From all definitions of “competitive intelligence” that I have seen I like Christopher West’s best of all. He eloquently defined it as “the process by which companies inform themselves about every aspect of their rivals’ activities and performance” (Competitive Intelligence, p. 12).
There are multiple tools to monitor your competitors, but this post isn’t about them. Many of these tools have official Twitter accounts, and those don’t cost a penny to follow (unlike the access to full versions of the tools).
Today I’d like to bring you Twitter account of the top 5 competitive intelligence tools out there. These are:
- Compete — Competitive intelligence solutions for digital marketing professionals. By the way, they have an excellent affiliate program too.
- comScore — Global source of digital market intelligence and a popular measurement service.
- Experian Hitwise — The latest Internet usage and search data from Experian Hitwise in the US and Canada
- Quantcast — The world’s first open audience measurement service, free to both publishers and marketers.
- Alexa — Official Twitter account of the company. I wish they were tweeting more though.
Have I missed a good one you follow on the topic? If so, I’d highly appreciate you mention it in the “Comments” area under this post.
2 thoughts on “5 Competitive Intelligence Twitter Accounts to Follow”
I would also include the following CI twitter accounts which I like:
I read and appreciated your article, and yet……I have to disagree with you on your definition, or the defn you prefer (Chris West) which focuses on competitors.
Competitors are a subset of the competitive environment and companies are threatened by far more external forces beyond competitors. This is not to say that competitors should be ignored; rather they are part, but only part, of what a company needs to recognize. A company is more likely to be brought down by not satisfying customers.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, built his company by noticing industries that weren’t paying attention to customers. He doesn’t focus on competitors, only customers, and he owns companies in more than 200 industries. There was a time when competitors were more important, when there was less info available.
Today, customers also select from indirect competitors and substitutes. Companies will say that these other products or services aren’t as good. That’s irrelevant; if the customer thinks the product or service satisfies their needs or requirements, they’ll focus on that rather than the competitors.
Further, for most purchases, customers (B2B, B2C, non-profits) don’t care about competitors; they just want to get what they want. Think about buying a car; there are about 600 models available, yet I’m willing to bet that you would only consider a handful at most. The rest aren’t competitors in that you don’t care what they offer; those aren’t the cars you want. Yes, there are select industries where competitors play a much larger role….but overall in business, that’s not true.
BTW, my definition is: Competitive intelligence is knowledge and foreknowledge about the entire business environment that results in action.” Stated another way, it’s knowing what you need to know to make a decision…and that includes far more than competitors.
Page 38 of my book, “Competitive Intelligence Advantage” illustrates a puzzle with these other areas (the environment), including suppliers, distributors, regulation, technology, customers, substitutes….and competitors. And Chapter 4 details the advantages and disadvantages of competitor focus.