Competitive Intelligence tools may sound like something out of the world for beginners. However, the term simply refers to tools that help you gather intelligence about how the business competitors are doing.
For instance, you may want to understand the strategies employed by your competitors. Before we check out the best competitive intelligence tools, we need to understand the concept of competitive intelligence.
- What is Competitive Intelligence?
- The Need for Competitive Intelligence
- Top 10 Best Competitive Intelligence Tools for Competitive Data Analysis
- Frequently Asked Questions About Competitive Intelligence Tools
- The Pro Review from TechReviewPro
What is Competitive Intelligence?
Competitive Intelligence means the ability of an organization to understand intelligence about the market-based competitors through multiple methods and analyze the information. A variety of data can be collected and analyzed for the ultimate advantage of the organization.
For instance, the strategic decisions taken by a competitor may help an organization plan its future and attract more leads. Competitive intelligence is a result of many types of data, and they can be crucial while developing the marketing/lead management plans for an organization.
As you can guess, competitive intelligence needs a certain level of stealth. There is no point in gathering lots of data if the competitor knows that the data is being shared. Similarly, raw data about the competitor is not going to help you plan things ahead.
Instead, there must be measures to interpret the data and give you the right insights. For instance, suppose you are looking at the organic website traffic sources of the competitor. There is no point in the process if you cannot understand how to use the data for your good. It is why you need a dedicated competitive intelligence tool, to begin with.
In short, competitive intelligence tools are essential for a number of campaigns. As a result, you can find an impressive variety of competitive intelligence tools as well. I have included these versatile options on the list we have below.
Now that you know what competitive intelligence is, shall we check out why you need a competitive intelligence tool?
The Need for Competitive Intelligence
Most people work towards becoming the best to win a digital space. And you can not be the best without being better than your competitors. So, every business venture needs to use a competitive intelligence tool before they make meaningful decisions.
You do not have to think about the competitive intelligence analysis process with any kind of stigma. Instead, competitive intelligence tools will help you form the best marketing, recruiting, sales, and growth decisions after checking what your competitors are up to.
When combined with authentic consumer feedback, a competitive intelligence report will have more insights than you had imagined.
It is just that you need one of the best competitive intelligence tools to get started with. You need something more than a tool that shows you random numbers and diagrams. In short, we’re looking for the ‘intelligence’ from the concept.
Top 10 Best Competitive Intelligence Tools for Competitive Data Analysis
In this guide, I have talked about the 10 best competitive intelligence tools you can find in the market. You must remember that most of these tools are optimized for the marketing sector. It means the competitive intelligence tools will analyze the marketing campaigns from competitors and give you valuable insights.
I have also included some exceptional tools that you would want to check out.
SEMRush is probably the most popular online visibility management platform in the world right now. Some of the most reputed companies like Amazon, Quora, Tesla, Apple, Forbes, and Booking.com use the platform.
Because SEMRush is a comprehensive package, you can find sectors like SEO, Content Marketing, Market Research, Advertising, and social media inside. Each of these sections gives you competitive intelligence in a way you have never seen.
However, you can leverage the most from the ‘Market Research’ section. This section of SEMRush allows you to unveil your competitors’ marketing strategies and tactics. The platform first gives you a market overview, where it tells you who your competitors are.
You can also understand the traffic sources of each of the main competitors. Last but not least, SEMRush will also suggest where you can focus by analyzing the keyword and backlink gap.
- You can access more than 20B keywords from 130 countries
- It allows you to track and analyze competitors’ marketing strategies
- Offers an in-detail market analysis tool that predicts growth patterns
- You can find paid advertising information about the competitor
- You can also explore the social media presence and PR activities
- It offers content, SEO, advertising, SMM & SERM services alongside
- It can be a little expensive for beginners and startups
- Some small discrepancies
- SEMRush Pro Plan: 5 projects, 500 keywords, backlink analytics, 5 scheduled reports: $119.95 per month
- SEMRush Guru Plan: 15 projects, 1500 keywords, historical data, content marketing platform, Google Data Studio support, 20 scheduled reports: 229.95 per month
- SEMRush Business Plan: 40 projects, 5,000 keywords, Share of Voice metric, API access, product listing ads, 50 total scheduled reports: $449.95 per month
2. Rival IQ
Rival IQ is another competitive intelligence tool that you can trust. However, unlike SEMRush, Rival IQ has an equal amount of focus on social media analytics. More importantly, the platform will present all this info in an easy-to-understand manner.
