The growing importance of Market & Competitive Intelligence
Market & Competitive Intelligence is becoming more and more important and it is today seen as one of the few sustainable competitive advantages for many companies. To be distinguished today is increasingly difficult, with many vendors producing similar products and services, selling them for sharp prices, delivering excellent after sales services, but often lacking unique selling points.
Differentiation does not only imply exclusivity of products and services, but also the ability to see and understand shifts and drivers in the market. Questions that need to be answered include:
- What would customers like to buy from you?
- What are the likely strategic moves of your competitors?
- How fast is the market growing?
- What are the disruptive market trends?
Asking and answering these questions is the role of a Market & Competitive Intelligence team.
An important shift in intelligence roles and activities is the move towards forward looking intelligence. While in the past many intelligence teams focused on the current situation (competitive position, number of happy customers, revenue, profit, etc.) or measuring past performance to understand patterns, share and progress, today intelligence teams try to understand what will happen in the future by doing predictive analytics, modelling, scenario planning, competitor simulation and so forth. Forward thinking is what will help a company anticipate, be proactive, be smarter than competition and grow faster than the market.
This means that the role of market intelligence is becoming more important, and the better a team’s capacity to answer the above-mentioned questions, the stronger the company’s sustainable competitive advantages.
It is therefore important to know how well intelligence teams are developing, how they are organized within a company, how big the team is, what budget they have and where they are positioned on the global intelligence scale.
Author: Joost Drieman