Three Ways Pricing’s Not as Secret as You Think
As you conduct competitive intelligence research and analysis to discover the pricing structures used by your competitors, it’s important to bear in mind that this information is not a collection of trade secrets. That perspective can provide valuable insights:
- Don’t overlook open source intelligence. It is certainly worthwhile to start with a Google search of a competitor name and phrases such as “price list,” perhaps adding the operators filetype:xls OR filetype:xlsx OR filetype:pdf to return only Excel spreadsheets and PDFs.
- Clarify your ethical position to human intelligence subjects. Mentioning to all potential interviewees that you are not looking for confidential information can help put them at ease and clarify that there is no ethical gray area at play in your research effort. It also makes it clear that if they have pricing information under NDA – you don’t want it.
- Government agencies often make vendor pricing publicly available. Providers that do business with the government are often required to reveal pricing and related details as part of RFPs, and standard procedure is often for that information to be made freely available on public portals such as www.USAspending.gov.
This is the last of three blog posts related to competitive intelligence research and analysis as a means to understand your competitors’ B2B pricing. The first part of the series, “Three Varieties of Smoke & Mirrors in B2B Pricing,” discusses how to handle the variable, irregular nature of B2B pricing in your analysis. The second one, “Three Reasons to Bring on the Humans!,” discusses the primary role that human intelligence sources must play in your research.
By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart