Become a competitive intelligence champion

How to brand and market your competitive intelligence team

 

Competitive intelligence is core to any successful organization, but it is not uncommon for an organization to view the CI team as a faceless research department. Whether you want to take your CI team to the next level, or get the recognition your team deserves for the in-depth insights you provide, here are 9 tips to help you brand and market your competitive intelligence team.


1. Share the mission of your CI team

Have you ever been asked, “what is it that you do again?”. Unfortunately, this has been the fate of many CI teams. Let us help you avoid that question by making it abundantly clear what you do and why you do it. As you share all of your deliverables, refer to your mission in multiple places, such as the footer of reports and newsletters and in the email signature of subscription alerts so that your end users know exactly what you do and who to contact.

2. Brand your team with your logo

Yes, a picture truly speaks a thousand words. As you work to market your CI function, don‘t forget one of the core components of a successful brand, the logo. Some of the most successful CI teams include their team logo on newsletters, reports, and dashboards.

A logo helps your stakeholders instantly connect the sight of your logo to the work that your competitive intelligence team produces and the quality insights that you provide.

3. Consistency is key

An initial marketing push is important, but the common factor among all popular brands is consistent brand imagery and communication. Apple is a great example of this. Since 1977 Apple has had their logo on every one of their products. When you think of Apple, immediately the apple logo comes to mind in addition to their minimalist design. The same can be true for your competitive intelligence team. Now that you have a team logo and templated reports, consistently distribute your insights and make your CI brand a “household name”. Another way to establish consistency is to schedule the delivery of certain outputs on a regular basis (day of the week and time). Have people look forward to receiving the weekly newsletter just after lunch on Mondays, as an example.

4. Schedule 1-on-1's

To truly understand your stakeholders needs and create advocates internally, schedule 1-on-1's with the department heads of your internal customer groups. This is a great opportunity to further communicate your teams’ mission, the resources you have at your disposal that may be of aid to your stakeholder, and to develop a relationship. Use this time to understand your customers problems and explore how you can assist. This is a pivotal step to making the CI team an invaluable part of your organization. As a side benefit, you may find that these leaders are more than happy to spread the word and it can be a boon to the success of your team and your own career. If it is difficult to get an audience with other department heads, have a meeting with HR and ask for a mutual introduction. Meeting with stakeholders and providing valuable insights based on their needs can only have a net positive effect.

5. Know your customer & create personas

Your competitive intelligence team likely serves a broad audience internally. Maybe you send one deliverable to the Executive team, another to Strategy, and also distribute insights to Sales. To effectively communicate in your stakeholders language, produce customer personas. Ask yourself these questions; “What is their role?”, “What are their goals and responsibilities?”, “What communications channels do they use most often?”, and “How can I help them?”. Now do this for each stakeholder group that you serve. This will allow you to decide which types of deliverables to produce and which channels to distribute them in.

6. Templatize your deliverables

Since deliverables are the main way your team shares insights internally, this is a huge opportunity to grow your CI brand. Make a nice banner across the top of reports and newsletters to make them stand out, put your logo in the footer, and don’t forget a nice picture of the analyst with contact information so your stakeholders know how to get in touch. The Wide Narrow platform was built just for this purpose. You can use our powerful reporting tools to share your insights in eye-catching newsletters, email alerts, reports, and even dashboards. Customize your deliverables with your CI team logo, custom color scheme, and corporate font to add that additional touch of professionalism.

7. Engage your stakeholders where they live

This is one of the most undervalued tricks to marketing your CI team. Your stakeholders likely use certain tools for their particular roles in the company. Instead of emailing PDF reports, or trying to pull them into another platform, distribute your insights where they live. Maybe sales wants the insights in Salesforce while the executive team wants your reports accessible in SharePoint. A good CI platform should allow you to push your intelligence into 3rd party tools automatically via RSS feeds, embedded widgets, and API integrations. At Wide Narrow, we have over 300 integrations just for this purpose.

8. Create & share your intelligence hub

Competitive Intelligence can be difficult to communicate consistently, especially if you are responding to ad-hoc requests. To give your stakeholders ultimate value, invite them to join your Intelligence Hub. This platform can act as the repository for all your intelligence. Going beyond an intelligence repository, a good Intelligence platform should allow your internal customers to like, share, ask questions, and perform searches so they can get to the insights in a timely manner. In addition to the value your stakeholders are obtaining in your intelligence hub, look for a platform that allows you, as a competitive intelligence team to streamline your work. Wide Narrow not only works as an intelligence hub for internal customers, but was built to help analysts monitor competitors/markets/trends, collaborate with SMEs while working on projects, and even produce deliverables right inside the platform. Once you have built out the hub, this resource is an exceptional mechanism to share the value your team is producing and to put your CI brand front and center within your organization.

9. Track your statistics

Since deliverables are the main way your team shares insights internally, this is a huge opportunity to grow your CI brand. Make a nice banner across the top of reports and newsletters to make them stand out, put your logo in the footer, and don’t forget a nice picture of the analyst with contact information so your stakeholders know how to get in touch. The Wide Narrow platform was built just for this purpose. You can use our powerful reporting tools to share your insights in eye-catching newsletters, email alerts, reports, and even dashboards. Customize your deliverables with your CI team logo, custom color scheme, and corporate font to add that additional touch of professionalism.

Subscribe and get the latest news right in your inbox