What’s keeping your competitors up at night?

The inquiring mind of Matt Van Wagner would like to know. And he wants you to know too. “Turn your competitive intelligence into a corporate asset,” says Wagner. “Find out what they did in the past, are doing currently – and plan to do.”

Competitors will always be with us, and that’s aggravating, but they do leave breadcrumbs in the form of easily discovered public information. Your competitors’ websites can speak loudly about intentions in posted news articles, new hire information and blog posts.

If you are willing to pay a few bucks to track competitor data, consider Versionista – a service that spiders competitor websites all the time, and shows change history. This is a monthly subscription model. Domaintools tracks domain registrations, including defensive domain names or “threat” intelligence, reverse “Whois” reports and CEO earnings calls. This service tracks when significant changes happen, such as acquisition of social media handles. Similarweb benchmarks competitors and industry trends.

Spyfu is a good source of competitive data, Adbeat tracks media spends. Crayon gathers 100+ competitors and crunches the numbers so you can get some rest.

Conferences are great places to gather intelligence, as are collaborative work spaces. Good old manual labor is also a typical method to track competitors – get in there and dig!

Follow Matt Van Wagner @mvanwagner


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