Competitive Intelligence: Thinking Outside the Box

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a term that has become very familiar in the law firm industry over the past few years, but it is still “arriving” in many senses. According to a recent study conducted by ClientsFirst Consulting, LLC, law firms say CI is a focus, but not necessarily a priority, and while some small firms may have invested in it, other larger firms said they are doing almost nothing to incorporate it into their standard operating procedures.

Whether you are a small, mid-sized or large firm, CI can be beneficial to you. With the vast assortment of tools, from Manzama to atVantage and from Law360 to Google, the options are endless, but will most likely depend on your budget. Some options are free, while others can cost up to $60,000/year.

When CI came onto the scene, it was primarily used for pitches and RFP responses. However, the uses have multiplied significantly with surplus data available. Legal professionals need to be thinking outside the box in terms of all the ways they can use CI to their advantage.

Here are a few ways in which CI research can be utilized:

  • New markets/offices
  • Cross-selling
  • Trend analysis
  • Mergers/acquisitions
  • Attorney/employee retention
  • New practice areas
  • Key lateral identification
  • Targeting high-value prospects
  • Geographic expansion

When it comes to driving strategic direction in your firm, data can be the single most important tool. No matter what size firm you are, CI has a role in your business development.

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