An obvious way to gain market intelligence is by examining competitors’ websites as well as doing basic searches with search engines like Google. To find out what the press is writing about a company, its competitors, or any other topic, sign up to receive free alerts via email via Google Alerts.
Suppose you want to monitor what people are saying about you or your company on blogs, the comment areas of websites, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. You can do so by going to a site like WhosTalkin.com, typing a topic or company name into the search bar, and voilà! All the good (and bad) things people have remarked about the company or topic turn up. It’s a great way to seek out the shortcomings of competitors. It’s also a good way to spot talent. For example, designers are using search engines like WhosTalkin.com to search the blogs of children and teens who are “fashion forward” and then involve them in designing new products.
WhosTalkin.com and Radian6 (a similar company) also provide companies with sentiment analysis. Sentiment analysis is a method of examining content in blogs, tweets, and other online media (other than news media) such as Facebook posts to determine what people are thinking. Some companies use sentiment analysis to determine how the market is reacting to a new product. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses sentiment analysis to track the progress of flu; as people post or tweet how sick they are, the CDC can determine where the flu is increasing or decreasing.