Competitive Intelligence with Copernic Agent

Copernic Agent can be a very powerful tool in the hunt for competitive intelligence. Here are some of the things I’ve learned for making it more effective.

  1. If you have trouble with the searches hanging, particularly while Agent is analyzing web pages, try running the searches from home if you have a broadband connection. Many offices have firewalls that can interfere with speedy searching. Virus checkers can also cause problems.
  2. Make sure you search for common misspellings of the target name – one competitor I look for has the initial “I” in the name which is occasionally replaced with a “1”. Sometimes strange names get spelled phonetically.
  3. When you look through the initial results, look for new combinations to search for – the target’s city combined with a product name, for example. This can reveal items where the usual search terms are missing or misspelled.
  4. Separate search types, like jobs, patents, etc. into their own search folders. This makes for smaller searches, which are more reliable, and also makes finding specific results easier to find later.
  5. If you use the “save the pages to disk” feature in analysis, secondary searches are much faster because the data being searched is on your hard drive.
  6. Use the tracking options – the resulting notification emails are very handy and can be forwarded easily. Stagger the search times throughout the week to keep from clogging your system during working hours.
  7. Small, specific tracked searches make for smaller, more understandable notification emails. It also makes them more appropriate for forwarding.
  8. Even though using “exact phrase” disables some search engines, I find it can return more results than search for “all words” with the same keywords. It pays to experiment.
  9. I created a “Master Search” category with many different engine types for quickie jobs to cover patents, jobs, company info, etc. The only analysis I turn on here is the save pages to disk feature for fast secondary searching. I use this for quickie jobs when I’m not sure what I’m looking for, have only a partial company name, etc.
  10. Never stop experimenting with search terms. Names, city names, product names, combinations of terms, and unusual or rarely used terms can provide new and surprising results.

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