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What is Competitive Intelligence?

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence should play a vital part in any business strategy.

In this guide, we cover what competitive intelligence is, the best sources to track online, and the top ways to spy on competitors for insights.

Introduction: What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence (CI) is defined as a company’s ability to collect, analyze and synthesize information about its competitors, customers and various external factors, like market trends, in a way that sharpens the company’s competitive advantage.

Competitive intelligence is extremely important to any business’s success. It helps businesses identify opportunities and challenges in the market landscape. This information is then analyzed to develop informed and strategic business practices.

Look ahead, scan the horizon, come up with insights, and strategize accordingly. That’s competitive intelligence.

In this post, we will define what competitive intelligence is, some of the best sources for competitive intelligence, how to conduct competitive intellgence, and some of the best online monitoring tools for getting the job done efficiently and effectively.

How Do I “Get” Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is carried out by ethically researching, monitoring and analyzing information from an array of published and unpublished sources. A team – usually the marketing, sales or product teams – generate competitive intelligence by painting a portrait of the external environment, so they can stay one step ahead of potential challenges and problems that may occur.

From Which Sources Can I Collect Competitive Intelligence?

After identifying your competitors, you need to create a list of published and unpublished sources that you can keep an eye on and monitor, to find out everything your competitors are up to. This can range from attending some of the industries biggest conferences, interviewing customers, and signing up for competitors' newsletters and email broadcasts.

These sources can also look different, depending on your job role and industry. Marketing managers, for instance, may be more likely to interview customers for research, while sales teams may be more likely to research tips on how to bid for profitable contracts.

So where’s a good place to start?

Regardless of job role and industry, the best, and most obvious source of competitive intelligence is the internet. As competitors adjust their strategies, the internet is where most pivots can be spotted first. Monitoring this data is also completely ethical.

Check out this list of some rich sources of competitive intelligence, all of which you can easily find online:

  • Homepages
  • Product and pricing pages
  • Executive Team pages
  • Blog content
  • Deals and promotions pages
  • Key conversion pages
  • Press releases
  • Industry news
  • Press releases
  • Investor relations
  • Google search result pages (ie., organic news)
  • Wikipedia
  • Crunchbase profile
  • App store listings
  • Social media bio

Tracking competitor websites in particular, is one of the best strategies for competitive intelligence. They can reveal information about target audiences, shifts in marketing messages, new product releases, pricing strategies and so on. Crayon’s 2020 competitive intelligence report says 98% of businesses find monitoring competitor websites their top source of CI data.

Get started with competitive intellgience now

With Visualping, track any web pages on the internet, including competitors websites, for the exact intell your team is looking for.

STEP 1: Enter the URL you want to monitor
STEP 2: Enter your email address

Competitor Websites


If you’re a marketer yourself, you know a few pages on a business' website are special, critical pages. If your competitor makes an update on its homepage, then the update probably indicates something meaningful is happening on their end.

You can track their main headline or imagery, new special notices, or even subtle changes to the content, lower down the page, such as customer testimonials. You can be sure that the change you are detecting is the result of a careful decision.

Pricing and Product Pages

If your competitor offers any kind of pricing content on their website, this is the second thing to keep a close eye on. Especially in software sales, the pricing page tends to be one of those “special” pages that is created with a ton of careful thought, and only updated when something important is changing at their company.

Deals and promotions

Especially if you’re in Ecommerce, it’s generally pretty easy to locate a page or category listing that features your competitor’s latest promotions. Monitor this page to get a sense for the products they’re trying to sell off, and gain any insights for their promotional strategies.

AI-powered monitoring tools, like Visualping, are commonly used to automate the process of monitoring competitors online – especially their website. But the tool allows you to track any web pages on the internet, for the exact information you’re after.

How Do I Monitor Online Sources for Competitive Intelligence?

The most efficient way to keep track of your competition online is to use competitive intelligence tools. This software helps companies automate the process of staying on top of changes online, reducing the manual, tedious labour and allowing for more effective means to keep tabs on the competition.

Why are Competitive Intelligence Tools Essential?

Continuously keeping tabs on your competitors, while also making the best use of your time, requires more than just a simple internet search, for whenever you have the time for it. The digital age is upon us – competitor updates occur frequently, all the time. It isn’t realistic to stayh on top of this data manually, nor is it an effective use of your team’s time.

Without using any of the best competitor monitoring tools, gathering data for a holistic view of the competitor landscape – and then turning those insights into competitive intelligence – becomes nearly impossible.

AI-powered tools, like Visualping, are used monitor updates to any web pages on the internet, for the exact competitor data you’re after – such as anything you would find useful on a competitors' website.

Competitive intelligence is a company’s ability to collect and analyze information to inform its competitive strategy, such as with tools like Visualping.

Visualping: Easily Monitor Your Competitors

With 2 million users, Visualping is the world’s top website change monitoring tool.

Visualping helps you watch competitors’ activities by automating the process of monitoring web pages for changes.

Think competitor websites, for example, in which you can unveil data about pricing, product offers, banner advertisements, team and career pages. By noticing patterns, you can understand competitors’ strategies and leverage your pricing and product offerings at an advantage.

Visualping also tracks updates to competitors’ social media pages, media mentions in news sites and research reports. Crayon’s report says 76.5% of product marketers get their CI insights from reading press releases and media mentions.

Competitive intelligence requires monitoring competitors, like using Visualping for change alerts to product pages.

When page changes occur, Visualping sends users an email alert that displays an easy-to-read screenshot of all the page’s changes. Changes that were added to the page are highlighted in green. Changes that were removed are highlighted in red.

The Access Site link at the bottom of the alert takes you to the monitored page, where you can view the updates. The View Changes link takes you to your user dashboard, where you can view all your monitors – convenient for analysis purposes.

Visualping offers several individual and business subscription plans for high frequency monitoring.

Competitive Intelligence: That’s a Wrap!

Competitive intelligence (CI) is defined as a company’s ability to collect, analyze and synthesize information about its competitors, customers and various external factors, like market trends, in a way that sharpens the company’s competitive advantage.

Companies need competitive intelligence to understand opportunities and challenges and cultivate informed business practices. Competitive intelligence tools, like Visualping are essential in order to monitor and analyze this data efficiently and effectively.

For more information about how you or your team can use Visualping for competitive intelligence, contact us.

Visualping: competitor monitoring made simple

Trusted by 85% of Fortune 500 companies. Get automatic alerts when any competitor web pages change.

Visualping: competitor monitoring made simple

Start Monitoring Now (It's Free)

Visualping: competitor monitoring made simple

Trusted by 85% of Fortune 500 companies. Get automatic alerts when any competitor web pages change.

Start Monitoring Now (It's Free)

Emily Fenton

Emily is the Content Marketing Manager at Visualping. She has a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Management. When she’s not researching and writing about all things Visualping, she loves exploring new restaurants, playing guitar and petting her cats.