How Can Market and Competitive Intelligence Platforms Drive Product Leadership?

Article by Team Contify 5 min read

The parameters of competitive advantages morph dynamically as organizations adapt their business strategy to ever-changing market realities and customer demands.

For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a colossal shift in the market and customer behavior. A post-pandemic McKinsey survey suggests that digital technology adoption accelerated by three to seven years in a few months during this period. As digital adoption soars, product performance, and innovation have become critical for businesses to succeed.

Additionally, the pace of business evolution has also accelerated, with the number of changes at the level of core business practices increasing.

Median Frequency Of Core Business Practices


This blog post investigates the pivotal role market and competitive intelligence (M&CI) software can play in helping business executives drive and maintain product leadership.

Why Companies Often Fail to Achieve Product Leadership?

The fast-evolving business landscape requires continuous product development, leading to frequent product releases and feature additions.

However, many organizations struggle to surpass their competitors to maintain product leadership due to factors such as:

  • Rapid Technological Advancements: Keeping up with the swift pace of technology evolution is challenging.
  • Changing Consumer Preferences: Adapting to quickly evolving customer expectations demands agility.
  • Resource Constraints: Limited time, talent, and financial resources hinder the pace of product development.
  • Complexity in Product Development: Advanced technologies increase the intricacy of developing unique products.
  • Regulatory and Compliance Challenges: Navigating industry-specific regulations slows down the innovation process.
  • Risk of Innovation: The uncertainty of new product success poses financial and strategic risks.
  • Difficulty in Predicting Market Trends: Accurately forecasting long-lasting trends is challenging.

The Strategic Edge of Market & Competitive Intelligence

In a digital-first world where products have become key to competitive differentiation, companies must closely monitor developments in their industry, customers, and competitors. It is to ensure the relevance of their products and stay ahead of the curve.

Now, the question is:

  • How can companies streamline and fine-tune product development to create and maintain product leadership in their market?
  • Is there a solution to have an eagle’s-eye view of ongoing developments in a fast-paced, competitive environment?
  • Can they extract relevant competitor information from massive data volumes generated each day?

To tackle these issues and fast-track innovation, many organizations leverage AI-driven Competitive and market intelligence (M&CI) platforms. These tools comprehensively collect, store, and analyze data from different sources in a centralized platform. Several organizational stakeholders, including product teams, can use this single-source-of-truth repository to derive valuable insights per their needs.

As per an Emerald Insights report, a notable 90% of Fortune 500 companies utilize competitive intelligence to gain a competitive advantage, indicating the widespread adoption of these practices among leading firms.​

With M&CI tools, companies keep themselves updated on their immediate business environment, have data-backed foresight into the best strategic requirements, and have a distinct competitive edge over others.

Gearing up for Future Readiness through M&CI Tools

The key value proposition of M&CI platforms is their efficiency. Automating routine tasks frees up a significant amount of work hours, which teams can devote to other value-added activities.

The integrated one-stop solutions automate information collection from diverse sources, including online news channels, company websites, social media, and custom sources like regulatory portals, review websites, job boards, etc. Then, only the relevant information is selectively stored and organized in the centralized repository for easy access and analysis.

M&CI tools are the building blocks to prepare the organization for the future. For example:

1. Easily collect, access, and analyze market and competitive data

M&CI platforms automate data collection, eliminating the need for manual data collection. The platform’s advanced data categorization techniques make it easier for businesses to organize and structure the data on the go.

The centralized data hub enables M&CI professionals to evaluate a consolidated and organized repository of readily available information that requires minimal changes, reducing the time needed to access relevant data.

The platform's advanced AI capabilities can help teams deconstruct data, identifying specific trends and patterns. M&CI teams then analyze the information through the lens of stakeholders’ context to derive actionable insights efficiently.

2. Keeping a pulse on the market

M&CI platforms continuously monitor competitors’ activities, and market changes in real time. The platform keeps businesses updated on relevant developments in the competitive landscape.

