Design your competitive intelligence program to support stakeholders in micro-moments of decision-making
As companies are reacting faster to changing market ecosystems, there is a clear trend of transitioning from multi-year strategic plans towards daily decision-making. Instant and real-time decisions are now being made at all levels and across all functions within an organization.
This concept is similar to micro-moments in consumer behavior, a trend first described by Think with Google. It also resembles the Third Shelf, a term invented by Doug Stephens, a retail industry futurist.
What do these two concepts have in common and how do they relate to organizational decision making? More often, business decisions are not made in the usual setting at an expected time. They do not happen in front of your PC (‘first shelf’) at 8:30 am when reviewing latest market developments. They are not always made at the annual strategic planning meetings (‘second shelf’).
Instead, executives, directors, and managers are required to make both small and large decisions on the fly during the course of a typical day (‘third shelf’ or micro-moments). They do not have enough time to gather all the information needed to take action. At the same time, they cannot stop all activity to gather comprehensive information to make a single decision.
This is where the benefits of having a well-designed market and competitive intelligence program are realized. To support your stakeholders in micro-moments of decision making, companies must design a program that systematically acquires and seamlessly distributes the knowledge that might impact these decisions. A world class intelligence program will ensure that stakeholder needs are anticipated in advance and are met proactively.
Where to start? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Identify and prioritize your key stakeholders
Decide who you would like to target at the different levels of maturity of your competitive intelligence program. There are several tools and frameworks that you may consider, including Mendelow’s power-interest matrix and stakeholder personas.
Mendelow’s power-interest matrix and other stakeholder mapping frameworks will help you prioritize your efforts, typically suggesting you dedicate the most attention to stakeholders with the highest decision-making power and highest interest in competitive intelligence insights.
You may also consider developing stakeholder personas which will help you to make your CI insights more relevant to users. However, do not stop here. Keep in mind that the personalization trend has already entered the enterprise and many stakeholders will expect content highly personalized to their individual decision-making moments.
2. Develop strong relationships
Get to know your stakeholders by building lasting relationships. This process requires a combination of soft skills and business skills.
Start with carefully studying the social styles of each of your target stakeholders. Understand their preferred way of acting, thinking, and making decisions. This will help you to determine the best way to interact with your contacts.
Understand their business and personal goals as well as the information required to meet these goals. Conduct an in depth needs analysis with each of the stakeholders. Always come prepared and remember to utilize best practices in questioning techniques. If you are planning to arrange a needs analysis workshop with multiple participants, make sure that you dedicate enough attention to each of your stakeholders.
Remember that to build trust you need to project a high level of credibility, reliability, and intimacy, as well as a low level of self-orientation. This concept is known as the Trust Equation.
Successful competitive intelligence managers always design their programs with a specific audience in mind. Building stakeholder relationships is an ongoing process. As the organization evolves, stakeholders will change and their decision-making requirements will change with it. Therefore, is it critical to repeat the needs analysis on ongoing basis.
Are you looking for ways to take your market and competitive intelligence program to the next level?
Call us at M-Brain. We can help you.
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