Competitive spending trends may or may not be a significant influence on your company's marketing spending plans to support products and services. However, in a market where there are one or more large competitors, the amount of money your competitors are willing to spend will impact:
Every company can design and execute a competitive intelligence gathering program that is cost-effective. It can range from simple secondary data information-gathering, sales force feedback, and trade publications/associations, to more sophisticated and expensive custom internal and external research.
Your company could design usage and attitude studies on target buyers,
conduct focus groups, or do quantitative
field studies (all examples of internal research). You could also examine
industry subscription publications on specific industries and competitors or
obtain volume-measurement services from ACNielsen, Informational Resources, Inc.
(IRI), and other services such as custom-designed market simulation studies on
competitive products (external research).