You do not have to be a data scientist to understand the data and take further action. You can use the data from social media analytics to generate custom reports and on-time alerts.
There are four aspects to the services provided by Rival IQ: Competitive Analysis, Social Posts Analysis, Social Reporting, Social Media Audits. Regardless of the channel, you can receive in-depth deports, which you can download or customize.
Therefore, Rival IQ is the best choice to integrate the details with data from another platform. Rival IQ is also home to many free tools and resources that will help you analyze your competitors’ social media performance.
Rival IQ Pros
- Optimized for social media analytics and competitive analysis
- The analysis is available through four different channels
- Rival IQ offers a number of free tools and resources
- Easy integration with competitor platforms and analytics
- It offers up to two years of data history for channels
- It comes with collaborative discussion methods
Rival IQ Cons
- It can be too focused on social media platforms at times
- The UI can be a little bit minimal
Rival IQ Pricing
- Rival IQ Drive Plan: 10 tracked companies, 6 months of data history, 1 user account, competitive social metrics, social content analysis, email alerts: $239 per month
- Rival IQ Engage Plan: 20 tracked companies, 12 months of data history, 2 user accounts, private data integrations, Facebook Ads and Google Analytics integration, Google Data Studio connector: $519 per month
- Rival IQ Engage Pro Plan: 40 tracked companies, 24 months of data history, 5 user accounts, dedicated customer success manager, personalized onboarding, API access: $519 per month
GrowthBar is not a dedicated competitive intelligence tool. However, it does a great job of helping you get an idea about how your competitors are performing. Used by companies like Square, Postmates, Codeless, and Dell, GrowthBar primarily helps you craft SEO-optimized content for Google.
To make this possible, the tool spies on competitors, uncovers a lot of keywords and suggests some of the best blog post outlines that you can follow to make SEO optimized content.
There are a couple of features that make GrowthBar different from other competition intelligence tools. In the first place, you can find data on the fly. The Google Chrome extension allows you to grab competition data with a single click.
Similarly, the Backlinks section of the solution is pretty detailed. You can use the part to find information like domain authority, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and organic keywords. In short, you get everything you need to perform better on Google Search Engine Result Pages.
- Optimized for better results on Google SERPs
- It offers a huge amount of information on competitors
- Advanced analytics options for backlinks
- It comes with a rich Google Chrome extension
- Affordable pricing plans beginners will love
- Uses data augmentation for a clearer idea
- It does not offer advanced coverage on competitive intelligence
- Limited keyword tracking options
- GrowthBar Standard Plan: Unlimited keyword research, track up to 25 keywords, 1 website, 15 AI-powered outlines: $29 per month.
- GrowthBar Pro Plan: Unlimited keyword research, track up to 75 keywords, 3 websites, 50 AI-powered outlines: $79 per month.
- GrowthBar Agency Plan: Unlimited keyword research, track up to 150 keywords, 10 websites, 150 AI-powered blog outlines: $129 per month.
Sometimes, the first step of competitive intelligence is: knowing as much as you can about the competitor. If that sounds right to you, Crunchbase is one of the best platforms you should check out. From company founder data to the number of employees and funding, Crunchbase provides a variety of information about a firm.
As long as a company has even a minimal digital presence, Crunchbase will get you covered with at least the basic data you need for analysis.
However, Crunchbase does not provide you with enough tools to spy on your competitors. On the other hand, it works as a platform where you can conduct market research, find investors, and come across prospects.
