How to Gather Competitive Intelligence on Private Companies?
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10 Best Competitive Intelligence Tools for Organizations in 2022

Article by Team Contify 3 min read


Competitive intelligence (CI) and competitor analysis are age-old concepts that have been used effectively since the 16th century, as far as documented history goes. Competitive intelligence is important for companies as a part of their business strategy as it helps them understand their competitive environment, its opportunities as well as its challenges. Every organization uses competitive intelligence in some form of the other, to inform marketing strategies, product roadmaps and in strategic decision making.

Today, with organizations around the world investing in high-tech competitive intelligence tools and software, competitive intelligence has become not only a well-recognized principle for corporate decision-making, but an essential business activity to sustain and grow your business. Fragmented and ad-hoc competitive intelligence processes are not sufficient any more. If you want your CI efforts to be as effective as possible and long-lasting, you need a competitive intelligence tool that can gather and analyze crucial information about your competitors in an automated manner. As Forbes puts it, successfully leveraging and implementing emerging technological solutions (like competitive intelligence tools) has become essential for organizations to maintain their leadership positions and growth acceleration.

In this article, we’ll discuss 10 such competitive intelligence tools that organizations should be using to monitor their market and competitors. Let’s begin.

1. Contify

What is it?

Contify is a one-stop competitive and market intelligence platform that helps businesses track information on competitors, customers, partners and industry segments by enabling users and teams to collect, curate, and share actionable intelligence across their organization. Contify helps businesses drive informed decision-making by enabling them to keep track of what’s important in a world brimming with ‘digital noise’.

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What can it do for you?

- Competitive Intelligence Automation: Help CI/MI professionals automate routine competitive intelligence tasks, streamline analyst workflows and save time spent on manual research and information processing. Contify’s competitive intelligence system also enables the efficient distribution of personalized intelligence newsletters across the organization.

- Sales and Account Intelligence: Provide noise-free, intelligent updates customized to each member of sales and account management teams to drive conversions and conversations.

- Competitor Tracking: Track competitors’ digital footprint across websites, media coverage, announcements, social media and more.

- Industry Intelligence: Track industry segment to identify trends, innovations and emerging threats like new entrants, disruptors, etc., that are beyond the scope of already established competitors.

When to use it?

Contify can be used by all organizations regardless of what stage they are at in their competitive and market intelligence journey.

Key features

Key Features Contify

Contify is brimming with features to help organizations compete intelligently, get ahead and succeed in the modern markets. However, these are some of its most useful features:

- Personalized News Feeds

- Intelligence Newsletters

- Intuitive Dashboards

- Taxonomy Builder

- User Management

- User Analytics

- Sourcing Manager

- API Integrations

- White-labelling

- Collaboration Tool


Contify offers three solutions, MI Essentials, MI Enterprise and News APIs, based on the organization’s size and their CI requirements. In addition, Contify works with its customers to configure its features to fit each of their unique intelligence requirements. Contify also provides a free trial of its platform for users to understand what a dedicated Market and Competitive Intelligence platform can do for their business. Get your 7-day free trial today

2. WhatRunsWhere

What is it?

What Runs Where is an ad intelligence platform that gives you a bird’s eye view of which ads are being run on which websites. It's useful for informing your own ad placements, as well as gathering insights on where your competitors are placing their ads. It’s a great tool to keep an eye on your competitors and ensure that your advertising strategy stays effective in a constantly changing market landscape.

What can it do for you?

WhatRunsWhere provides digital ad intelligence to help organizations:

- See the top performing creatives in their market or niche

- Identify campaigns to inform their own ad strategy

- Find new traffic sources and reach larger audiences

- Access best-in-class data from 90k advertisers, 20k sites and 500 networks

- Stay up-to-date on the ins and outs of their competitors' display ad strategies

- Understand key trends across desktop, mobile and native channels

When to use it?

Organizations can use WhatRunsWhere before launching their advertising campaigns, or even during such campaigns.

