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Measuring Competitive Intelligence: The Importance of Setting Goals and KPIs [+ Examples]

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Emily Dumas on Wed, Feb 13, 2019

It’s no secret that your time is valuable. When you do your job, you don’t have time to waste, and you try to avoid investing in activities that won’t give you results. So, why should competitive intelligence (CI) be any different? Every business should spend time investing in competitive intelligence so that they can keep an eye on their competitive landscape and maintain a competitive advantage. But, what many businesses miss, is setting actionable competitive intelligence goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s essential to set goals and KPIs for your CI program so that you can measure its success and iterate on your strategy. This year, we surveyed 1,000+ competitive intelligence professionals on their competitive intelligence practices. Here’s what we discovered when it came to CI programs and goal setting.

Defining Goals for Your Competitive Intelligence Program

Nearly half of all businesses have defined goals for their competitive intelligence program. In fact, there are 48% who already have defined goals and an additional 39% who are currently in the process of creating their goals. Only 13% of companies have no goals and have no intention to set their goals.

State of Competitive Intelligence

We saw that CI programs that have been in place for less than a year are less likely to have goals in place than those programs which have been in place longer. Having goals in place is a major factor for determining where your efforts will be distributed. With goals, you’ll be able to invest your efforts to accomplish a greater end result, and see how far you’ve come over time with your competitive intelligence program over time. During the first year you may still be setting your goals, but to start off strong, set your goals pre-launch. That way, you know what you’re working toward and can accurately see your growth over time. Then, as you continue to scale your competitive intelligence program, you can adjust your goals to reflect the progress you’ve made and work toward where you hope to expand.

Get the latest data - download the 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence  Report 

State of Competitive Intelligence

Over the course of the last year, the number of companies who have established goals has more than doubled. Conversely, the number of those who have no defined goals and have no intention of setting them has halved in size.

State of Competitive Intelligence

Defining KPIs for Your Competitive Intelligence Program

It’s important that you set KPIs in addition to setting goals because you’ll be able to measure how well your CI program is doing overall. You’ll also be able to analyze your current efforts and figure out how to set new strategies and goals for the next phase of your program. Without KPIs, you have no real way of knowing what’s working and what’s not. When it comes to your competitive intelligence program, much like every other business strategies, guessing on your success won’t help you grow or improve.

State of Competitive Intelligence

For competitive intelligence programs, we found that the majority of them that have existed for less than a year are still working on getting their KPIs in place. Whereas older programs are far more likely to have their KPIs in place. No matter the age of your CI program, KPIs are critical for measuring successes from the moment you start.

State of Competitive Intelligence

This year, half of all companies have KPIs in place, whereas last year, less than 20% had KPIs in place. This data piece alone shows us how competitive strategy is growing even over the course of only one year. As we see markets becoming more and more competitive, more CI professionals are setting KPIs so that they can measure their success. Another strong piece of data is that only 15% of respondents said they have no KPIs in place and have no intention to set them. The majority of respondents see the value in setting KPIs for their CI program, and either already has them set, or are working on putting them in place.

State of Competitive Intelligence

Types of KPIs You Should Have for Your Competitive Intelligence Program

When it comes to strategizing and setting your KPIs, you should look for a mix of quantitative and qualitative KPIs. Why? Well, we found that among the companies who have KPIs in place, the majority use a combination of quantitative and qualitative types of KPIs. This is so that they can measure qualitative pieces such as feedback, customer satisfaction, and market understanding, as well as quantitative such as competitive win rates, revenue, and campaign results.

State of Competitive Intelligence

Top 15 Goals + KPIs Tracked by Competitive Intelligence Professionals

We asked our survey respondents to provide us with examples of the goals and KPIs that they typically target. We saw a healthy mix of quantitative and qualitative responses within the report. Here are the most common responses that are in the report.

1. Revenue, customer acquisition results
2. Sales win rate, competitive win rate, churned to competitor rate
3. Marketing campaign results
4. Sales usage of CI materials
5. Brand awareness & press mentions
6. Market share, share of voice, share of wallet
7. Executive understanding of the market / internal understanding of the market
8. Early warning of market changes / serving as the internal intel source for the company
9. Number of research projects requested and used
10. Competitive differentiation feedback
11. Actionable outcomes for sales and product teams
12. KPIs and deliverables determined on a project by project basis
13. Identification of business risks and opportunities
14. Customer satisfaction, product innovation
15. Business productivity, reduction of expenses

When embarking on a competitive intelligence program, setting goals will start you off on the right foot. You’ll be able to work toward an end result as you implement CI strategies within your organization. In addition, setting KPIs will allow you to analyze how well your efforts are working and use that data to adjust your strategy. Setting goals and KPIs for your competitive intelligence program will allow you to see trends, analyze where you need to improve, and iterate on your program to guarantee CI success.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence

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