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The 5 Biggest Takeaways from Our Competitive Intelligence State of Play Report

Derek Heiss

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December 20, 2018

We partnered with James Madison University to analyze the current trends in competitive intelligence across the top Life Sciences companies in the industry. Together, we gathered over 10,000 data points on the competitive intelligence professionals supporting these companies and derived the top five competitive intelligence best practices to learn from the way these companies strategize. As our CEO, Peter Grimm noted,"The CI State of Play report offers insights not only for companies in the Life Sciences industry, but for all companies in highly competitive markets seeking to build or maintain a CI capability."

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is the practice of gathering information about one’s competitors in order to identify and assess competitor strategies and anticipate competitor actions. Competitive intelligence insights drive strategic and tactical decision making as part of an overall corporate intelligence strategy.

1. Internal Competitive Intelligence Team Size

The top Life Sciences companies have dedicated teams for their CI efforts, regarding it as a necessity for their success. Across the top 300 organizations, there is an average of two full-time CI professionals employed at each company. Pfizer and Roche have the largest CI teams, respectively employing 58 and 38 competitive intelligence professionals. Eli Lilly, Teva Pharma and Regeneron have CI teams composed of an average 13 CI team members. Their dedication to competitive intelligence is made clear by the size and scope of their CI departments.

2. Competitive Intelligence as a Strategic Priority

Seven out of 10 leading Life Sciences companies view CI as a strategic priority for the success of their organization. Competitive intelligence is necessary to outmaneuver your competitors. In order to plan for the future of your organization, you need minds focusing on where the market will stand one, three and five years down the road. This is particularly important in the Life Sciences where long revenue cycles may require strategic planning and market forecasting that spans decades.

3. Where Competitive Intelligence Lives

The competitive intelligence professionals reviewed in the study typically work in strategy or marketing departments. Sixty-one percent of the teams work in these departments across the top 300 ranked organizations. In order to make well-informed decisions on how to grow their business and outmaneuver competitors, marketing and strategy teams need access to both internal business intelligence and external competitive intelligence. Combining CI and BI resources enable these departments to have a full-scope view of their market conditions and the company's place within those conditions.

4. Academic Credentials for Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence analysts and manager have varying backgrounds. The most prevalent Bachelor's degree is in Business. However, the most mature CI teams had professionals mainly with industry-specific Bachelor degrees, such as Biology and Chemistry. A deep understanding of the industry CI professionals are working in is beneficial when evaluating competitor product developments and market trends and developing analysis to inform the overall business strategy. They are typically better equipped to predict potential market implications and to innovate ways their organization can adapt. It is also critical for the CI team to understand key industry terminology and market dynamics when communicating findings internally.

5. Competitive Intelligence Integrations

Competitive intelligence teams impact company-wide strategic and decision-making processes by integrating their efforts into marketing and business analytical research, pricing strategy creation and product innovation. Competitive intelligence compiles knowledge from sources within an organization and without to see where there is strategic room to make impacts both big and small. From advising on launching or developing a new product to supporting sales reps with competitive sales, CI is most impactful when integrated into decisions and efforts across the full spectrum of your business.

How to Get on Board

The top players in the Life Sciences industry depend on their CI teams to help strategically guide them into future success. Companies across all industries need to value their strategic futures — so they require the resources, research and strategic minds to guide them away from competitor surprises and keep them ahead of market disruptions. The CI State of Play 2018 report has shown how the most successful companies are prioritizing competitive intelligence as a means to increase revenue and capitalize on market innovation. In the modern world, where technological advances change the competitive landscape and can topple a market leader in a few short years, the need to look outward and ahead is necessary to maintaining relevance and success in any industry.

Get on board with an actionable intelligence strategy — Download your copy of the Competitive Intelligence State of Play report here to learn how competitive intelligence is being used within companies, worldwide.

Download Your Copy: CI State of Play - Life Sciences 2018 Report

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Derek Heiss
Derek Heiss

Derek Heiss is the Director of Cipher’s Consulting Practice and is specialized in competitive intelligence and market strategy consulting. Cipher is a consulting and technology firm, based in Annapolis, with a 20+ year track record of delivering solutions to the Fortune 500 and Global 1,000.

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