Key features

- Comprehensive Ad Intelligence

- Competitive Market Analysis

- Top Brand and Affiliate Ads

- Comprehensive Advertiser, Category, Site and Network Profiles


WhatRunsWhere only has one ‘Enterprise’ plan. For pricing details, contact WhatRunsWhere.

3. SEMRush

What is it?

SEMRush is an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform. It offers numerous capabilities that allow organizations to optimize their visibility across key channels, perform competitive research, create engaging content for their users and accurately measure the results of their online marketing activities.

What can it do for you?

- Provide you with a comprehensive picture of your competitors’ performance.

- Analyze competitors using a variety of metrics like organic keywords, backlinking, content performance, display and search advertising, social media performance, PPC, and website traffic.

- Gain insights into marketing strategies that are working for your competition, and inform your own.

When to use it?

Organizations can use SEMRush anytime to track their competitors’ organic and paid keywords, advertising, content performance, and social media to make data-driven marketing decisions.

Key features

- Keyword Research/PPC Research

- On-page SEO/Local SEO

- Market Analysis

- Competitor Analysis/Monitoring

- Content Marketing/Optimization/Analytics

- Content Creation and Distribution

- Rank Tracking

- Social Media Management

- Link Building

- Website Monetization

- Paid Advertising


SEMRush has three different plans which cost $119.95/month, $229.95/month, and $449.95/month respectively. It also offers additional customization of the platform, which may cost an additional monthly fee.

4. Talkwalker

What is it

Talkwalker is a social analytics and real-time tracking tool that can be used by organizations to track their competitors’ mentions on news and social media, as well as set up alerts on industries and topics that are of interest.

What can it do for you?

- Set up alerts for your search terms across news and press, Twitter, blogs, and forum/discussion boards.

- Monitor competitors and track what is being said about them across multiple channels

- Identify which channels and social media platforms are best for you to target

- Stay up to date on the latest market trends in your industry

- Make informed decisions about your competitive landscape

Key features

- Social media analytics

- Competitor intelligence alerts

- Consumer insights

- Head-to-head competitor comparison

- Dashboards and Reports on competitors’ brands and your own.


Talkwalker offers 3 plans, namely - Listening, Analytics and Research. The Listening plan costs $9000 yearly, while other plans’ prices are supplied on request.

- Set up alerts for your search terms across news and press, Twitter, blogs, and forum/discussion boards.

- Monitor competitors and track what is being said about them across multiple channels

- Identify which channels and social media platforms are best for you to target

- Stay up to date on the latest market trends in your industry

- Make informed decisions about your competitive landscape

5. Owler

What is it?

Owler is a sales and marketing tool that allows organizations to follow, track and research companies in real-time. It crowdsources and provides competitive insights through news alerts, company profiles, polls, etc.

What can it do for you?

Owler is meant largely for marketing and sales teams of an organization, and can help them do the following:

- Track companies that matter to the organization (competitors, partners, clients)

- Access exclusive company data (annual revenue, employee count, funding, and top competitors)

- Explore the latest news and events about your competitors and your market

- Integrate with your CRM to track active prospects and customers

When to use it?

Organizations should use Owler whenever they need to identify their competitors (direct, indirect, potential) and perform a competitive analysis, or to keep up with the latest developments about their market and/or competitors.

Key features

- Newsfeeds

- Advanced Search

- News Alerts

- Competitor identification

- Opportunity identification


Owler offers 4 plans for its platform: The free version is very limited, and for simple search purposes. Professional packages range from $99/year to $420/year depending on your organization’s use-case, with an additional, customizable package specifically for Sales Teams.

6. Visualping

What is it?

Visualping is a convenient tool to monitor changes on your competitors’ websites. It allows organizations to set up alerts that will apprise them of any changes on the website they’ve targeted. The tool is predominantly meant for marketing teams.

What can it do for you?

Visualping can help organizations do the following things:

- Set up highly-targeted alerts for changes on competitors’ websites

- Understand changes in competitors’ positioning, and/or marketing strategies

When to use it?

Organizations should use Visualping regularly to keep track of any changes in their competitors’ messaging/positioning, to always stay one step ahead of their moves.

