Most businesses use only simple measures to keep track of their competitors and are often caught on the hop when they cut prices or launch new products, a new McKinsey survey reveals.
They asked more than 1800 senior execs in businesses around the world what they do to gather information about their competitors. News reports, information from industry groups, annual reports and market share or pricing data were the information sources of choice on competitors’ product innovations for most businesses, with more than 60% using one of these tools.
By contrast, sources of more detailed information were employed much less commonly – reverse engineering products was performed by only 22% of businesses and mystery shopping by 20%.
And the consequence? Only 23% of businesses find out about competitor plans to introduce a new product or innovation in time to put together a response before it hits the market.
The majority (47%) said they only twigged to what the competition was up to when the new product hit the market or even later.