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Because Winners Don’t Wing It: Introducing Crayon Academy

We recently published the 2022 State of Competitive Intelligence Report—the 5th installment in the CI industry’s largest and longest-running survey series.

Here’s my favorite finding: Compared to 2018, CI teams are spending 14% less time on research and 15% more time on activation (i.e., the transformation of raw intel into actionable insight).

This is an amazing trend, and we expect it to continue in the coming years: 66% of growing CI teams are planning to increase their investments in technology—which means the practitioners they hire will be free to focus on activation while intel is programmatically captured on their behalf.

Of course, with widespread adoption of automation comes a change in expectations. A quarterly report on your company’s competitive landscape, though valuable, isn’t going to cut it anymore. To succeed as a practitioner in the Activation Era, you need to be able to deliver value on an ongoing basis to stakeholders in product management, marketing, sales, executive leadership, and beyond.

Good news: We’re here to help.

Introducing Crayon Academy

Crayon Academy is the world’s first collection of free, on-demand CI certifications. No need to worry about taking time off work, traveling, or submitting expense reports for professional development. All you need to do is sign up, press play, and pay attention (as best as you can, that is—we understand there may be kids screaming in the room next to you).


Today, we’re launching the Activator certification course: an introduction to practicing CI at a B2B company. With 6 video lessons totaling roughly an hour in length (transcripts are provided), the Activator course is perfect for:

  • Product marketers who want to expand their skill sets
  • Brand marketers who want to break into product marketing
  • Anyone who has heard of CI and (correctly) thinks it sounds awesome

Coming soon is the Architect certification course: a guide to building a meaningful and measurable CI program. Created in collaboration with Sam Rinaldo, Senior Market Intelligence Analyst at ZoomInfo, the Architect course will be perfect for:

  • Certified Activators who want to build on their momentum
  • Product marketers who want to practice CI full-time
  • Full-time CI practitioners building a new function from the ground up

And that’s just the beginning. Throughout 2022 and beyond, we’ll be building out Crayon Academy with even more courses, each of them designed to equip you with the skills you need to build a fulfilling, long-lasting career in competitive intelligence.

Speaking of which: If there’s anything in particular that you’d like us to cover in a future course, please don’t hesitate to send our team a note at

Happy learning!

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Sheila Lahar
Sheila Lahar is the VP of Content Marketing here at Crayon, responsible for making sure that everything we publish is unique, compelling, and valuable. Prior to joining Crayon, she built successful content marketing programs at a number of B2B SaaS companies, including Flatfile, Datto, and Eloqua.