Key features

- Powerful change analytics

- Highly-targeted alerts via email, text

- Integration with apps like Slack, APIs

- Advanced monitoring options


Visualping has a number of plans both for individuals and businesses. Pricing plans for individuals range from free to $97/month, depending upon the number of pages you’re allowed to track per day. Pricing plans for businesses range from $20/month to $135/month.

7. Rival IQ

What is it?

Rival IQ is a powerful social media analytics tool that helps organizations gain competitive intelligence on their competitors’ social media strategies.

What can it do for you?

Rival IQ can help organizations do the following:

- Compare social media channels head-to-head with your competitors

- Provide insights on competitors’ social media strategies

- Adapt or improve your own social media strategy by keeping tabs on competitors

When to use it?

Organizations should use Rival IQ when seeking intelligence on competitors’ social media strategies, and/or when planning their own.

Key features

- Competitive Analysis

- Social Posts Analysis

- Social Media Audits

- Social Reporting


Rival IQ offers 3 packages to businesses ranging from $239/month to $519/month with more add-on features available for an extra fee. It also offers a free trial.

8. BuzzSumo

What is it?

BuzzSumo is essentially a cloud-based, comprehensive marketing platform that helps organizations discover the best engagement, content and outreach opportunities across social media and search engines. BuzzSumo also has a Google Chrome extension which you can add to the browser.

What can it do for you?

BuzzSumo is a popular marketing tool that can help organizations do the following:

- Perform content discovery and research

- Monitor and track competitors’ brand, backlinks of a specific website, keywords, authors, and published content

- Perform influencer research and marketing to outperform competitors

- Find media and publicity opportunities

- Conduct in-depth content analyses against competitors

When to use it?

Organizations should use BuzzSumo before or during their marketing campaigns to power their marketing strategies, discover content, research what content is performing well, monitor media outlets and performance, and research influencers in their industry.

Key features

- Social Media Analysis

- Content Monitoring

- Backlink Analysis

- Competitor Analysis

- Keyword Tracking

- Brand and Reputation Tracking

- Media Tracking

- Opportunity Identification

- Automation and Development Using APIs


BuzzSumo’s pricing and plans range from $99/month to $299/month. All plans have a free trial of 30 days, and there’s also a Free plan which can be used indefinitely with limited features.

9. Alexa

What is it?

Alexa is a SEO and Competitive Analysis platform by Amazon which can help organizations measure their domain rankings, engagement and traffic, in addition to tracking and analyzing target audiences and competitors.

What can it do for you?

Alexa can help organizations do the following things:

- Perform SEO analyses and audits

- Identify, reach and convert their target audience

- Find untapped business opportunities by evaluating competitive landscape

- Perform competitive analyses

- Perform content research

- Perform keyword and backlink research

When to use it?

Organizations should use Alexa whenever they need to audit and improve their overall marketing results.

Key features

- SEO tools

- Competitive Website Analysis

- Target Audience Analysis

- Marketing Resources


Alexa offers plans ranging from Basic at $19.99/month, to Agency at $299/month. All plans have different free trial periods ranging from 7 days to 30 days.

10. Google Alerts

What is it?

Google Alerts is a tool that notifies you (through email) whenever it finds results matching the search terms you’re targeting. Google Alerts sends you web pages, newspaper articles, blogs, or scientific research, which is why it has been a popular unofficial competitive intelligence tool in the past years. However, Google Alerts has its limitations.

What can it do for you?

Google Alerts can help organizations do the following things:

- Track and monitor any topics or search terms they’re interested in

- Stay up to date on market news and trends

When to use it?

Organizations can use Google Alerts to get regular updates on their competitors and their industry, or any topic of interest for that matter.

Key features

Google Alerts is actually a feature itself, offered by the Google search engine.


Google Alerts is absolutely free to use.


Depending on the kind of competitive intelligence you wish to track, you can choose one or more of the above mentioned tools to give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. Understand the competitive intelligence needs of your organization first, then evaluate the tools that fall within your criteria one-by-one. Then, and only then, should you use these tools to gather information on your market and competitors.

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