Competitive Marketing Intelligence? Yep, There’s a Chatbot for That!

Competitive Marketing Intelligence? But now comes GrowthBot, a new chatbot from HubSpot co-founder and software developer Dharmesh Shah. Also: I think that phone number will work, but it's not the one listed on the company website. Rating: B, a good start with room for improvement. 'What companies are similar to Skyword.com?' The list generated by GrowthBot would be a good starting point for research. Learning more about it, or the other technologies listed, is easy: Rating: A+, very good. Shah promises us via email that he's hard at work on an improvement. Rating: A, works nicely; something I'd use. But even now, GrowthBot's a fascinating glimpse into chatbots and a potentially useful tool for any marketer looking for a better way to gather competitive intelligence.

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On the battlefield or in the boardroom, competitive intelligence almost always trumps the lack of it. The military figured that one out a long time ago.

Of course, marketers, too, need a glimpse into their rivals’ plans. But we don’t have it easy, do we, having to use Google and dozens of standalone tools for different aspects of our competitive research? Collecting marketing intelligence on competitors and rivals has long been a headache in search of an aspirin.

But now comes GrowthBot, a new chatbot from HubSpot co-founder and software developer Dharmesh Shah. He’s built a promising—even if a bit unpolished—tool for marketers who are looking to better understand their competitors’ strategies and tactics.

He explains why: “I’m curious about companies all the time (sometimes, they’re competitors; sometimes, they’re customers or startups I’m curious about). And, I got tired of having to use a bunch of different websites to get the answers I wanted. So, I built a bot so I could just ask it. Quick, convenient answers.”

Let’s see how helpful GrowthBot is, shall we? We’ll investigate a few Boston-area companies—teams I’m familiar with and respect—to see what we can learn from the outside looking in via GrowthBot.

To follow along with these examples, you’ll want to add GrowthBot to Slack or message hello to @GrowthBot on Facebook Messenger.

When you’re doing research, using a company’s URL to identify it seems to work best, in my experience.

1. ‘Give me an overview of WhiteRhino.com’

I liked this snapshot of a smart local branding and design agency, White Rhino. Pulled up from within Slack, this would be a good starting point for knowing who the company is and what it does. The “add to crm” integration option with Shah’s HubSpot CRM system is noteworthy, too—if you’re a subscriber.

That said, although the optional next steps sounded interesting, I had mixed results when I explored them. The promised “similar” companies were not similar at all, for instance. Also: I think that phone number will work, but it’s not the one listed on the company website.

Rating: B, a good start with room for improvement. Shah would do well to look into his data sources, but marketers would also be wise to ensure all their information found…

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