In-depth competitor research is crucial to knowing how your products and services stack up in the marketplace—whether they are cheaper or more expensive, inferior or superior in certain ways. Knowledge of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses reveals where your company can carve out a niche and thrive.
You don’t have to hack their computers or peer through their office windows with a telescope to find competitors’ inside information. Plenty of competitive intelligence is publicly available and can be acquired through legitimate means. Your competitors are probably doing it.
You can find hidden pages with Google searches such as: “filetype: doc site: companyname.” Change the file type to .pdf, .xls, or .ppt to turn up data or presentations. Competitors often post documents online, thinking no one will find it if they don’t link to it.
Snooping via social media
Ongoing monitoring and measurement of news and social media probably offers the richest competitive intelligence.