Interview with Jesper Martell, Co-Founder and CEO of Comintelli, a competitive intelligence company based in Sweden.
Hi Jesper, what is included in your current role as CEO at Comintelli?
My day-to-day responsibilities and activities differ greatly depending on what is most prioritized. I try to talk to customers, partners and/or prospects on a daily basis to stay in touch with what the market wants. At the moment I am also deeply involved in digitalizing our marketing and leads generation.
I think it is important that a CEO wears many hats. This is why I am also dedicated to other roles as an international keynote speaker and thought leader. I was also recently inducted as a CI Fellow as one of very few Europeans. I hope to contribute greatly in this role.
What differentiates Comintelli and Intelligence2day from other tools and platforms in the media and competitive intelligence sector?
Intelligence2day is one of the few full service Market & Competitive Intelligence (M&CI) platforms, which means we are a platform that you can grow into. It is a solution that is flexible enough to start you out small and develop as you grow into many thousands of users and articles. The biggest mistake, and the most costly one you can make, is to lock yourself into a system that won’t grow with you.
Intelligence2day has solutions for 4 main applications:
- Media Monitoring – news from internal, external sources and alerts
- Intelligence Management – search and classification
- Insight Generation – sharing lists, reports and curation
- Early Warning Radar – such as heat maps, trend clusters and signal spotter
Many M&CI platforms focus on monitoring external websites, but this only gives you half the picture if that. We put more emphasis on internally produced content and on ensuring that it is as relevant as possible under the tagline “less is more”.
What are the client behaviour trends you have witnessed as a result of COVID-19?
We’ve seen our clients pivot in the most extraordinary ways during COVID-19. It is clear that many businesses have found themselves in strange situations but in the same breath, the pandemic has helped them to think out of the box and to change behaviors. This crisis has demonstrated that market and competitive intelligence capabilities are more critical than ever.
What we hear now from the market is that there is an increased appetite for CI as a result of COVID-19. This is not just from senior management, but from all parts of organizations such as product development, supply and even customer success departments.
Have you recently, or are you about to, release any new features in your platform to improve the services you offer your clients?
Our latest version of Intelligence2day enhances data analysis capabilities with powerful AI-based features that utilize machine learning and natural language processing technologies. These new AI-based features allow users to discover market insights quicker with AI-based content classification, hashtag based classification, trend clusters, AI-based signal spotter and auto summarization.
Many organisations are being asked to do more with less resources. AI based tools will help customers by removing many manual processes and automating routine tasks like classifying content and creating newsletters.
On your website you ask if clients “have what it takes to be future-proof”. What does being future-proof mean to you, within the scope of your industry?
Being future-proof means that you are ready for any challenge or opportunity that arises because they certainly will. And when you have the right intelligence tools on your side, you can do extraordinary things and make great business decisions.
If you are future proof you will be able to detect signals of change and disruption earlier than your competitors. This gives you time to act and make the necessary decisions needed to take advantage of change.
What are your greatest challenges ahead at Comintelli when it comes to serving your customers and developing your service offering?
I think the greatest challenge will always be to grow together with our customers and to make sure that they are getting value from our platform at all stages of their journey.
This means that the information and insights derived from Intelligence2day are actually used for decisions and actions. Even the best insights are useless if no one reads them or acts upon them.
Are there any solutions that you believe offer great potential but have not yet been embraced by clients?
Many M&CI users naturally start with the basics like monitoring the right sources and getting news alerts out to decision makers. This is a great and necessary step to track all competitive forces that you are aware of.
But once you have that foundation in place, there is huge potential to detect early warning signals. For example, you can discover events and occurrences that you didn’t know you were looking for and are not one of your key intelligence topics, but that could potentially disrupt your industry.
This means making more use of visualizations like trend clusters and signal spotters. My favorite would have to be our unique Heat Maps feature. Heat Maps is the perfect combination of visual news monitoring and AI based detection. Just a quick glance at these every week will tell you more than what you can read in any newspaper or website.
When it comes to the actual data behind the competitive intelligence you do, what kind of data or media not currently used can be interesting in the future?
Finding news and tracking what competitors have done is very easy today. What I think will be more interesting in the future is data that can provide indication on what competitors will do, for example which patents have been filed. This could include data from:
- The European Patent Office (EPO), has an online tool called Espacenet where you can search millions of patents.
- World Intellectual Property Organization, has its Patentscope database
- Google Patents, a free tool
By Peter Appleby