Competitive intelligence does not happen in isolation (and should not). Connecting thousands of external datapoints to in-house knowledge, strategy, and needs is the key to uncovering and offering meaningful insight.
Within a law firm, competitive intelligence can take many different shapes. It’s helpful to define and then continue to improve what competitive intelligence means for your law firm, whether you’re just starting to establish this function or you’re an experienced information expert.
Consider the following examples of how law firms employ competitive intelligence professionals and tools:
- Getting lawyers ready for a meeting with a client by learning about current events and prospective legal needs, or by preparing a “biography” that indicates essential conversation points for the attorney.
- Supporting pitches and the development of RFPs by connecting internal firm expertise with potential client needs.
- Cross-selling other practice groups into an existing client.
- Monitoring business, legal, and regulatory developments.
- Finding actionable content to create thought leadership and client outreach.
- Analyzing new regional markets for firm expansion through an awareness of current events and prospective legal needs.
- Comparing the firm’s offering with the competition’s.
These few examples cover a wide range of law firm divisions, from firm leadership to business development to marketing. Although your company’s needs may not span all these areas, it’s critical to have a clear grasp of where assistance is needed before beginning a competitive intelligence unit.