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Competitive Affairs: Know 'Who You Are Up Against' and Use That To Your Advantage!


Competitive Affairs is the practice of deliberately using information about your competitive environment to understand what impacts your ability to succeed.

Within any organization, departments, business units and individuals need to know certain things about what's going on with competitors, products and services, key people, trends, major customers, suppliers, opinion leaders, etc. and such information is used in many ways:

  • Executive Leadership use it to improve corporate planning and strategy
  • Marketing uses it for identifying target markets and differentiation
  • Sales people use it to answer why should I buy from YOU instead of your competitor?
  • Finance and Legal use it for due diligence work in mergers, alliances and acquisitions
  • Purchasing uses it for effective and advantageous supplier contracting
  • Human Resources uses it for hiring and retaining the best employees
  • Public Affairs, Investor Relations, Public Relations, Community Relations, Government Affairs use it to understand their various community audiences, allies and adversaries
  • Research & Development uses it to identify key trends inside (& outside) the industry.

Click here for a list of every day Competitive Affairs activities. Or, click here to get a copy of our white paper on Competitive Affairs. (This file is requires the Adobe Acrobat™ File Viewer. If you do not have this viewer, please visit the Adobe Web site or click the icon at the bottom of this page.)

Does This Scenario Sound Familiar?

Your organization is unique and in a complex industry. Each department does what it can to understand its own piece of the competitive picture. There's a large a mount of unconnected (and likely duplicated ) information about the competitive environment scattered throughout different departments and individual offices. This includes research reports in filing cabinets, purchased news-feeds and information services, data buried in complex databases, emails, hard drives and inside the heads of many experienced or well-connected employees.

You are not alone. Typically as much as 80% of what a company needs to know about its competitive landscape is already within that company's four walls' with no guarantee that it's being used. Most business people are frustrated with how competitor information is managed.

This chart reflects a survey of 4,500 leaders which reveals that knowing what competitors are doing is the top information shortcoming (U.S.C. Business School & Korn Ferry, Fall 2000).

So What's NEW About Competitive Affairs?

No longer do companies, government agencies, associations and other organizations have to track competitive forces using 'ad hoc,' inefficient, costly and time consuming methods. Competitive Affairs is the DELIBERATE management of competitive environment information to serve many departments in an organization.

And frankly, IntoAction® is the best Competitive Affairs system available anywhere.

By using IntoAction TM software, organizations can get more value out of their information assets, while ensuring that key employees in many departments can easily access useful reports about the competitive environment tailored specifically to help them reach their goals.

IntoAction offers advantages superior to other business information systems (which are more expensive, complex and require you to take on significant business risk):

  • Specific Measurable Purpose. IntoAction presents easy-to-use reports that help distinct groups in your organization meet measurable, bottom-line business objectives (increase sales, improve marketing effectiveness, secure better contracts, and so on).
  • More Value Without Disrupting Internal Data Sources. IntoAction provides up-to-date reports that draw from your STRATEGY! ® database of internal and external info, and can also draw bits of relevant info from internal department databases used for other purposes (CRM, SFA, SCM, BI, etc.) -- so you get even more value from these other systems, without having to disrupt them. Get useful competitor reports, without the significant risk or cost of trying to create a complex one-size-fits-all system.
  • Reports Are More Complete. IntoAction combines information from many sources and different departmental perspectives, thus building a more accurate picture of what's going on in each area of your unique competitive environment (compare that to a report or description created by one department or person from a single vantage viewpoint).
  • Greater Efficiency All Around. IntoAction reports allow your organization to get more value out of your current information assets (internal data, employee experience, research, electronic info, newsfeeds) by reusing the most important parts of information
    that each of your departments have already purchased once or continue to pay for on a regular basis. Helps you identify and reduce duplication of effort and spending, also!  

Using IntoAction for Competitive Affairs s aves time and money, while meeting very real needs in many departments. Want to know more about IntoAction? Request a Demo CD.

Industry WHITE PAPER on Competitive Affairs

Click here to get the white paper on Competitive Affairs.  (This file is requires the Adobe Acrobat™ File Viewer. If you do not have this viewer, please visit the Adobe Web site or click the icon at the bottom of this page.) The paper describes in detail the many opportunities for creating new competitive advantages while maximizing information efficiency inside your own organization. In addition to detailing new opportunities to serve this growing demand for better competitor information management.

If you are want to know more about Competitive Affairs, check out a Guide to Getting Started.

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