The monitoring strategy is an indispensable element, totally related to your company strategy. You have probably already heard enough: no strategy can be relevant without taking into account the evolution of its environment. You will develop the best skills and the best strategies, if you do it without taking into account the external dynamics, your approach is intended to fail. We will see in this article how to conduct an effective watch.
Access to information is much easier than in the past
The internet has changed the game, and we are not talking about the development of social networks, especially professional ones. The boundaries between personal and professional life are unclear and many professionals disclose confidential information, whether consciously or not, via forums, discussion groups and so on. An inexhaustible source of information is at your disposal, for you to explore.
However, be careful not to get lost in this real “flow of information”, you must be able to filter the relevant content. Tools are available for this, we will go through some of them. We will see how to better know your industry, your customers and your competitors.
Choose your axes and your sources of information
This step is decisive and must be developed with method. You must clearly have your goals in mind. Do you want to know more about your sector, your customers, your competitors? All three at once? You need to strategically and effectively lock a search track to gain efficiency and consistency. You must determine what is most important to you and your business.
- Industry monitoring: This can help you keep up with the latest news on a given industry. You can then calmly analyze technological developments and stick to them. To do this you must identify the relevant keywords of your market. You can also watch over your own brand: remember that you can spend years building a brand but its reputation can be destroyed in a few hours via what is called a “bad buzz”.
- Competitors monitoring: The goal is to detect who the competitors are, what their news is and what technologies they use. Your ambition must be to detect what are the strategic movements of your competitors, who are their customers etc. The goal is to be one step ahead of them.
- Monitoring on your customers: the goal is to know your customers in depth, know what they think, what needs to be met etc.
We recommend using Google News and Wikio as sources of information.
You can use various traditional tools:
- The search engines: Google, Bing, Yahoo
- News-oriented engines: Google News, Yahoo News, Bing News
- Alert systems: Google alerts, Hype Alerts or Social Mention and Backtype Alert
- RSS feeds: well chosen they are also an optimal way to keep informed.
Analyze this information
This is certainly the most important step of your day. You will quickly realize that you will be overwhelmed with information. The bulk of the work will then be to sort the information to identify only the essential. The heart of this information will help you in managing your brand on a daily basis as well as in defining your medium / long term strategy.