In the Market Research part, however, you have a few more options, such as tracking industry trends, accessing live company data, and data management. If you want to understand the fundamentals of your competition, this feature of Crunchbase will help you.
- It offers a regularly updated database of companies
- You can track and find a variety of organization-related data
- Dedicated market analysis tools for tracking industry trends
- The paid version gives you with access to verified contact data
- Multiple options for integrations with CRMs and other tools
- Collaborative working opportunities for an organization
- The free plan is very limited
- Lacks keyword-research-based tracking options
- Crunchbase Starter Plan: advanced search, custom lists, email, and activity feed alerts: $29 per month.
- Crunchbase Pro Plan: verified contact data, engagement suite, export to CSV, Salesforce integration, shared notes and tags, account recommendations, team admin features: $49 per month
- Crunchbase Enterprise Plan: unlimited contacts, unlimited exports, Salesforce Enrichment and API support, dedicated success manager: custom pricing
Similarweb is a different type of competitive intelligence tool that you should check out. It has been made for analyzing websites and apps to understand the growth pattern. Therefore, you can enter the URL of your competitor, and Similarweb will provide a lot of information.
The company says that you can use the data to plan your journey in digital research, digital marketing, eCommerce, investing, and sales. The companies like Google, Walmart, Adobe, and Booking.com etc. use the services of Similarweb.
An impressive part about Similarweb is that it provides all the information in an easy-to-digest manner. For instance, the platform does not fill the page with tables. Instead, it creates different sections where you can find diagrams and charts, which are easy to understand.
From traffic sources to the performance of the top competitors, there is a lot that Similarweb can dig into. Of course, the features vary based on the plans you have chosen.
- Easy to get started with
- It provides you with easy-to-understand data
- Google Chrome extension for easy access
- Metrics to understand privacy and security
- Benchmarking and audience research options
- Lead generation and sales engagement options
- The features could be better organized
- Accreditation is limited to paid plans
- Similarweb Free Plan: 5 results per metric, 1 month of mobile app data, 3 months of web traffic data
- Similarweb Enterprise Plan: unlimited results per metric, 28 months of mobile app data, 3 years of web traffic data, global and country-level data, mobile app engagement, keyword analysis, industry analysis, multiple users: custom pricing
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An essential part of competitive intelligence is understanding what your competitors are up to. Sometimes, it is about checking for changes on their websites or social media. Visualping makes it possible to track many types of changes on a webpage and gives you constant updates.
For instance, if your competitor changes the core design of their landing page or slashes the prices for a popular service, you would get instant results. It also offers many other features.
It is also important that you can set up a variety of alerts based on AI and ML filters. The company says that more than 1.5 million users rely on the service to keep track of website changes. You can schedule all these alerts via email, text, Slack, API, etc.
The company is also proud to have customers like Volkswagen, Reddit, BMW, Tesla, EY, Apple, and Google. You should check out this solution if you want a custom-tailored option for competitive intelligence.
- The platform is easy to set up and get started with
- You can customize the feature for many instances
- It is suitable for short-term and long-term tracking
- Advanced filtering options for data tracking
- Core features of Visualping are available for free
- Affordable pricing plans
- No comprehensive intelligence options
- The platform does not provide more than raw data
- Visualping Free Plan: 2 pages per day, 65 checks per month: free
- Visualping Intensive Plan: 40 pages per day, 1200 checks per month, high frequency allowed: $13 per month
- Visualping Intensive 4k Plan: 130 pages per day, 4,000 checks per month, high frequency: $24 per month
- Visualping Intensive 10k Plan: 333 pages per day, 4,000 checks per month, high frequency: $58 per month
- Visualping Intensive 20k Plan: 667 pages per day, 20,000 checks per month, high frequency: $97 per month
- Pay per use options: $10 for 300 checks.
Owletter is another purpose-specific competitive intelligence tool you should check out. It helps you get the most out of your competitors’ email marketing campaign by strictly monitoring the newsletters sent from a server.
