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Competitive Intelligence – PubCon Style




I hesitate to share my PubCon presentation with you. You see, it includes all of the sneaky things I do to keep track of my competitors.

Well, actually, the presentation isn’t going to give too much away, because I tend not to go text-heavy with my slide decks–preferring to let my vocal chords do the heavy-lifting. ;-)

Fortunately, two awesome bloggers were on hand to capture the advice I spilled at about a 1000-words per minute.

For those of you who couldn’t get to PubCon, here are my slides:


Here are the excellent notes taken by Lisa Barone:

Next up is Andy Beal.

He says if you like what you hear, tweet about it. His name is @andybeal. If you don’t like it, he says his name is @lisabarone. Harsh, Andy. Harsh.

What: Track competitors news – their company name, the CEO, product names, locations, mentions of new features, etc. Why? You’re looking for new products, new features, media placement, and sympathetic bloggers.

Rants: Tracking their company name + sucks, defectives, crap, poor, dirty expensive. There’s an opportunity there for you to poach their clients, to promote yours as an alternative or even to improve your own product.

Employees: Track their blogs, social profiles, photos, videos, Flickr accounts, Facebook pages, etc.  Why? Loose lips sink brands. Egos ego bragging. There may be damaging evidence. Look for potential hires.

Jobs: look at their job listings.  It will give you information about products they have in development, new locations, lost employees, etc.

Google: Google Alerts give you email or RSS. Do it as it happens, not once a week.  Google Sidewiki. Local listings.

Tweets: Follow their employees, follow the company profile. Set up search.twitter.com alerts. Create private Twitter lists. He has private Twitter lists that he uses to spy on people. You don’t want to be on those lists.

Facebook: Look at the fan page. what kind of content are they putting out? Maybe you can get some ideas.  Who are their fans? Search Posts by Everyone.

URLs: DomainTools.com offers Registration Alerts that will inform you any time your competition creates a new domain name.  With Mark Alerts, it will tell you whenever a domain name uses a particular keyword.

Oodle: Andy’s favorite meta search for job listings. Type in company name, filter it down by location or skillset. They have RSS alert so you don’t even have to worry about it.

Advanced Tools

  • Social Mention
  • Trackur
  • Radian6
  • VisibleTechnologies

You can catch all of Lisa’s PubCon coverage here.