The best competitive experts. All in one place.
When done right, your audience looks forward to reading it every week.
But if you fumble and make some common mistakes we’ve seen, your competitive intelligence newsletter risks becoming just another newsletter.
Here are some of the key aspects of a successful competitive intelligence digest according to the experts.
One of the biggest mistakes competitive enablement experts make is not following a regular cadence for their newsletters.
For your newsletter to be successful, you need to build an engaged audience. And if your audience never knows when to expect your newsletter, you won’t build a following.
This doesn’t mean you have to send one every week — monthly or bi-monthly can certainly be regular enough.
But whatever delivery you choose, make sure you stick to it and deliver it on the same day.
Building a competitive intelligence newsletter template can be useful for getting your first newsletter off the ground.
However, if the overall structure becomes too rigid, you might feel compelled to include stories that don’t actually deserve to be there, simply because you want to check a box for your template.
That’s why competitive experts like Nick Larson from Staffbase recommend keeping the structure of your competitive intelligence newsletter fast and loose:
“If you have a really specific format then sometimes that forces you to reach for stories that aren’t important. The way that we’ve approached it is just putting in the five to seven stories that are the most important to to our reps at that time.”
Nick says that some kind of structure might be necessary if you find yourself with an abundance of content; but cautions against overdoing it.
It’s easier than ever to collect publicly information and data. Ironically, it’s harder than ever to draw actual insights from that information.
Brandon Bedford, Competitive Enablement Manager at Klue, says that’s why he makes sure to include internal content in his competitive intelligence newsletter.
“I always thought there would be a ton of intel research and things out on the web that will be really valuable. But the content that resonates most in terms of our newsletter is actually internally shared content.”
Brandon combs through Slack and stories shared in Klue’s CRM to find more nuanced pieces of competitive intelligence.
He looks for wins and losses against competitors, as well as other data that helps give his sales and product teams actual insights.
“These kinds of stories aren’t being scraped from the web. The internal stories I’m finding are the things people are really interested in hearing.”
And when he uses internal stories in his newsletter, he makes sure to shout out the team member or members who made it happen.
See real life example from one of Klue’s intel digests below.
You gotta crawl before you walk.
Start by building the foundation for your competitive newsletter. Get a feel for where to collect intel and what kinds of insights resonate most by sending one newsletter to a broad audience.
As Clara Smyth, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Slack, put it during an episode of the Competitive Enablement Show, it was this first newsletter to a broad audience that built trust.
But once you get a knack for it, you can start to tailor your newsletters to specific audiences within your organization.
“You can have a product focused newsletter, you can have a sales focused newsletter. I started one generically where I included everybody and then later on specified. But that newsletter one built trust within the organization and two it, allowed people to raise their hand and say, I want this in the newsletter. “
It would be a mistake to start with several different newsletters, especially if you’re just getting your competitive program off the ground.
But separate newsletters for different functions and departments should definitely be a longer term goal.
Why is this story important?
Without the right context and explanation of why a story in your newsletter is important, you’ve wasted valuable space and impacted the credibility of your newsletter.
You need to go beyond the facts and provide an insightful point of view of why something is important.
“If you just share that a senior member of the leadership team of one of your competitors has left their job, that’s great. But what does it do for me as a sales rep? So that’s where it’s really important to add: Here’s why this is important and why knowing this is going to help you sell better against this competitor,” said Nick Larson on an Episode of the Competitive Enablement Show.
Both Brandon and Nick agree that if you can’t answer why a piece of intel is important, it doesn’t belong in a competitive newsletter.
Your competitive newsletter might not be perfect right away. That’s normal.
But if you follow these 7 tips, you’ll build a solid foundation for the newsletter and your competitive enablement program.
Now, your competitive intelligence newsletter can stand out and avoid being just another newsletter.
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