The accounting industry had been going through major changes. Mandatory auditor rotation had become standard practice. Accounting and auditing firms had to let go of their existing clients and develop strategies to win accounts from their competitors. In addition, accounting firms were looking to get into other business services such as legal services, which would bring in new revenue streams. However, doing this meant that accounting firms were now competing with a completely new breed of companies. It was at this point that one of the Big 4s decided to set up a market intelligence program across their Asia Pacific offices. The objective was to build a truly global market sensing capability that would help them outcompete, outsell and out manoeuvre the competition.
When the Sr. Manager of Strategic Projects, approached Contify, market intelligence was an ad-hoc activity. As she puts it, “we discovered there were teams doing market and competitor intelligence in every office in a different way and they were not communicating well with colleagues in other cities/countries. We were looking for a solution that would streamline and standardize the MI/CI processes.”
All this work was being done manually which clearly couldn’t be scaled. The firm needed to track and analyze competitors’ news, press releases, thought leadership articles, social media activities, job postings and also the industry.
We configured our market intelligence platform to track Industries, competitors, and key accounts. This activity entailed:
- Setting up custom sourcing for 32 competitors across multiple service lines from news, social media and company websites. Tracking social media and company websites were critical. Social media helped in gauging what their competitors were broadcasting on a regular basis. Company websites showed their mid-term focus in the form of thought leadership and research.
- Categorizing this intelligence, gathered from thousands of sources, by service lines and industries so that timeline trends can be analyzed.
- Creating dashboards that gave a time-series analysis of the aggregated information to indicate the topics and business lines that competitors were focussing on.
- Delivering intelligence in the form of daily newsletters to over 500 users.
- Newsletter suite for creating and distributing newsletters to internal and external customers.
- Intelligence in local languages for users based in Japan and China member firms.
There were four problems that Contify solved:
- Organizing intelligence: In order of the intelligence to be actionable, it needed to be structured to reflect how the business was structured. With our custom taxonomy builder, we were able to categorize intelligence by service lines and industries.
- Custom Newsletters: A one size fits all daily email update was not sufficient. Some users were industry-focussed, some aligned by service lines, while others were interested in tracking specific companies. Using our newsletter builder, users were able to set-up custom email alerts.
- Junk information: Blocking junk from reaching the users in such a massive ongoing tracking exercise was a key challenge. Our hybrid platform that combines machine learning with analysts was able to deliver 95% actionable intelligence.
- Regional intelligence: Japan and China member firms relied on intelligence from the local market. We set up custom sourcing for these member firms by integrating sources that were active in the respective countries. They also got access to our multilingual platform using which they were able to consume intelligence in their local language.
Using Contify, this customer was able to launch a state-of-the-art Market Intelligence program across eight countries in the Asia Pacific. Here are the key highlights of the program:
- 500+ users
- 208 custom newsletters
- 128 competitors tracked
- Intelligence from news, competitor websites, social media, regulatory/legal portals
Automation of competitor, industry and customer tracking
“The platform is intuitive and the many features allow us to use it however we like – for example, some of the executives prefer to receive newsletters, so our team put those together easily with the help of Contify. The platform is completely customizable to our set of competitors and industry, and even allows us to define the websites/sources of news we would like to track. We are also able to change/add search topics (e.g. financial news, M&A, executive appointments) easily as the Contify team is very responsive. Overall, a great platform backed by a fantastic team.”