Today we’re excited to share the results the largest survey on market and competitive intelligence practices. Crayon’s 2018 State of Market Intelligence Report dives into the best practices, challenges, and opportunities in the field of market research and intelligence.
The report shows that market intelligence is becoming indispensable as it is more widely used, especially with the wealth of data available from companies’ online endeavors. 94% of large businesses are engaging in some market/competitive intelligence, and 80% have whole teams dedicated to the function. The study shows an upward trend in the number of companies using these kinds of data, with many market intel programs in their infancies, suggesting strong growth and development in the market intel field in the foreseeable future.
What is Market Intelligence?
Market Intelligence (MI) is data used in both tactical and strategic decision making intended to help companies reach their goals, and can include any pertinent information regarding partners, competitors, consumers, or other factors influencing a company’s success in its market. A key area within this field, Competitive Intelligence (CI), focuses on competitors in particular.
Market Intelligence Gets Results
Around half of companies using market intel report either a qualitative or quantitative benefit from intelligence programs, which is an impressive number given that only 22% of programs have defined goals.
Small Companies Invest Less in Market Intelligence
89% of large companies (company size >1000 employees) responded that they have dedicated staff to perform MI/CI, compared to only 56% of companies size 11-50 employees. This suggests that as your business grows, so does your need to employ intelligence in order to succeed.
Headcount investment grew with a parallel investment in program budget as well - larger companies were more likely to invest in market intelligence across many fronts.
The Bulk of Time Dedicated to MI/CI Goes to Research
According to survey respondents, 43% of time spent on MI/CI goes to research, and the remaining time is split between analysis and communication. For research purposes, a majority of respondents use at least one competitive intelligence software tool, and over one third hired a consulting or research firm to gather data. It’s also worth mentioning here that the study found most businesses track ten or fewer sources, which would not even cover one company’s digital footprint. Despite the time and resource investment in competitive research, there is still a deficit when it comes to gathering complete intelligence.
Holistic Competitive Intelligence is Crucial to Win
77% of respondents expressed the view that holistic intel on competitors is necessary for successful MI/CI programs, and 79% stated that the timely collection of such data is critical to success. This suggests that greater expenditures in this area are necessary to reap the full benefits of a competitive intelligence program.
Market Intelligence Data is Only Useful When Disseminated
Of course, data means nothing if the right people don’t see it, and most businesses use email to share information with coworkers. Most respondents expressed the wish that intel would be shared more frequently - while 29% share intel on a weekly basis, 37% wish they did so.
Market Intelligence is quickly becoming indispensable for successful businesses, and understanding its importance can make you or break you in today’s ultra-competitive market.
To review all of the findings from the State of Market Intelligence study, download the full report here.
How are you changing your market and competitive intelligence program in 2018 in light of these findings? Share your thoughts below!