How to Conduct Cannabis Industry Competitive Intelligence Research and Analysis

In any industry, if you don’t know what your competitors are doing, your business will operate at a significant disadvantage. The cannabis industry is no different. You must fully understand the competitive landscape at all times so your business thrives rather than simply survives.  

The Purpose of Competitive Intelligence Research and Analysis

The truth in business is this – your competitors are looking for ways to steal customers from your business. You should be doing the same thing. Yes, you want to attract new customers to your market, but you also want to shift customers who are buying products or services from your competitors to your business instead.

If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you can’t effectively compete with them. You’ll miss opportunities that your competitors will happily seize, and you won’t see threats that could steal customers and sales from your company.

The two key types of competitive defense in business are a proactive defense and a reactive defense. It’s up to you to decide which defense your company will use. 

In simplest terms, a proactive defense strategy requires that you conduct competitive intelligence research and analysis on an ongoing basis to ensure you retain and gain market share. On the other hand, a reactive defense strategy is used by businesses that wait to see what their competitors do before taking any action to retain or gain market share. 

Bottom-line, it’s a lot harder and more costly to launch a counter attack in order to protect your company’s market share than it is to operate from a proactive position. You need intelligence and data to do it successfully.

What is a Competitive Analysis?

A competitive analysis is a formal process of gathering information and data about your competitors – both direct and indirect – so you always know what they’re doing. The goal is to ensure your company is always a step ahead of the competition, so your business is the one to capitalize on new opportunities and isn’t threatened by competitor attacks.

Competitive analysis starts by conducting in depth research about each of your competitors. However, it doesn’t stop there. To be effective, competitive analysis should be done on an ongoing basis. That means you need to continually update the data and information in your analyses, so you’re never surprised by your competitors’ actions.

Information and Data to Include in Your Research

A competitive analysis typically includes information about each of your competitors, so you can fully understand their current position in the marketplace, strengths, and weaknesses. With this information, you’ll always know what opportunities are available for your business and which competitors could threaten your business.

Some of the information and data you should include in your analysis of each competitor includes:

  • Products and/or services they offer
  • Pricing
  • Where they sell their products and/or services
  • Who their customers are
  • How they promote and market their products and services
  • Their online footprint
  • Brand reputation and position in your market
  • Their partners, suppliers, vendors, and so on
  • Leadership team and employees
  • Their investors
  • Financial position
  • Their history to understand where they’ve been, decisions they’ve made, and where they could be going in the future

With all of this information in hand, you can complete a SWOT analysis for each competitor to identify their strengths and weaknesses relative to your own and the marketplace as a whole in order to extrapolate opportunities and threats.

Tools to Conduct Cannabis Industry Competitor Research and Analysis

Visit your competitors’ websites and social media profiles to gather as much freely available information about them as possible. If your competitors are public companies, you can collect more information and data from their financial filings, annual report, and other publicly available publications and reports.

In addition, tools like BuzzSumo, Semrush, and Ahrefs can provide information about your competitors’ content, search engine optimization, social media, and influencer marketing strategies. 

The best solutions to conduct cannabis industry competitor research and analysis are the Cannabiz Media License Database and Cannabiz Intelligence™

The Cannabiz Media License Database provides license holder contact information (including social media links) licensed business operational data, analytics, up-to-date regulatory information, daily news alerts, compliance verification capabilities, and more for cannabis and hemp licenses in the United States, Canada, and international markets. In other words, all of the information you need for cannabis license holder competitor research and analysis is included. When you subscribe, you can even set up notifications, so you’re alerted when there are changes to business licenses and can keep your competitive analysis current.

For example, below is a snapshot of the profile for Curaleaf Holdings in the Cannabiz Media License Database, which shows a high level view of the information you can access as a subscriber. You can also drill down to get more information by state, county, city, license type, license status, employee information, and much more. Each contact’s profile associated with a license and/or company includes contact, social media, and additional details, so you can get a full picture of who your competitors are and what they’re doing in the industry.

As shown in the image below, Cannabiz Intelligence provides financial intelligence and reporting beyond the information about cannabis licenses and the businesses and people associated with those licenses that can be found in the Cannabiz Media License Database. In addition, Cannabiz Intelligence includes merger and acquisition data, valuations, patient data, wholesale flower price data, financial positions, and much more.

You can get a significant amount of information and data about your competitors from the Cannabiz Media License Database and even more from Cannabiz Intelligence to set your business up for success.

Your Next Steps to Conduct Cannabis Industry Competitive Intelligence Research and Analysis

Without adequate information and data about your competitors, you’re putting your business at risk. Start by conducting competitive research and analysis today to set a baseline. Update the information on a consistent basis, so you’re never surprised. It’s always better to use a proactive defense than a reactive defense.

To start your cannabis industry competitive intelligence research and analysis, subscribe to the Cannabiz Media License Database and Cannabiz Intelligence. Schedule a demo to see how these two solutions can help your business beat the competition.

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