systematically, legally and ethically developed from public data. Public, in CI, means all information you can legally and ethically identify, locate, and then access. It ranges from a document released by a competitor as a part of a local zoning application to an interview with a member of an advertising agency working for a competitor.
CI is divided into two major areas, active and defensive:
- Active CI involves the development of intelligence on all aspects of businesses and the competitive environment. Active CI processes are those aimed at collecting raw data and analyzing that data to provide finished intelligence.
- Defensive CI is the process of protecting your firm against the competitive intelligence efforts of your competitors. Defensive CI processes are heavily dependent on a working knowledge of CI techniques.
For some tips on using CI and on protecting your company against your competitors, download our eBook: “Competitive Intelligence Tips for Businesses of All Sizes.”