When your market is competitive, being an insights-driven business becomes imperative. Companies that have a pulse on their competitors stay on top.
Competitive intelligence (CI) software makes the process of tracking, analyzing, and activating competitive intel an efficient, structured, impactful, and scalable experience. Two of the largest research firms, Gartner and Forrester, recently delivered reports on the current state of the CI software industry.
Market Guide for Competitive and Market Intelligence Tools for Technology and Service Providers published by Gartner (January 10th, 2022) and Now Tech: Market and Competitive Intelligence Platforms, Q1 2022 published by Forrester (January 18th, 2022) outline the CI market, discuss the value of CI software, and dive into current software capabilities. Prior to the release of these reports, Forrester named Crayon a Leader in CI in its most recent New Wave Report in 2019.
Today’s post explores five major themes found throughout the reports:
- CI platform investment continues to grow
- CI platforms can help you do your job better
- CI is valuable across every department
- High adoption rate is critical to success
- Crayon is an industry leader
Let’s dig in!
1. CI platform investment continues to grow
With competition intensifying and companies continuing to lean into digital mediums, it’s no surprise that companies are turning to CI software platforms to support their new dynamics and stay up to speed on rivals’ digital footprints.
Both analyst firms found that investment in the CI software space is increasing as enterprises seek CI tools to better support their teams in competitive markets. Gartner shared that this acceleration demonstrates companies’ prioritization of improving the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of their CI programs.
Forrester doubled down by sharing that 94% of decision-makers at advanced insights-driven enterprises plan to adopt M&CI (market and competitive intelligence) platforms, versus 68% at beginner-level enterprises. This aligns with Crayon’s findings from our State of CI Report that nearly half of teams are planning to invest in paid CI solutions in 2022.
2. CI platforms can help you do your job better
CI software platforms are instrumental in turning professionals into marketplace experts, no matter their role within their company. The analyst firms emphasized that a major benefit of a CI platform is that it breaks through the industry noise and empowers stakeholders with the intel they care about most. By leveraging a CI platform’s machine learning capabilities for content relevancy, users are only given intel that is pertinent, timely, and actionable.
Also, there’s no doubt that conducting CI research manually is a time-consuming task – one that’s likely slipping to the bottom of your to-do list. The firms aligned in their belief that CI platforms like Crayon can make an immediate impact through the automated aggregation of a variety of sources such as websites, events, and more.
3. CI is valuable across every department
Crayon believes that every stakeholder at a company can benefit from CI, regardless of department. Whether it’s leveraging insights to better differentiate marketing messaging, being prepared to handle landmines set by rivals in prospect calls, or adding new product features to the roadmap to keep up with rival technologies, CI is a cross-functional asset. This is a shared mindset by both Forrester and Gartner.
Gartner expressed how CI tools are being used by multiple stakeholders ranging from CI analysts to product marketing to corporate strategy. Even more broadly, Forrester said that anyone who is considered a business and operations professional should be using CI software to drive higher-value decision-making.
4. High adoption rate is critical to success
Another major theme found throughout these reports emphasizes how stakeholders leverage the insights. Both firms are in agreement that the real challenge lies with understanding what insights are most meaningful to your teams. The intel shared must be backed with context, proof, and relate to commonly faced challenges with rivals. Otherwise, the insights won’t be acted upon. This constant flow of intel builds a true culture of CI.
To improve adoption, Forrester suggests companies focus on communication approaches that (a) builds trust around the validity of insights, (b) help stakeholders think outside the box to drive change, and (c) is relevant to stakeholder priorities. Both firms also recommend that companies push out this intel to stakeholders consistently and do this through commonly-used, internal communication platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and email.
In layman’s terms, sharing a link to a competitor’s new press release or sending an email alerting others about a rival’s pricing change every once in a while isn’t going to make a real impact. Taking the time to build a story around why this intel is being shared and how it can help stakeholders do their jobs more effectively is the key to adoption.
5. Crayon is an industry leader
Now, if these reports made anything clear, it’s this: Crayon is the undisputed leader in CI software. Don’t believe me? Here’s some proof!
- Gartner shared Crayon’s $22M Series B investment in its report, noting that this external investment demonstrates confidence in our tool and the market as a whole.
- Forrester shared results from our 2021 State of CI Report as support in their argument that CI software empowers users with the most valuable and relevant intel.
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