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Why We Built Contify – a Market Intelligence Platform

Article by Mohit Bhakuni 3 min read

Learn the importance of AI-enabled competitive intelligence tools for organizations to boost their competitive product analysis

We believe that organizations, just like humans, need to evolve to survive. But a difference is emerging between the two. Since 1900, the life expectancy of humans has more than doubled to 70 years. But in the same period, the life expectancy of a company (S&P 500) has decreased by more than 50 years, from 67 years to just 15 years today. Clearly, unlike humans, organizations are not evolving fast enough to survive the competitive battles required to capture markets, i.e. win customers. This could be a result of a lack of awareness about their competitors or as we call it- competitive intelligence.

Referring to the ‘Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

When we applySun Tzu’s insight to an organization, it is clear that the “know yourself” concept is self-awareness of an organization about its true culture, strengths & weaknesses, and the “enemy” is the competitor. There are many tools to address the “know yourself” aspect of an organization, such as ERP systems, Business Analytics Software, etc. But very few competitive intelligence tools are available to address the “know the enemy” aspect. We believe for organizations to survive and grow, there is a clear need for strong tools specialized in tracking competitive product analysis, market intelligence, and other market variables. Therefore, we built Contify — an AI-enabled market intelligence platform.

Traditionally, in an organization, there are a few individuals, a.k.a. leaders, who have spent years and developed a deeper understanding of the industry. They have established important personal networks to access the right information. These leaders take organizations forward. But they also make an organization dependent, which is not good for long-term sustainability. Also, time and energy are wasted in building consensus on important topics, because different individuals have different versions of the “true” market conditions — based on different information that they are exposed to.

We believe the process of knowing your competitors and what they are up to can become far more efficient if there were competitive intelligence tools that aggregated important information from reliable sources, allowed individuals to add their information, and also share it within the organization. This will help every team in devising a long term competitive intelligence strategy for decision-making. This tool would help in building a common and more fundamental understanding of competitive analysis.

The need for such a tool was never as strong as it is today because of the speed at which market conditions are changing in this new world of advanced Internet technologies. Today, a significantly large volume of information is available on the public web. But the problem is that important information often gets lost in the digital noise. This tool should be able to filter out the duplicate and irrelevant content and provide unique market and competitive insights relevant to businesses. Also, it should be able to structure the information for easy competitive analysis and consumption.

In our journey of developing Contify, we realized that the power of machine learning algorithms is not being utilized to the fullest by platforms like Google. Therefore we developed Contify as a Google alerts alternative that leverages Artificial Intelligence to supercharge Competitive Intelligence for providing high-quality information to our users.

Just like humans, no two organizations are the same. And the information requirements of one organization are different from the other. Therefore, we cannot deploy a general-purpose information product and expect that all users will find value in it. These products have to be customized to speak the language of the organization. Therefore, we designed Contify from the ground-up to be customized to each organization’s needs, but with the same core information processing architecture.

Different organizations are at different stages of maturity in their journey of implementing Competitive Intelligence programs — from simple Google alerts to full-blown Market Intelligence teams with clear deliverables. In most organizations, there are a few individuals who are tracking competitive intelligence with simple Google alerts. Such alerts help in tracking only significant news about competitors. But they only touch the tip of the iceberg. To access market and competitive intelligence under the ocean of digital noise, we need specialized Market and competitive intelligence platforms that intelligently mine specific information from the web.

Competitive intelligence is much more than a list of news articles based on search keywords. It is a competitive analysis of the competitors and anticipating their next steps. Depending on the type of business, competitive insights can be extracted from analyzing different kinds of signals. We need to listen to the web for the right signals and identify the trends before they become public information. For example, competitors’ strategies can be analyzed by connecting the dots of information available in news coverage, company announcements on acquisitions, strategic partnerships, senior management hiring; disclosures in analyst calls, annual reports; analysis of content marketing, thought leadership articles, social media updates, etc.

In the long run, all information will be available in public information. But not all companies will benefit equally from it. Those who have developed market intelligence and competitive intelligence capabilities will be able to anticipate the changes before others. These organizations will be prepared to adapt and evolve with the tactics of market research to compete fiercely in the battle for market share. These will be the organizations that need not fear the result of a hundred battles!

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