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90% of Businesses Say Their Industry Has Become More Competitive, New Benchmark Study Finds

Crayon's annual State of Competitive Intelligence Report explores the latest competitive intelligence trends from 1,000+ businesses

BOSTON, Jan. 14, 2020 -- Today, Crayon released its annual market and competitive intelligence research study, the 2020 State of Competitive Intelligence report. This is the largest study on the best practices and trends in the field of market and competitive intelligence, drawing from the responses of more than 1,000 CI professionals and stakeholders.

The study found that 90% of businesses say that their industry has become more competitive in the last three years, and 48% say it has become much more competitive. CI teams and budgets are growing, as the need for -- and impact of -- competitive intelligence expands.

“The competitive landscape has changed -- it is easier than ever for competitors to go to market and innovate, making the need for competitive intelligence greater than ever,” shared Ellie Mirman, CMO at Crayon. “The competitive intelligence landscape has changed as well. Automation, data proliferation, measurement tools, and so much more have transformed the way businesses can capture and analyze competitor movements and take action to get ahead. Our goal with this study is to share best practices and trends in competitive intelligence to enable CI professionals to continue to grow in their roles and have a greater impact on their organizations.”

The study also revealed that CI professionals still struggle with much of the CI program foundation, including competitor research and impact measurement. More than a third of CI effort still goes towards CI research, and gathering competitive data is the #1 challenge faced by CI professionals. Further, only 44% have defined key performance indicators, however, those that do have established KPIs are twice as likely to see revenue increases as a result of CI.

Additional findings include:

  • CI teams are growing: more than half (57%) of businesses have CI teams of two or more dedicated CI professionals, compared to just 37% of businesses two years ago.
  • The competitor website was rated the top source of competitive intelligence data, with 98% of businesses saying this source was valuable.
  • Companies that share CI daily or weekly were twice as likely to see revenue increases as a result of CI compared to those who share CI less frequently.
  • Companies that saw revenue increases as a result of CI were 63% more likely to increase CI headcount and 66% more likely to increase CI budget this year.

“As the world’s largest non-profit serving the competitive & marketing intelligence community, SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals) is pleased to partner with Crayon on this important study, surveying the state of our profession,” shared Cam Mackey, Executive Director of SCIP. “By providing a benchmark against current practices and insight into best practices, this report is an important resource to help improve the value that we bring to our organizations every day.” 

To view the full report, visit:

About Crayon

Crayon is the competitive intelligence backbone that enables mid-market and enterprise businesses to see and seize opportunities and create sustainable advantages in their markets. Hundreds of organizations use Crayon to capture sharp insights that can be easily activated in order to drive broad, measurable, and meaningful impact.


Laura Taylor, CMO

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