Archive for January, 2010

Competitive Intelligence – Think Big, Start Small (II)

In the previous post we investigated whether or not I should consider practitioning Competitive Intelligence in my restaurant ‘Chez Jérôme’. We designed a partial action plan based on my strategic goals and based upon that, I decided that it was most definitely useful to invest some time and effort (and scarce means) in CI. In this post I will focus on the next steps, now that we decided to go through with our Competitive Intelligence ventures. I will also address some tools that you can use to support your process, which are by the way not Competitive Intelligence tools because that is too big an investment for the size of my restaurant (see my post “The Synergy between Competitive Intelligence and Social Media” for my definition of competitive intelligence tools).

Competitive Intelligence – Think Big, Start Small (I)

When we hear success stories on Competitive Intelligence (or other related professions such as Business Intelligence), the companies in question often have mature CI systems in place, with lots of supporting software, contracts with (expensive) content providers or news sources and many CI professionals to support decision makers in their tough task of guiding their company through stormy weather. Of course that makes sense because these companies have much more visibility in the market than small companies, the stakes are higher and the struggle to beat competition is drawing more attention, especially when it is a publicly traded company. But that doesn’t mean that smaller companies with ditto budgets cannot gain serious advantage by practitioning CI. In fact I think the effect per invested coin of your choice may even be larger and CI may even be more vital for these companies. Let’s have a closer look at that in this post.

Copyright Challenges in Competitive Intelligence

Recently I was involved in a CI project at a large company with a mature CI environment. Part of the company’s CI infrastructure was a collection of news cuttings and a (digital) archive, both openly accessible throughout the company. They also published a daily newsletter to all employees. Copyright challenges were obviously there, but it triggered me to find out all there is to know about copyright. “Can they use this information for their purpose?”, “Should they ask the writers of the articles for permission?”, “What are the rules for copyright when conducting CI?”. In this blogpost I would like to focus on the copyright issues that arise from gathering information for Competitive Intelligence purposes. I will focus on the textual copyright only and my post is based upon the Dutch Copyright legislation (Auteursrecht). Depending on your country the rules may vary. I would like to provide you with some ‘Copyright Intelligence’, so you can go on with your Competitive Intelligence without disobeying legislation.

The synergy between Competitive Intelligence and Social Media

social_media_strategiesI have to make an apology for the misleading title, because this post is not about competitive intelligence and social media. At least, not the combination that is so often described as synergy in its purest form. I cannot help thinking that some (more or less) highly respected people write about social media (in some cases related to Competitive Intelligence or any other underestimated and underappreciated profession) because writing about social media scores. I really encourage everyone to draw attention to my beloved profession, but do not do it by stating nonsense, please! You might as well write about CI in relation to Britney Spears or Tiger Woods.