Mistake #1 – Assume Market Research Terminology
Example – “Who is on your a customer panel?”
Lesson – Competitive Intelligence uses a cross section of buyers, associations, key opinion leaders, former employees, customers, competitors, and any other respondent group who can help. There is no predetermined panel.
Mistake #2 – Base Sample Size on a Formula
Example – “What will the margin of error be for this sample size?”
Lesson – Most respondents are B2B, not consumer. What counts is not the number of interviews completed but the credibility of the respondent (i.e. title, knowledge level, insights).
Mistake #3 – Assign Probabilities
Example – “What is the probability (e.g. 50%, 75%, 90%) that the competitor will launch in the next 6 months?”
Lesson – Much can happen in 6 months to assign a probability. Use, “unlikely” “somewhat likely or “very likely” instead.
Mistake #4 – Advise The Competitor Respondent Who the Study’s Sponsor Is
Example – “Legal requests we advise the competitor that we are doing the study”
Lesson – If you advise the competitor the name of the sponsor, they will either stone wall, misinform or counter attack. In these situations avoid interviewing the competitor. Tap other sources.
Mistake #5 – Participate in Competitive Intelligence
Example – “Can we sit in on when the interviews are being conducted?”
Lesson – As it is, interviewers are under a lot of pressure trying to reach a credible person to talk to. Knowing that someone is listening in, will make them feel anxious and sound awkward.
Mistake #6 – Overload The Survey
Example – “Please add these 8 questions to the survey.”
Lesson – Adding too many questions will not allow enough time for the interviewer to dig in.