Resources intelligence competitors_customers_markets_product_campatl


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Resources intelligence competitors_customers_markets_product_campatl

  1. 1. Product Camp Atlanta, August 21, 2010 <br />Best Resources to Gather Intelligence on Competitors, Customers and Markets - Panel<br />Panel:<br />Tom Chmielewski, VP Product Management Clairmonte, twitter: tomchm<br />Lisa Crymes, Director Product Management Emdeon, twitter: lisacrymes<br />Perry Hatch, Director Product Development, TASQ Tech/First Data<br />Garry Palgon, VP Product Management nuBridges, Inc., twitter: garypalgon<br />Chmielewski: I’d like to kick things off with industry analysts. While most of these are “pay to play” they can be very helpful. Your customers and prospects are looking at industry analysts to analyze and compare vendors for future business. For example, “Where does your company and product fall on the “Magic Quadrant”?” You want to participate in their requests for company information and provide case studies so you can share relevant content with your prospects. <br />Industry Analyst Resources<br />Gartner<br />Yankee Group<br />MWD Advisors<br />IBISWorld<br /><br />IDC<br />Mercator Advisory Group<br />Win Loss Analysis<br />Another valuable source of information is Win/Loss Analysis. Hire a third-party to call and do a survey of organizations that recently purchased product/service from your organization and your competitors. Sales may tell you that your company lost the business due to funding, features or lost interest. You may find your competitor did a better job working with the prospect, or perhaps your company blew the demo or the sales rep failed to call back. <br />Executive Advisory Boards<br />Executive Advisory Boards are an excellent source of information. The key to a successful program is to identify the right participants and then clearly define (in writing) the goals, expectations, term and benefits that the members will gain as a result of participating. Boards can be a great help with requirements, obtaining data for your analysis and identifying what you need to know for future product development plans. <br />Crymes: Here are social media sources that I use. <br />Social Media Sources<br />Delicious<br />Stumbleupon<br />Technorati<br />Digg<br />reddit<br />Slashdot<br /><br />MySpace<br />Newsvine<br />Y!Bookmarks<br />Google Alerts<br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />LinkedIn Discussions <br />Others from Audience: Hacker News<br />Hatch: I’d like to talk about tradeshows and other key event-based sources of information. <br />Event-Based Resources<br />Trade Shows<br />Customer Visits/User Groups<br />Prospect Visits<br />Trade Organizations<br />Focus Groups<br />When you participate in an event, such as a tradeshow, you want to have in your mind at least three questions that you want to answer while you are there. I encourage you to sit with and engage people that you don’t know. You need to identify the “movers and shakers” and work to develop relationships so you can call upon “experts” as needed. You may have someone in your company that claims ownership of the relationship with a particular organization or person. If you have established a relationship with a person you don’t have to rely on a designated owner. You can call upon your contact for expert insight any time and offer what you learn to the designated relationship owner in your company. <br />Events are excellent for gaining information from constituents at multiple levels including executives, workers/users, and prospects. Focus groups are the “bread and butter” for your answering your key questions and providing feedback for future use. Events are also great for analyzing trends. For example, iPhones® are everywhere in the consumer space, but Blackberry® devices are prevalent in the business space. You can see that Blackberry is starting to roll into new areas as a result of influence from the consumer space. <br />Audience Feedback on Events: <br />Events offer a great opportunity to leverage the key industry topics for future discussions with customers/prospects and identify movers/shakers for relationship building. It’s also a great opportunity to see competitors in action and learn what messages they are sharing. <br />I like to walk the show floor and see if I can identify in the three to five seconds in passing, what message each vendor is conveying through their booth. You can also pick up on key trends based on walking the floor.<br />Chmielewski: I tell my product management team to stay away from the booth duty at trade shows. I want them to attend the sessions to see what is being talked about. I want them to talk to attendees and prospects and then provide a trip report for the rest of the team to review on their return. A trip report defines the value of the show/event and expands the knowledge of the entire team. <br />Palgon: I’d like to talk to a few other sources for your competitor research:<br />Competitor Research Sources<br />Competitor Web Sites<br />Web Searches<br />Google Alerts<br />Your Finance Department: IPO Offerings/Acquisitions/Analyst Reports<br />I’m sure all of you are reviewing competitor Websites, but how many of you are going through the Web directory structure using WebHDP? This is a valuable way to get more information, including key words they are using for search engine optimization (SEO) and obtaining access to whitepapers and more that may not be easily accessed from their main pages. <br />Google Adwords is another key tool to evaluate for your search engine optimization (SEO). You can see what key words your competitors are using for paid advertising. They may even be using your company name as a keyword. <br />You can also deploy services such as Spyfu. They make is easy to download your competitors keywords and adwords. They have a subscription service, but you can also access some data for free. <br />Your sales and customer support team are good sources for collecting competitor information. <br />My organization’s finance department also continues to be a great source of competitor information. They routinely get analyst reports for our company and competitors. Anytime there is an industry IPO you can get great information on the industry, the company and their future vision and analysis of key competitors. <br />Chmielewski: Here are some other sources of information that we wanted to mention. <br />Other sources:<br />White papers<br />Industry papers<br />Users<br />3rd Party Analysis/Testing<br />Blind Studies<br />Paid Consulting<br />Audience Question: How do you get past the noise to useful information?<br />Hatch: Setup key topic areas that you want to follow and create buckets for the information that is valuable to you. <br />Palgon: Aggregate your competition based on how they compete with you and then setup four or five things you want to actively follow.<br />Other Audience Suggested Sources of Information:<br />Crunchbase is the free database of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit.<br />You can use Linkedin to call upon former employees that may be willing to talk with you. Sometimes their Linkedin profile will reveal competitive information. <br />Check out Gist to link all your contacts<br />Check out CIRADAR for competitive reports. <br />