The platforms also allow users to set up customizable alerts based on specific criteria, such as competitors' product launches or regulatory changes. As a result, organizations can keep a pulse on the market and respond promptly to new opportunities or emerging threats.

Finserv's M&CI team included geopolitical analysts who analyzed early data about a disease outbreak in Wuhan, China, in January 2020. The team corroborated the information from multiple sources and applied their analytical judgment, leveraging historical data from previous disease outbreaks, such as SARS. The team recommended that the organization put a travel ban and implement protective measures even before the disease was detected in the United States.

This way, Finserv's M&CI team ensured their organization was prepared to deal with the unprecedented risks.

3. Developing long-term strategy

Forecast-based planning uses predictive models that rely on AI to identify macro and micro trends. M&CI platforms offer competitive intelligence to help organizations identify significant shifts in their industry and market. Trend analysis provides reliable data indicators that enable organizations to focus on long-term forward thinking.

The company can also leverage the data from the M&CI platform for what-if scenario planning to test against a hypothetical situation about their product strategy.

Key Attributes of a Suitable M&CI Platform

An effective M&CI platform's fundamental strength is comprehensive data aggregation and analysis capabilities. The other key attributes of the platform are:

  • Flexibility and customization
  • Third-party integration capabilities
  • Security and compliance
Apart from these key attributes, a reliable M&CI platform should have the following:

Ease of deployment and customization

The ideal platform should offer a quick and simplified setup process that integrates effortlessly with the existing tech stack. It should provide customization options for users to tailor the platform to align with the changing market conditions and business environment. On top of that, a user-friendly interface and personalized dashboard for an intuitive user experience.

Advanced AI capabilities

It should use advanced AI capabilities to automate data analysis, contextualization, and interpretation. AI enhances the platform's capability to interpret different pieces of intelligence. Even the most advanced AI cannot replace an analyst. However, it should significantly reduce the manual work so that the analyst can focus on the interpretation of the data from the stakeholders' context.

Intelligence Collection from Internal Teams

The platform should facilitate efficient collection of intelligence from internal customer-facing teams. Some of the most valuable market intelligence is with our customer-facing teams, such as sales, customer success, and account managers. The MCI platform should offer seamless integration with their workflows, such as email integration, Slack, MS Team, etc., to enable those teams to share intelligence with the rest of the organization easily.

Trend Identification

The M&CI platform should use advanced analytics tools to identify and analyze the market and competitive data to identify the trends correctly. It should support historical data analysis to provide trend analysis over time. The platform should also leverage visualization tools to accurately represent data insights, trends and patterns.

How Can Market and Competitive Intelligence Platforms Help Businesses Maintain Product Leadership?

To lend a superior edge to an organization over its competitors, here is how a M&CI platform facilitates product leadership:

Product demos

The M&CI platform helps businesses track competitors' new product demos by monitoring their social media posts and video channels. These demos are an important source of competitive information since business prospects/customers are exposed to these demos, which contribute to forming their world view of a specific product category.

The product demo insights provide businesses with a good understanding of the world-view of their prospects/ customers, enabling them to develop their product strategy or roadmap.

Extracting the insights from competitors' product demos helps organizations refine their product roadmap and prioritize specific feature enhancements to create a competitive product that satisfies unmitigated customer expectations.

Product releases or new feature additions

M&CI platforms track competitors' latest announcements, press releases, and online activities of product releases or feature additions. Analyzing product releases or feature additions over a timeline offers valuable insights about developing customer needs and product and market evolution. It may also point to new user segments targeted by the competitors or their product positioning changes.

Timeline New Launches And Enhancements
Timeline: New Features/ Enhancements (Contify Dashboards)

A PwC survey suggests that around 56% of executives use competitive intelligence to monitor potential competitors and gain market share.

The organization can leverage insights to add new product functionalities to maintain its competitive edge. Additionally, the insights into competitor's pricing and promotions strategies enable organizations to optimize their pricing strategy to offer better value or differentiation to customers.

M&CI platforms help product managers assess the need of new products or features without committing significant resources.

