7 Latest Trends in Competitive Intelligence

Competitive Intelligence has become an integral part of business practice. It has evolved to aid business in its operations on multiple levels. From long term strategic intelligence to short term tactical intelligence. Competitive intelligence has evolved to serve business overall in a comprehensive manner.

Furthermore, the use of competitive intelligence by SMEs points at the nature of implications of competitive intelligence. Competitive intelligence can be implicated in diverse situations for many reasons. This makes its use even more appreciated by enterprises. Further highlighting the significance of it.

Competitive Intelligence being integrated flexibly means that it is evolving and improving. Evolving in its uses, its processes and its needs. This of course is parallel to the evolving and ever-changing market.

Changing markets is an underestimate of what's really happening. In fact, it is not just the markets that are changing but entire environments in which business is conducted. This environment includes Political, Economic, Social, and Technological Components.

These have complex direct and indirect impacts on individual enterprises and collective industries. This explains the evolving nature of implications of social enterprises. Changing environments call for improved practices.

For an outsider, it is difficult to keep up with these trends. In fact it is more important for insiders to be in touch with evolving and changing practices of competitive intelligence.

Perhaps it is one of the most important trends every smart person should know.

One important highlight in environmental changes is the recent Pandemic of Covid-19. Covid-19 has impacted the global world in unbelievable ways. It has called for development in all aspects of our society. In particular in business, Covid-19 has changed the entire dynamics of functioning.

Perhaps one could say that the pandemic was a mere catalyst or pivoting point for already occurring changes. Of course, this is not an entirely wrong conclusion to draw. But for any reason, developments in competitive intelligence are worth noting.

  1. 1) The concept of competitive intelligence aiding specific tasks in business practice is not an unforeseen idea. Competitive intelligence has adapted to serve individual departments to improve their tasks. So competitive intelligence adapted to directly serve short term day to day operations. What better example of such could be other than sales?
  2. Sales can be regularly aided by the information provided by intelligence executives. This can improve daily sales pitch, perhaps the salespeople could be armed with leads and opportunities that could improve chances of making new customers.
  3. 2) Pandemic has turned businesses towards more conservative strategies. Instead of pursuing new customers, enterprises now look to retain older ones. Of course, this is because it may be much harder to make new customers in a changing environment. Intelligence is being used to focus on adapting one's own business model to better serve existing customers. Businesses have to adapt to a virtual model which practically changes everything about its functions.
  4. 3) Competitive intelligence has moved towards more improved practices through the times. Of course, these improvements involve the use of better technology. There are multiple software’s and platforms that serve managing and extracting information from data. They have further adapted to gather information for particular purposes and serve detailed tasks. Overtime, they have become more accessible, much cheaper and much more user friendly. Hence providing the capacity to make gathering and processing of data much simpler.
  5. The pandemic has moved the world into a virtual market place. This means that much of business is virtual and so are customers. These software’s and tools work perfectly on the internet as they are in touch with complex algorithms. So, it is sensible to gather and process online information using these tools.
  6. 4) A lot of new trends have emerged due to the change in requirement of the moment. One example of these needs is the switch of interest of businesses from competitors to the external environment. The pandemic has caused enterprises to worry less about competitors and worry more about the market. Everyone is looking to find ways to cope rather than deal with competition. So competitive intelligence has evolved to become market oriented. We call this Market intelligence. The purpose of market intelligence is to gather information relating to the market and aid marketing strategies.
  7. 5) Covid-19 Pandemics transformation of the virtual online worlds has pushed businesses to have greater command on the online market. This has of course brought changes in the processes of Gathering intelligence. One of them being the use of software’s and technology as discussed above. The other being, perhaps a more surprising one, the involvement of CS experts in gathering and extracting information. This means that competitive intelligence executives were in direct collaboration with the IT departments. Which is a very rare collaboration yet it was very useful and effective. The induction of CS expertise allowed executives to manage data more effectively and arrange it in highly useful manner.
  8. 6) This point perhaps has the least relation to the pandemic and a solid relation with the socio-economic developments in the market. People generally have started having higher priority towards values and principles. Consequently, businesses have adapted to address those values. So, business strategy is more focused of meeting those values in order to provide for customer’s needs. This meant that medium scale enterprises also started practicing competitive intelligence. However, these are enterprises are more information oriented rather than data oriented. Data is much more difficult to manage at this level of operations. Hence the focus is more towards extracting useful conclusions from available data rather than dig out excess data.
  9. 7) Competitive intelligence service has developed to become not only a lateral practice but also a vertical practice. The use of competitive intelligence in a combination of lateral and vertical format is a recent and latest development. Perhaps this is a powerful change in the operations of enterprises. Since this opens doors to innovation in business practice. The concept of hybrid organization is of great interest due to their capability to provide value and improve business as a whole.