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Analyzing Blogs for Competitive Intelligence
Competitive Intelligence is one of the most important functions of a marketing organization yet many CI professionals are missing the connection between CI and online discussions. I was at the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) annual conference in Chicago this week where Cymfony was a sponsor.
I had the opportunity to speak with many people from large organizations in the healthcare, technology, telecom, consumer products and financial services industries. The level of commitment people had to the CI profession was refreshing to see. When I asked people what the greatest value was that they bring to their organizations I received a variety of responses.
But the most common response was that CI brings key insights to marketing, customer service and sales to help these organizations increase performance. For marketing, that means designing products that meet customer needs. For CS, that means identifying and responding to problems quickly. For sales, that means arming the sales person with information that will help them explain their competitive advantages.
Most CI teams spend a considerable amount of time and money on primary research peforming interviews with customers and analyzing lost opportunities (people who said see you later). Most were well aware of user forums and discussion groups but only a handful had spent considerable time researching blogs as a rich source for competitive intelligence and market research. The driving factor for the new interest in blogs is that CMO's and CEO's are asking questions about the impact of blogs on consumer opinion and corporate reputation.
While primary research will always be an important tool (this is what I was doing at the conference) for gathering intelligence, the number of conversations any researcher can have is limited by time and expense. Supplementing primary research with tools that enable researchers to gather comments quickly from hundreds or thousands of customers (yours or your competitors), makes tremendous sense. Cymfony offers it's own solution for gathering and analyzing this information but every researcher who isn't already doing so should start tapping into the rich commentary from users today by searching and reading blogs focused on your industry or products. I'll guarantee you that some of your competitors are already doing this.
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» All the News That’s Fit to Blog from Genuine VC
BL Ochman is starting a project to track “how long it takes the New York Times to pick up stories from the Blogosphere.” She cites cases of bloggers getting fired for their personal blogs taking five months to hit the... [Read More]
Tracked on Apr 19, 2005 7:42:11 PM
The blogosphere provides a wealth of CI information and many of our clients use it to create new types of data-points that can help with marketing-related decisions. However, another trend that we've noticed - the use of private, secure blogsites to help utilize this new research and market information source.
As such, we have added features to our own product such as embedded intelligence channels that are refreshed nightly on a specific subject. Coupled with secure blogging and secure RSS feeds, our marketing clients have a great solution for finding CI information and then transforming it into actionable knowledge.
Posted by: Bill French | Apr 29, 2005 12:24:09 AM
Wonderful to see that Cymfony has started a blog, especially on TypePad ;-)
It's amazing to see how several of the folks we met up with at the New Communications Forum are now starting to pop up online with blogs of our own. I am continually inspired by how different individuals and organizations use the medium in their own way.
As a media monitoring company, I look forward to reading Cymfony's insights on blogging and any thoughts you or your colleagues have on how to measure the impact of blogs on a company's brand and how best to monitor that impact on an ongoing basis.
Posted by: Ian Kennedy | Apr 19, 2005 5:52:10 PM
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