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NEW DATA: The Industries with the Most Mature Competitive Programs

There are several obstacles to building a successful competitive intelligence program—one of the biggest being the lack of consensus on what a successful CI program actually looks like.

That’s why Crayon created a competitive intelligence maturity model: to help you understand (1) what you should be striving to build and (2) how close you are to the finished product.

Our maturity model is succinct and straightforward because we believe the optimal CI program can be boiled down to 5 core tenets. The optimal CI program:

  1. Is well-staffed and well-funded.
  2. Keeps tabs on both direct and indirect competitors.
  3. Informs product and go-to-market strategy with win/loss data.
  4. Measures success and makes decisions using meaningful KPIs.
  5. Makes it easy for all stakeholders to access relevant, real-time insights.

The more boxes you check, the more mature your program is.

  • Check one box, you’re an Activator.
  • Check two boxes, you’re an Architect.
  • Check three or more boxes, you’re an Accelerator.

If you’re not exactly sure where you land, you can find out in a matter of minutes by using our free tool, the Competitive Program Grader. Answer a series of simple questions and the Grader will tell you whether you’re an Activator, an Architect, or an Accelerator—and recommend action items according to your needs.

Once you’ve determined where you land in the maturity model, it’s natural to wonder: How does my CI program compare to others in my industry and at companies of a similar size?

Well, you don’t have to wonder! Using data from the Grader, we’ve found that, on a 0-100 scale, the average CI program has a maturity score of 41—which is squarely in the Architect tier. The bar is a bit higher if you’re in the software, insurance, or healthcare space, and a bit lower if you’re in the logistics, legal services, or e-learning space.

bar chart competitive intelligence benchmarks

bar chart competitive intelligence benchmarks

Only 17% of CI programs in the Computer & Network Security industry are at the lowest level of maturity (Activator). In the E-learning industry, that figure is 57%—a 3X difference.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a positive correlation between company size (number of employees) and CI program maturity. Amongst companies with more than 500 employees, the average CI program has a maturity score of about 50. Amongst companies with fewer than 500 employees, the average CI program is far less mature.

bar chart competitive intelligence benchmarks

bar chart competitive intelligence benchmarks

Only 19% of CI programs in the enterprise world (5,001+ employees) are at the lowest level of maturity (Activator). In the startup world (1-50 employees), that figure is 58%—a 3X difference.

I hope the Competitive Program Grader, the maturity model, and this benchmark data have helped you better understand where you are in your journey to a world-class CI program. To learn more about what it means to be an Accelerator, join us at 12pm ET on Tuesday November 29 for an interactive Q&A with Margaret Hoffecker. She’s at the helm of the outstanding CI program at AB Tasty, and she’s ready to answer your questions. Save your seat now!

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Conor Bond
Conor Bond is a member of the content team at Crayon, where he fervently talks all things competition. If, for whatever reason, you were to rip his headphones off his head and put them on yourself, you’d probably hear The Strokes, Charli XCX, Denzel Curry, or Ariana Grande.
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