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Regardless of what field you’re in, the start of a new year offers an opportunity to reflect, take stock, and refine your strategies for the year to come. As we enter 2022, the team at Cipher has been hard at work building an accurate forecast of the Market and Competitive Intelligence (M/CI) field, and today, we’re excited to share those insights. 

In the past couple of years, practically every industry has experienced seismic changes, with the second-order effects of the pandemic affecting everything from supply chains to the ways that teams work in remote and hybrid environments. Amidst all this, the role of market and competitive intelligence has continued to grow in importance. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are endeavoring to better understand, analyze, and predict the markets in which they operate. 

At Cipher, we specialize in enabling organizations to compete better by changing the way that intelligence is mobilized company-wide. One of the ways we do that is through HUNUUⓇ Futures, our Prediction Market Research technology. HUNUU Futures enables organizations to quantify trends, assess market potential, and optimize their go-to-market for maximum success. 

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Towards the end of 2021, we partnered with Strategic Intelligence & Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) to explore what the future holds for the M/CI industry. We conducted a HUNUU Futures Prediction Market with 328 M/CI leaders from top organizations across the world, aiming to unearth some key predictions about what 2022––and beyond––has in store for the M/CI industry. 

The research paints a compelling, insightful picture about the future of competitive intelligence, and offers a glimpse into how the world’s top competitive intelligence practitioners are approaching the coming year. The findings are presented in full in our report on The Future of Competitive Intelligence, but today, we’re highlighting three predictions that M/CI practitioners should keep in mind this year. 

Let’s take a look into our crystal ball, and explore our experts' top predictions for the competitive intelligence industry in 2022.

Virtually Every Market Will Become More Competitive

Regardless of the industry or vertical that your organization operates in, there’s a strong chance that competition is going to heat up even more in 2022. The M/CI leaders we polled come from a broad range of industries, and are in overwhelming agreement that their market is poised to become even more competitive. 

This marks the continuation of a trend that’s been in play for several years now. Data from a 2020 SCIP report titled The State of Competitive Intelligence found that 90% of businesses believed their industry had become more competitive in the previous year. Our findings are consistent with that, and it’s our belief that industries will continue to become more competitive in the months and years to come.

As competition grows ever stronger, success will be driven by a few key variables. Understanding and improving on the customer experience will be the largest driver of success, followed by the ability to build this understanding by leveraging consumer and market insights from M/CI. Our research showed, improving the customer experience is twice as likely to drive growth than the development of new products and services. It’s no longer just enough to understand competitors and markets, it’s now incumbent on organizations to build a deep, cogent understanding of their customers

The increased level of competition won’t necessarily come from existing, known competitors however. More often than not, it will come from new entrants with the potential to disrupt entire industries. 

Companies Are Most Likely to Be Disrupted by a New, Unknown Competitor 

Technological advancements, access to cheap capital, and falling barriers to entry across many industries have made disruption much more common in recent years. It’s a trend that’s been evident in all kinds of industries, from Amazon disrupting pharmaceuticals with the acquisition of PillPack to Airbnb’s disruption of the travel sector. 

In 2022, it’s more likely that an organization’s business will be disrupted by a new, unknown competitor than by an existing direct competitor. New competitors behave in unknown, unpredictable ways, and without the right M/CI strategies in place, incumbent players might not even realize they’re being disrupted until it’s too late. 

Our HUNUU Futures Prediction Market showed that companies are nearly twice as likely to experience disruption from a new, unknown competitor than an existing competitor, be it direct or indirect. 

For competitive intelligence practitioners, this fact requires a shift in the way their M/CI functions operate. Of course, tracking direct competitors remains an important operational activity, but it's also critical to build the capability to track emerging competitors. That requires a new approach, leveraging technology to simultaneously track entire industries, flag notable events, and understand how trends will unfold. 

Sophisticated Technology is a Prerequisite to Market and Competitive Intelligence Success

As M/CI teams face the challenge of helping their organizations navigate increasingly competitive markets, with unknown competitors poised to unleash game-changing disruption at any time, the importance of technology in the work of the M/CI function has never been greater. 

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Use this step-by-step guide to find the perfect M/CI tool for you!

The amount of data that exists today is immense, and organizations still relying on manual processes and intelligence analysts to source, tag, and collate data will quickly fall by the wayside. Successful M/CI teams are actively embracing technology, leveraging tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to deliver more high-quality insights, faster.

The prevalence of technology in the M/CI field will only grow in 2022, and those that don’t embrace it will be at a disadvantage. There’s a 93% likelihood that M/CI teams will have more technology in three years than they do today, and the adoption of new technology will begin in 2022. By 2024 companies are twice as likely to have experienced significant advancement in technology. 

This is a huge positive for practitioners: instead of wasting endless hours collecting, tagging, and organizing data, analysts will increasingly spend their time interpreting data and sharing their knowledge and insights. These are the competitive intelligence activities that add the most value to the organization.


Partner with Cipher to Set Your M/CI Function Up for Success in 2022

The rapid pace of change experienced by the M/CI industry in recent years is only set to continue in 2022. If you’re in need of a trusted partner to help you navigate this ever-evolving environment, look no further than Cipher. 

Knowledge360, Cipher’s market and competitive intelligence technology platform, has all the technical capabilities modern organizations need to effectively conduct competitive intelligence in 2022. It serves as an intelligence hub for the entire organization, with automatic data collection, sorting, and tagging, customizable dashboards to share analysis, and a suite of built-in collaboration tools

To learn more, schedule a demo today