To be able to compete successfully against its competitors, a company need to ascertain and analyse its performance in comparison to its competitors. This requires collection on the activities and performance of the competitors.
Such competitors information is usually difficult to get, particularly because the competitors each company in the industry tries to keep information about its own operations and performance. Frequently a company needs to use multiple sources of information to get reasonably good idea about their competitors.
The various sources that can be tapped to get competitor information include the following.
- Trade statistics that may be published by government bodies or trade associations.
- Talking to customers who may also be buying from competitors.
- Suppliers who may also be selling to customers.
- Publicly available reports on competitors. The annual reports of public limited companies is the most important of such reports.
- News items about the company released in newspapers and other periodicals. This also covers the press releases and paid advertisements by company.
- Market research
- Ex-employees of company