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COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE:
A lesson on comparative web presentation

"Marketing is becoming more of a battle based on information than one base on sales power."
Philip Kolter Marketing Management Prentice Hall

This exercise illustrates the  importance of being able to glean marketing information from internet sources provided by the companies themselves. These modern business skills of interpreting multi-media presentations and analysing or discerning the coherent strategies (or lack of them) behind the structure of a company's website will be more and more in demand in the future.

Your mission: you should have been given or have chosen two rival company websites to analyse. For  next week's class. Your current employer is considering acquiring a 5% stake in one of these two competitors or parallel products. You must brief the our group on your conclusions on what you could interpert from their sites. Your web report is only a small part of the meeting on this subject. Your presentation should be dynamic, informative and between five and ten minutes in length; Staff meetings should not last all day!

If you like figures and graphs you can use Kahula Webtools to analyze the two websites or to go even further Kahula Deeplinks. But be careful you can drown in the information. Editor's note: the kahula project pages require some time to explore all of their functions. Be sure to play around with them before coming to any conclusions.

Some Questions to Help You Evaluate or Contrast the Two Firms


What messages both overt an subliminal are projected by the the two sites?

Did you spot any corporate alliances?

Was it easy to navagate? Were you directed to certain locations? Were you able to go where you wanted to go?
What if you wanted to buy something?

What if any services do they offer their clients? Are there levels of access to these services?

Outsourcing: Were you sent to other company's sites?

What did you learn that was unexpected?

Why are the sites constructed in these manner?

Did you notice any Slogans? What do they mean to the company and its actions?

What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats reflected or ignored on these websites?

Were there any unique features?

How would you critique their efforts? For example: an image or effect might be totally cool but worthless to the overall functioning of the page or the opposite:  irritating but essentially a powerful tool in generating customer loyalty.

Were there any question marks: things that you couldn't figure out or understand their purpose?

Could you summarize their Marketing Plans from these corporate displays? Positioning, price, distribution,target market, promotions, objectives,etc?

How about dead links or obviously dated pages?

Can you make some guesses at their present situation?

What recomendations would you make to their webmaster, CEO, Marketing Department?

If you haven't yet chosen which two companies you'd like to analyse you could look at
Compare Website Cards

 

Speaking of obtaining information, have you ever consulted

The C.I.A's Factbook?

It is an amazing colllection of information on countries all over the world. Top secret and spying have quite different definitions in the Wired World.

Try this:
Take part of the quote by Philip Kolter from the top of the page:

"Marketing is becoming more of a battle based"

Go to Google on this page and click on search the web. Enter this phrase and go look at all of the sites using his words. Do they cite him? (Is he credited) How many of these websites are commercial endeavors. We are sharing ideas, words, files in a way all the time and that is very different from the past.
I would say that the internet mimics conversations and not manufacturing and publishing. Why?

 
 
 
Ce texte © 2003-2004  Christopher Yukna - tous droits réservés


New Techonlogy Project Manager
Délégation aux relations internationales
Ecole des Mines
158 cours Fauriel
St.Etienne
FRANCE 
tél. +33 (0)4 77 42 00 82


Would you like to check out Yukna's Bazzar?
You should find a lot of quizzes, lessons and ideas
there. A great deal of the Bazzar is dedicated to ESL exercises, English vocabulary building, TOEFL, etc. however there are lots of other subjects like Harry Potter, Murder and Crime, or Industrial Design (that's why it's called a Bazzar!)