Tracking The Competition, Socially

April 15th, 2008 4 Comments

Yesterday in Denver, Jake and I had lunch with a few nice folks from NewsGator, one of which was Jeff Nolan. As you may know, Jeff writes Venture Cronicles. In friendfeed, I noticed that Jeff had posted to his blog, so I went to have a read and ended up reading several posts. This one caught my eye.

The company mentioned prominently was RivalMap. They are a service purpose built for tracking competition. I took a look at the site and watched a good overview of the service (haven’t signed up). Overall I really liked their UI and found it very simple and intuitive and they do a nice job of focusing on the tracking of competitors although I would have liked to see a bit more automation to the process of gathering information (ie. google alert integration, etc).

The real question for me on RivalMap was its applicability to the typical user at a company. Of course every company has competition and they need to stay abreast of it, but does it warrant its own dedicated solution? Will people spend the time to add the content to make it valuable? Wouldn’t companies be better served by a more generic service that allowed say groups for competitor discussions, or similar?

My sense is that very large companies with dedicated competitive intelligence teams would absolutely love this service. I could see those teams signing up and running their organization on RivalMap, but again, how many of those teams are there?

In the end, I have always thought that you should spend your time on your customers instead of your competition, so not a large focus for me, but I have to commend RivalMap for building a product that looks great and goes after a specific challenge. I hope they do well.


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4 Responses to “Tracking The Competition, Socially”

  1. mrontemp: Technology Stove Top, 17 April 2008 Says:

    […] I do these “stove tops” in the future, I should try to keep to just one major topic. Or not.Anyway, Paul Pedrazzi of Oracle AppsLab blogged about RivalMap a couple of days ago. Granted, companies with a “not invented here” syndrome may not want to trust their data to […]

  2. Andrew Holt Says:

    Thanks for the mention and the kind wishes, Paul. It’s interesting that you bring up the applicability of RivalMap at various types of companies. We built RivalMap because the competitive knowledge function at most companies seemed like a very under-served area, which was surprising given how important this data can be. The data isn’t relevant to everyone at a company, but sales, marketing, product managers, and executives can derive a lot of value from having a single clearinghouse for any new information on their competition.

    RivalMap is intended as an information hub for competitive data. It’s not healthy for a company to focus intensely on the competition, but it’s definitely helpful when making strategic decisions to know everything you can about competitors, from sales’ discoveries in the field to a product manager’s analysis of a competing product’s feature. We’ve found from current customers, which range all over in terms of size and industry, that RivalMap works well in both companies with a defined market intelligence team, and companies that have nothing defined at all. Essentially, we’re replacing email and ad-hoc documents for a particular function, which adds a lot of value and breaks out from other information areas very well. There is always an adoption challenge with any new system, but we’re working to go beyond the email integration and bookmarklet we have now to make it even simpler for users to contribute.

    We’ll also be adding an often-requested news feature shortly to the service, which will collate news items about a company’s competitors and industry, cutting down on information overload and making it easier to have peace-of-mind that you’re on top of the competition. We’re focusing on competitive information now, but have plans to expand into broader information sets in the future.

    If you’d like a full account to play with, let me know!

    Andrew Holt
    Co-founder
    RivalSoft Inc.

  3. Andrew Holt Says:

    Thanks for the mention and the kind wishes, Paul. It’s interesting that you bring up the applicability of RivalMap at various types of companies. We built RivalMap because the competitive knowledge function at most companies seemed like a very under-served area, which was surprising given how important this data can be. The data isn’t relevant to everyone at a company, but sales, marketing, product managers, and executives can derive a lot of value from having a single clearinghouse for any new information on their competition.

    RivalMap is intended as an information hub for competitive data. It’s not healthy for a company to focus intensely on the competition, but it’s definitely helpful when making strategic decisions to know everything you can about competitors, from sales’ discoveries in the field to a product manager’s analysis of a competing product’s feature. We’ve found from current customers, which range all over in terms of size and industry, that RivalMap works well in both companies with a defined market intelligence team, and companies that have nothing defined at all. Essentially, we’re replacing email and ad-hoc documents for a particular function, which adds a lot of value and breaks out from other information areas very well. There is always an adoption challenge with any new system, but we’re working to go beyond the email integration and bookmarklet we have now to make it even simpler for users to contribute.

    We’ll also be adding an often-requested news feature shortly to the service, which will collate news items about a company’s competitors and industry, cutting down on information overload and making it easier to have peace-of-mind that you’re on top of the competition. We’re focusing on competitive information now, but have plans to expand into broader information sets in the future.

    If you’d like a full account to play with, let me know!

    Andrew Holt
    Co-founder
    RivalSoft Inc.

  4. Squid, the Compression Shirt Workout Tracker « oracle fusion identity Says:

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