A thorough analysis of these newsletters and the mailing list will tell you how you can optimize your email marketing strategies to better compete with the contender. Of course, Owletter does this in a very effective and stealthy manner.
Used by companies like HubSpot, DISQUS, Adidas, and Aberdeen, Owletter has proven its worth as a new-gen marketing analysis tool. The best part is that Owletter does not have a complicated setup process. You can enter the URL of the competitor’s website, and Owletter will do the rest.
Depending on the plan you have chosen, Owletter can give you timely alerts as well. You can also choose between the retention span for the emails captured by Owletter.
- Effective tool for email marketing monitoring
- Advanced analytics options for email content
- High email retention span for help
- Unlimited alerts based on keyword filters
- Easy to use tools for dissecting analytics data
- Email summary round-ups for briefing
- It does not have any other features
- No free version
- Owletter Starter Plan: 10 websites monitored, 1 monthly email round-up, 1 alert email, 12-month email retention: $19 per month
- Owletter Pro Plan: 25 websites monitored, unlimited email round-ups, unlimited alerts, lifetime storage of emails: $39 per month
- Owletter Unlimited Plan: Unlimited websites monitors, unlimited email round-ups, unlimited alerts, lifetime storage of emails: $79 per month
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SpyFu is a search analytics tool that you can use for competitive intelligence. You can use this website to get an idea about the organic and paid ranking status of your competitor. Compared to a typical keyword search analytics tool, SpyFu offers a number of additional options.
For instance, you can track the monthly clicks and CPC of the campaign. If you are getting started with PPC campaigns, the data from SpyFu will help you craft the best campaign.
If you already have a campaign running, you can use SpyFu to optimize the campaign. For instance, it creates a ‘keyword universe’ that can show all the metrics in a single space. In the end, compared to other competitive intelligence tools I have listed above, SpyFu lets us take a different approach towards competitor data analytics.
And, if you can use the data correctly, competitive intelligence will become easy only. A lot of industry veterans love the advanced options of SpyFu.
- An intuitive dashboard where you can manage everything
- You can set up keyword tracking in a few minutes
- It offers deep-research SEO analytics and reports
- Different tools for SEO and reporting
- Suitable for industry veterans and beginners
- Advanced information about PPC campaigns
- It could be expensive for some
- Sometimes, it causes information overload
- SpyFu Basic Plan: unlimited search, data reports, domain overview, 250 sales leads, 5,000 weekly tracked keyword rankings, 10,000 top results: $33 per month
- SpyFu Professional Plan: Unlimited search results, data exports, domain overview, 500 sales leads, 15,000 weekly tracked keyword ranking, 50,000 top lists results, 10,000 API rows returned, custom branded report: $58 per month.
- SpyFu Team Plan: Unlimited search results, data reports, domain overview, 2,000 sales leads, 40,000 weekly tracked rankings, 75,000 top lists results, 10,000 API rows returned, custom branding reports, and 5 user logins: $199 per month.
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Ahrefs is not a dedicated competitive intelligence tool. Instead, it brings together a bunch of services that help you increase Search Engine visibility and digital identity. You can use many of these services to understand how your competitors are performing in terms of ranking and visibility.
Ahrefs offers a number of tools you can try out. For instance, you get Site Explorer, which analyzes your competitors’ ranking and SEO status.
Similarly, the Site Audit tool lets you understand the different aspects of a website. There are also Rank Tracker and Content Tracker tools that offer in-depth analysis of the digital space. You can strategically combine all these tools to get a clear picture of your competitors as well as your own website.
An impressive thing about Ahrefs is that you do not need another SEO tool. After all, it makes sense to analyze your competitors and take necessary decisions from the same space, right?
