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Using the right tool for the job, the right way

Here are some best practices for implementing a market and competitive intelligence portal within your organization


A sharp saw does not by itself make a great carpenter.  As the American thinker Wallace Wattles wrote over 100 years ago, “It is essential to have good tools, but it is also essential that the tools should be used in the right way.”

Let’s apply this notion to strategic research portals.  SinglePoint™ undoubtedly is a great tool for aggregating and analyzing market and competitive intelligence across an enterprise.  Yet there are a set of best practices in the deployment and use of SinglePoint that differentiate the most successful client implementations.  Here are some of them:

Load the portal with high value research in addition to market intelligence-optimized news – It’s an indisputable fact: content attracts users.  Northern Light’s analysis of SinglePoint portal use across our entire client base, encompassing some 250,000 users, shows that the more content that is accessible from the portal, the more it is used to inform decision-making.

Combine (global) market research, market intelligence, and CI into one platform – Giving professionals within your organization one central place – with one log-in, and one familiar interface – to go for all their market and competitive intelligence is a key to maximizing both use of the portal and employee productivity as they conduct research.

Publish a robust strategic dashboard collection that is well-maintained with fresh content – An artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled insight distribution ecosystem directs relevant content and insights contained in the portal to individuals who need it, in a timely manner.  Strategic dashboards are one key element of such a system, as they can be tailored to specific areas of interest by department, function, product line, or even personalized to an individual.  Well-designed dashboards routinely garner strong viewership among senior executives.

Turn on the automatic Recommended Reading List email alerts or have other programs to drive alert emails to large numbers of users – Using AI-based machine learning, SinglePoint learns what a user is interested in based on what they download and identifies similar content, creating a personalized Recommended Reading List for each SinglePoint user.  Relevant content will then come find the user rather than each user having to go look for it.

Link to the portal from a prominent place on the corporate intranet – Put your portal where employees’ eyeballs are.  Make it accessible from multiple locations on the corporate intranet that receive significant traffic, and that mesh logically with employees’ research workflow.

Introduce and market the portal with flare and consistency – Treat the portal as a “product” of your company, and promote it to all internal “customers” as you would a product to potential buyers.  The watch words of successful product advertising campaigns are “reach” and “frequency” – communicate with the maximum number of prospects as often as possible – and the same applies to marketing the strategic research portal within your enterprise.

Author an aggressive newsletter program with outreach to all potential users – Like dashboards, newsletters are another vital component of an effective insight distribution ecosystem. Take the time to create topic-specific editions that highlight recently-added relevant content within the portal and push that information to targeted internal “mailing lists”.

It’s a visual world, so increase your platform’s graphical pizazz to increase appeal – Many companies have found that “branding” their portal with a name and logo (again, as you would a “product” for the external marketplace) adds to its appeal.  And consistent with trends in modern website design and social media, it also is good practice to incorporate various visual elements to the portal to make it easy on the eye for users, who have come to expect highly graphical experiences.

Place the portal in the employee on-boarding process – Introduce employees to the portal on their first day at your company.  Position the portal as a fundamental tool for “living” within your organization, just as email, instant messaging, and your CRM and HR systems are.  Making the portal part of the “company culture” is a great way to maximize usage.


To learn more about best practices for implementing SinglePoint within your organization, contact Northern Light.



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