Do you have a comprehensive view of your ecosystem? Meaning, do you know your market, customers, competitors, suppliers, trends and more? One way you can have this 360-degree view is with competitive intelligence (CI). And according to the Crayon 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence Report, a whopping 94% of businesses are investing in CI.
The good news is you don’t have to be a large enterprise to use CI. This is because digital technology is allowing businesses of all sizes to use CI. And as more small businesses establish themselves as eCommerce retailers or add it to their existing brick and mortar outlet, CI is becoming increasingly more important.
Ellie Mirman, CMO at Crayon, explains how the changing competitive landscape demands CI solutions. In the emailed release for the report, Mirman says it is much easier for competitors to go to market and innovate, which is also changing the CI landscape.
Adding, “Automation, data proliferation, measurement tools, and so much more have transformed the way businesses can capture and analyze their competitors’ movements and take action to get ahead. Our goal with this study is to share best practices and trends in competitive intelligence to enable CI professionals to continue to grow in their roles and have a greater impact on their organizations.”
Competitive Intelligence Statistics
The availability of all this technology is making businesses more competitive. In fact, 90% of the respondents in the survey say their industry is now more competitive.
The State of Competitive Intelligence survey was carried out between November 11, 2019 through December 15, 2019. More than 1,000 people took part in the survey during that time. The respondents are full-time CI professionals (29%), part-time role as CI (46%), stakeholders consuming CI deliverables (16%), and consultants who work at CI agencies (9%).
The good news is more organizations are realizing the benefits of CI. While only a little more than half (57%) CI teams of two or more, it is 20% more than just two years ago (37%). This is an important metric because businesses are recognizing the level of competition in their industry.
Almost half or 48% say their industry has become much more competitive in the past three years. While large enterprises face the most competition, according to the report, everyone is facing it. Businesses of all sizes say they have seen an increase in the number of competitors go up from 25 to 29 year over year.
When it comes to collecting the data from competitors, research is the most time-consuming task of CI for 36% of the respondents. However, the report says this number is down because of CI automation tools in the market. But the time they save is now being used to analyzing more data and communicating the information to their clients.
As to the top source of CI data, 98% of the respondents say the competitor’s website is the go-to source. Word of mouth by customers and employees and social media account are also resources.
Competitive Intelligence in the Information Age
The primary goal of CI is to leverage market and competitor information to gain a competitive advantage. This is accomplished by capturing, analyzing, and driving activities related to a company’s competitive landscape.
Some of the data include your competition’s strategies, businesses, movements, customers they serve, and the marketplace in which they operate. With the advent of the internet, eCommerce and digital marketing it’s much easier to see what your competition is doing.
Even though this information is readily available, Crayon says, “Simply monitoring and reacting to competitors won’t cut it.” You and the experts you hire have to use the insights you gain from the information along with other tools to drive growth for your company and capitalize on any disruption in the market.
According to Crayon, the report is a resource for helping the competitive and marketing intelligence community. In the release, Cam Mackey, Executive Director of SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals) explains the importance of the report.
Mackey says, “By providing a benchmark against current practices and insight into best practices, this report is an important resource to help improve the value that we bring to our organizations every day.”
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