May 20, 2012

How to efficiently follow your competition

Working in medical device R&D its important to keep an eye on your competitors.  Marketing is too busy working on presentation font size to be reliable on this.  The easiest way to do so is using Google Reader, you'll need a Google account to make it work.  From there just add Medgadget, your competitor's press release site (if any), and MassDevice to Google Reader.  If  your competitor launches a new device or has an idea it may be covered in Medgadget, more general news in MassDevice.  However, if your competitor has a poor marketing department or is small, some news may slip through the cracks.

To take your stalking to the next level, follow the company on LinkedIn, although this hasn't been that useful for me yet.  Then set up a search using your competitor's name in Google Blog Search.  Google blog search will pick up every little tidbit, but blogs are generally spammy, so you'll ignore a lot of things on there.  You can do the same thing with Google News and Google Patents.  From the FDA website, you can also follow recalls, reported complaints, 510k and PMA approvals, however, you'll probably have to do this manually or just read their monthly digests, the website isn't set up well for this.  For example, PMAs are set up one month per page, and every year has its own page, good luck getting that to work, they do have a feed for recalls though.  Short of actually talking to anyone, that is about as thorough as you can get.  You will obviously have a hard time following a start-up this way as there is usually no news.

While you're setting all of this up, you probably want to set it up for your company as well.  You can use other keywords like the type of device you're interested in instead of the competitor's name.  This blog can also be followed on Google Reader.  You don't have to use Google Reader for this, you can actually set up RSS feeds in outlook and it will email you items into a certain folder, but Google Reader you can log on anywhere with a web connection so I like it better.


mark said...

Really great tips. Following your competition well can help you better compete with them

ayisha said...

Your site is very good and helpful thank you.

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