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August,

I'm glad you took a look at the post and thrilled you took the time (thank you) to share your thoughts of CI guy. Although I do believe in looking at what other companies are doing in the space, a fixation on competition and staying ahead is not healthy.

I'm more of the school of uncovering and truly owning your own brand. Many businesses expend so much time and effort looking in the read view mirror, that they forget to look ahead. I do believe in analyzing the job that your service gets done and staying close to your customers.

Valeria, this is an intriguing post. As a competitive intelligence (CI) guy, I'm generally skeptical when anyone says to forget or ignore their competition. That said, I do agree with your point about all of the players in an industry creating nearly identical content. This seems particularly common for B2B marketers and content. There is a downside to competitive benchmarking when firms use CI to regress to the mean.

It is worthwhile for firms to map their strength vis-a-vis their competitors to identify the specific strength where they can deliver value. This is probably an ideal choice for the niche upon which firms can go deep as you advise. A good, thorough SWOT analysis can give firms a view on that niche. Strategic Analysis will help firms stay ahead of the competition and anticipate changes in their market and changes in their customers' needs.

@Brian - consistency takes time to grab people as an appointment - at least it did in my case with this blog.

@Karthik - sometimes common sense in not so common. I mean we all have different points of reference.

@Elizabeth - the context being "a bridge too far" is an awesome concept, thank you for that. In consumer good companies, the agency can actually work on the content for contests, etc. In B2B, you need to partner with the business experts, that's why it's so discontinuous and thin so far. There is no urgency on the business side to make the time.

@Rich - as opposed to living inside its own walls... thanks to the comments here, I'm thinking further.

@J. Paul - the only way I can see a blog hurting a business is if the owner forget to actually implement the work in favor of just talking about it ;) Glad the post was helpful.

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