Product positioning changes

Website tracking is crucial for evaluating competitors' online strategies, their key geographical markets, product pricing and promotions, messaging and positioning. It is one of the vital competitor assessment activities performed by M&CI teams to allow companies to capitalize on competitors' shortcomings.

The M&CI platform you choose should help organizations assess changes in the competitor's messaging and positioning, indicating a shift in their branding strategy. It keeps track of the positioning and messaging changes by analyzing the content and CTA(Call-to-Action) changes on the Product and Home page, About Us section and other web pages.

Leadership Quotes

M&CI platforms can extract quotes of leadership and spokesperson from interviews. Also, quotes from discussions with industry experts, customers, competitors, and industry leaders. These quotes provide unique perspectives which leads to deeper insight into the evolving customer needs and markets. These quotes could be extracted from news articles, press announcements, trade publications, podcasts, or earning calls.

Benchmarking Us vs Them

Benchmarking enables organizations to keep their product updated with the current market demand and customer preferences and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

M&CI platforms offer comprehensive insights into competitor products and specifications to benchmark their own products. The real-time updates on competitors' new product launches or feature additions provide additional data points for benchmarking.

Product Benchmarking
Product Feature Benchmarking (Contify Dashboards)

Customer reviews/ Product sentiment

MCI Tools also help organizations evaluate competitor products by collecting and analyzing user reviews on sites like G2 and Capterra and public communities on platforms like Slack and Discord.

The platform can quickly identify positive sentiments, product features that users favor, and vital product aspects contributing to user satisfaction.

By leveraging these insights, organizations can assess how their product compares with competitors. They can accordingly update their product roadmaps. And implement an agile product development approach.

They can also fine-tune marketing messages to highlight their product differentiation in areas where competitors are short on customer expectations.

Change in help/ product documentation

Products' public help and support pages have a wealth of technical information about the product because it is written directly for the users - without any marketing jargon. The M&CI platform can be set up to notify product teams of any relevant changes on the competitor support pages.

It can monitor changes to the competitor support content, including product documentation, FAQs (Frequently asked questions), troubleshooting guides, and other product information.

M&CI platforms also monitor customer interactions on competitor support forums and community support groups. It helps organizations to understand common customer issues and how competitors address them.

M&CI Platforms: The Ladder to Gain Product Leadership

As the world gets more digitized and globalized, competition is only bound to increase as new players enter the market. It is difficult for organizations to track the multiple factors comprising their competitive environment.

In a shape-shifting market landscape, the M&CI platforms can enable organizations to quickly understand and make the most of such shifts and the opportunities they present.

Contify stands as a dynamic and comprehensive market and competitive intelligence platform, offering a suite of tools designed to empower businesses across various industries. Its core offering, the Market & Competitive Intelligence Platform, enables companies to navigate the complexities of their competitive landscapes by identifying opportunities, emerging threats, and industry trends by collecting and analyzing competitive data.

The platform harnesses AI technology and is specifically designed for gathering, organizing, and disseminating critical updates across the organization. It boasts robust capabilities, including dashboards, tailored news feeds, bespoke intelligence newsletters, facts, quotes, and summaries created by AI, and more.

For more information on how Contify can revolutionize your business intelligence strategies, contact us today!

Learn What Contify Can Do for You

Contact Us

Let’s Get in Touch

Whether its about exploring a solution that transforms the way you do business, or setting up a chat over a cup of coffee, we’re listening!
Let's talk
Seven-day Free Trial

Market Intelligence

Track your competitors, prospects, target accounts, and industries and get key insights from the news, company websites, government regulatory portals, and social networks with a seven-day free trial. No credit card required.
Start your free trial
Seven-day Free Trial

News Feed APIs

Integrate curated intelligence on companies into your company’s ERP, CRM, knowledge management systems and customer-facing applications. Get started with a seven-day free trial. No credit
card required.

Start your free trial
Free Demo

Watch a Demo

Get a free demo of Contify — the AI-enabled market and competitive intelligence platform that helps you track unique and strategic information on your competitors, customers, industries, and topics
of interest.
Watch Demo