Stay ahead of your competition!
In a recently published FORTUNE article, the reporter writes about competitive intelligence (CI) as one of the fastest growing method to stay ahead of competition.
Some large corporations spend more than $2 million a year on CI; gathering and analyzing information about their competitors in order to be able to make the right decisions, at the right time! And the industry that accounts for as much as 27% of these corporations is the pharmaceutical industry.
Research shows that businesses in time of recession are still increasing their expenditure on CI programs while cutting down on other areas. There are various ways in which intelligence can be gathered. From attending and socializing at industry conferences, reading articles, reports, and keeping a close watch for news that could affect the business, to monitoring blogs and social media. The latter being a fairly new strategy with lots of potential although the CI industry is still trying to figure out the best way to manage it due to the very large amounts of information available.
Competitive intelligence can surely reveal a lot of deep information crucial to your business. But the reporter of the article asks himself; where does the line go between competitive intelligence and spying?
Leonard Fuld, president of competitive intelligence and research firm Fuld & Company, is quoted in the article saying that he doesn’t uncover trade secrets, gather dirt or mislead anyone about his identity when talking to people, so any information gleaned is fair game!
Michel Bernaiche, CI practitioner and interim CEO of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Practitioners admits that although CI sometimes involves gathering information about executives’ background, it is not to find dirty secrets about them, but to “find out what motivates their decision making and to possibly anticipate their actions”.