Why would you want a Chief Listening Officer? Do you want to make sure that the right people in the organization are aware of what the conversations on the Web are saying about you, so the relevant people in the business can connect with customers? Do you want a person who is responsible for sifting through online customer conversations and passing along key insights to marketing decision makers? If you answered yes, then it is critical that you have a Chief Listening Officer to take the lead! Many companies have appointed chief listening officers including Dell.
Actively Monitor Competitors’ Activities
Companies need to actively monitor competitors’ activities. Competitive marketing intelligence enables firms to gain early warnings of competitor moves and strategies, new product launches, new or changing markets, and potential competitive strengths and weaknesses.
People Inside the Company
Did you know that much competitor intelligence can be collected from your own executives, engineers and scientists, purchasing agents, and sales force – yes people right inside your company!
People Outside the Company
Key intelligence information can also be obtained from people outside the company, people you deal with everyday – suppliers, resellers, and key customers.
A Chief Listening Officer Will Deliver These Outcomes
- Monitor competitors’ sites and use the Internet to search specific competitor names, events, or trends and see what turns up. Tracking consumer conversations about competing brands is often as revealing as tracking conversations about the company’s own brands.
- Research any of the thousands of online databases. Some are free. For example, you can search the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) database for documents and information filed by public companies and for investment funds with the Canadian Securities Administrators. For a fee, companies can also subscribe to any of the more than 3000 online databases and information search services, such as Hoover’s, LexisNexis, and Dun & Bradstreet.
An incredible amount of competitor information is only a few keystrokes away.
Other Ways a Chief Listening Officer Will Add Value
- Protect your own information. The intelligence game goes both ways! Your competitors have their own marketing intelligence efforts. Information leaks about new products before they are introduced gives the competition time to respond, raises customer expectations, and can steal thunder and sales from current products. For a great example, take a look at Apple and its obsession with secrecy where nothing about a new product is released until it is launched.
- Look within your company for potentially damaging information leaks…conduct your own marketing intelligence investigation of yourselves. Research everything you can find in the public domain, including job postings, company advertisements and blogs, webpages, press releases, online business reports, social media postings by customers and employees, and other information available so easily to curious competitors.
- Be mindful of your ethics. The growing use of marketing intelligence raises ethical issues. Some intelligence-gathering techniques may involve questionable ethics. It is totally acceptable to take advantage of publicly available information but don’t “snoop!” There are multiple legitimate intelligence sources available for your use.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for what your Chief Listening Officer will do to enhance your Marketing Intelligence Strategy.
Why not start now by contacting me!