Competitive intelligence is defined as the action of gathering information about your business’s direct competitors for the purpose of competitive marketing, business planning and product development. It is about uncovering and understanding as much about a competitor’s operations so your business can get an edge in the marketplace. New small businesses need competitive intelligence as quickly as possibly so they can adapt, stay ahead of the competition and avoid going out of business.
While you can do traditional analysis to gain competitive intelligence, you must draw the line at using only public information. Going too far in gathering competitive intelligence may cause you to break laws.