Crayon, in partnership with the non-profit community Strategic & Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), just released a new report about competitive intelligence (CI), and the findings have big implications for every business in every industry.
After all, every business has competitors. That means every business needs—or is already using—CI. CI is any data about a company’s competitors that can drive action and business strategy. You may also know of it as market research.
For today’s businesses, it’s incredibly easy to go to market, pivot marketing messaging, and make big decisions swiftly, thanks to technology and other advancements. Therefore, industries are rapidly evolving all the time. The implication? If you’re standing still, you’re falling behind.
So, smart businesses use CI to gather data on their competitors as part of a larger business strategy. And this field is expanding rapidly because the information it yields can make huge improvements in the bottom line.
The State of Competitive Intelligence Survey 2020 reveals more.
Sharing CI Makes You Twice as Likely to Increase Revenue
Among key findings from the report are some undeniable improvements to revenue with CI.
52% of businesses have seen an increase in revenue as a result of CI, up from 48% last year.
It’s pretty clear that when you leverage CI, you’re on the path to higher revenue. But just employing one CI employee to hold competitive data doesn’t guarantee improvements—it has to be communicated to the rest of the company.
Companies that share CI daily or weekly were twice as likely to see revenue increases as a result of CI as compared to those who share CI less frequently.
When more employees are armed with CI to take back to their departments, the benefits are amplified across the company.
Also worth noting, even companies with new CI programs should prioritize foundational efforts in order to hit the ground running. Strategic planning that includes setting goals and identifying stakeholders makes a huge impact on return on CI investment.
Companies with defined key performance indicators (KPIs) for CI were more than 2x as likely to see revenue increases as a result of CI efforts compared to those without defined KPIs.
As any marketer knows, setting and measuring efforts against KPIs can keep programs focused and profitable.
Are you feeling inspired? Your competitors probably are, too. Here’s what you need to know to set up your own CI program.
Level Up Your CI with AI
Artificial intelligence is capable of parsing huge sets of data to glean insights, make predictions, and take action. These capabilities make it a natural pairing with CI platforms like Crayon.
Competitive research continues to be the most time-consuming aspect of the CI process, but this is shrinking over time, the 2020 State of CI study found. This is likely due to more companies leveraging AI automation to take on this necessary but arduous task, allowing CI practitioners to focus on the analysis and communication of competitive insights.
Crayon’s market and competitive intelligence software platform enables business to capture, analyze, and act on market movements from their competitors, customers, and partners. The Crayon market intelligence engine uses AI to find and display the most meaningful insights and trends in competitor activities.
The platform then applies quantitative analysis to qualitative, unstructured market data to spot trends. Together, these features help marketers make sense of the vast amounts of market data that Crayon automatically captures at scale.
Ellie Mirman is CMO at Mulberry, helping ecommerce retailers grow revenue and increase customer loyalty through a consumer-first platform for product protection. Mirman is an experienced marketing leader with a track record of building and scaling marketing at high-growth tech companies, including Crayon, Toast, and HubSpot. Prior to joining Mulberry, Mirman was CMO at Crayon, where she built the marketing foundation and led all areas of marketing through the company's 10x growth. Before that, she built and scaled the marketing function as VP Marketing at Toast, named one of the fastest-growing companies in North America by both Forbes and Deloitte. Previously, she was one of the earliest members of the HubSpot team and held multiple marketing leadership positions during its growth from 100 customers to IPO.