- Offers a unified space for SEO and competitive intelligence
- In-depth competitor analysis options
- Easy to get started with set-up and integrations
- Affordable pricing with flexible plans
- It offers a wide variety of SEO and optimization resources
- Worthwhile integrations with other marketing/SEO tools
- Not useful if you have another SEO suite
- Additional user seats are expensive
- Ahrefs Lite Plan: 1 user, 10,000 crawl credits, 500 tracked keywords, 175 domains per week, 175 keywords explorer reports per week, 25,000 batch analysis rows: $99 per month
- Ahrefs Standard Plan: 1 user, 500,000 crawl credits, 1500 tracked keywords, 700 domains per week, 700 keywords explorer reports per week, 100,000 batch analysis rows: $179 per month
- Ahrefs Advanced Plan: 3 users, 1.25 million crawl credits, 5000 tracked keywords, 1400 domains per week, 1400 keywords explorer reports per week, 400,000 batch analysis rows: $399 per month
- Ahrefs Agency Plan: 5 users, 2.5 million crawl credits, 10,000 tracked keywords, 7000 domains per week, 7000 keywords explorer reports per week, 1 million batch analysis rows: $999 per month
You cannot ignore the importance of competitive intelligence when it comes to YouTube, either. TubeBuddy is a new-gen YouTube management tool that offers a number of data analytics and competitor tracking features for your YouTube journey.
It helps you reduce the publishing time by bringing relevant data close to you. For instance, in-depth keyword research and rank tracking can help you get started.
You can also explore a number of features like A/B testing and rank analytics. The idea here is to get more viewers and subscribers in the shortest time possible. The advanced analytics panel from TubeBuddy is a great way to find out how your channel performs.
Compared to the other competitive intelligence tools I have listed, TubeBuddy does not have many dedicated competitive analysis tools. But it should not stop the platform from helping you.
- Suitable for beginners and Pros on YouTube
- Advanced channel analytics and ranking options
- A/B testing and feedback analysis options
- Easy integration with your YouTube channel
- An intuitive platform where you can find sufficient data
- Optimized for real-world results on YouTube
- It lacks dedicated competitive analysis options
- Base plans are too limited
- TubeBuddy Pro Plan: made for starters: $7.20 per month
- TubeBuddy Star Plan: optimized for enhancing YouTube channel: $15.20 per month
- TubeBuddy Legend Plan: Advanced analytics, data research, and productivity tools: $39.20 per month
Frequently Asked Questions About Competitive Intelligence Tools
What are competitive intelligence tools?
Competitive intelligence tools are platforms/services that allow organizations to track, gather data about, and analyze their market competitors. Then, the data is used to make marketing and campaign decisions at different levels of the organization.
How do you do competitive intelligence?
Competitive intelligence is a long-term process that must become a habit in an organization. The first step of competitive intelligence is tracking the competitor and collecting the information. The information is then analyzed to bring out insights. These insights are used to make decisions and generate leads. Depending on the sector and the intensity, the competitive intelligence methods may vary.
What is a competitive intelligence platform?
A competitive intelligence platform works as a centralized destination where you can find and analyze the data about competitors. However, the platform may also offer additional features like reports and on-time suggestions.
What are the sources of competitive intelligence?
There are multiple sources of competitive intelligence, such as competitor websites, social media, patent databases, premium databases, contact information, blog posts, annual reports, etc. All of these are publicly available information.
Is competitive intelligence legal?
Competitive intelligence is completely legal and is an accepted business practice. However, it is important to note that competitive intelligence must be done with the help of publicly available data. If you steal data from the competitor, it becomes corporate espionage, which is not legal.
What is the scope of competitive intelligence?
Competitive intelligence is so capable that it can change the entire outlook of an organization. Making all decisions based on limited data is not an effective way. On the other hand, competitive intelligence will give you access to unexplored terrains with some level of assurance.
The Pro Review from TechReviewPro
I hope you understand the importance and capacity of competitive intelligence tools in the world of tech and businesses. With the right tools at your disposal, you would not have to think twice about taking lead-generating decisions, which is great.
Do you have any other queries about competitive intelligence tools? Do let us know through your comments.