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61% of Businesses Say Competitive Intelligence Drives Revenue Growth, New Benchmark Study Finds

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

BOSTON, March 22, 2021 — Last week, Crayon released the 2021 State of Competitive Intelligence Report, the latest iteration of their annual research study regarding trends and best practices in the field of competitive intelligence. The largest of its kind, the State of Competitive Intelligence Report draws on responses from more than 1,000 competitive intelligence practitioners and stakeholders.

The study found that 61% of businesses say competitive intelligence has made a direct impact on revenue — a 17% increase over last year’s figure of 52%. Competitive intelligence teams continue to improve when it comes to initiating strategic action across their organizations.

“Businesses have never been more agile than they are right now. Whether you want to launch a product, a product feature, or a marketing campaign, the barriers to doing so are at an all-time low — which means the need for competitive intelligence is at an all-time high,” shared Laura Taylor, CMO at Crayon. She continued: “At the same time, competitive intelligence as a discipline continues to evolve. The ways in which we track, analyze, and act on competitors’ movements are constantly changing, thanks in large part to innovations in automation and data analytics. With the release of this report, we strive to empower both new and experienced competitive intelligence practitioners as they work to enable success across their organizations.”

The study also found that businesses continue to encounter roadblocks: 44% say it’s a struggle to gather intel in a timely manner — a staggering figure considering the fact that competitive intelligence practitioners spend 33% of their time conducting research. Compared to 2018, however, practitioners are spending 23% less time on research and 38% more time on communication. This helps to explain the dramatic jump in the number of businesses seeing direct revenue impact as a result of their competitive intelligence investments.

Additional findings include:

  • Competitive intelligence teams keep getting bigger. 70% of businesses have teams of two or more dedicated practitioners, compared to 57% in 2020.
  • The role of technology in the competitive intelligence process is growing. 62% of respondents anticipate increased use of paid competitive intelligence solutions in 2021.
  • Sharing insights frequently is a major key to success. Amongst businesses that share competitive insights on a weekly basis, 72% say they’ve seen direct revenue impact as a result of their competitive intelligence investments.
  • Competitive battlecards tend to yield results. 71% of businesses that use competitive battlecards say they’ve improved their sales win rates as a result.

“As the world’s largest non-profit serving the competitive strategy and intelligence community, SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals) is excited to team with Crayon on this study,” shared Cam Mackey, Executive Director of SCIP. “As the saying goes, standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards. This report provides great insights to help us move forward quickly, and accelerate the impact of intelligence on growth.”

To view the full report, visit: www.crayon.co/success/state-of-competitive-intelligence-2021

About Crayon

Crayon is the competitive intelligence platform that enables businesses to track, analyze, and act on everything happening outside their four walls. Tens of thousands of CI practitioners and stakeholders use Crayon to win deals, improve market positioning, inform long-term strategy, and optimize product roadmaps. Only with Crayon can you leverage competitive intelligence to the extent that's needed in order to grow revenue and market share over the long term.

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