PharmaVoice | April 2012 | [PDF]
As the industry experiences a myriad of new pressures, many of its tried-and-true business practices are shifting to meet new challenges, and the world of competitive intelligence (CI) is no exception. Some in the industry are predicting that not only will CI soon be defined differently, but its role and influence are also evolving. The pervasiveness of online data and new tools that help collect information may open up many opportunities for competitive intelligence, but make no mistake, our experts say, these factors also complicate matters. The constant evaluation of the vast amount of competitive market information requires new, complex methods and planning, or companies may put themselves at risk of making poor decisions. Our experts say to meet these changes, it is important to understand the difference between competitive intelligence and competitive strategy, to recognize the changes that need to be made, and to meet the new challenges.
Below our experts in the field of CI discuss these points.
CI and CS Defined
1. CI is information; CS is what you do with the data
2. The lines are blurring between CI and CS
3. Both CI and CS are crucial for effective planning
LEONARD FULD. FULD + COMPANY. Competitive intelligence and competitive strategy have evolved and are merging, becoming a complementary set, rather than a Darwinian story of one concept surviving over the other. Competitive strategy today cannot succeed without good intelligence and good intelligence holds little meaning without strategic context. When CI began it was mostly about finding a good source of information in a timely manner. Today, fresh, unique information is still critical, and that need will never go away — just ask folks working the trading desks on Wall Street. Top strategy consulting houses all include CI in their portfolio of services. And often, consultants and the practitioners within large corporations facilitate war games and other strategy events to allow the executives to thoroughly argue through critical decisions. These events blend strategy with competitive intelligence. They become one and the same: a way to inform management and move the strategic question ahead. DAO VO. PHARMAVOXX. While it depends on the organization, most CI groups are likely providing something in between competitive intelligence and competitive strategy. CI answers the question of what is happening in the market. It’s the gathering and synthesis of data to answer specific key intelligence questions. Good CI groups go further by answering the question of so what. They gather the data, consider the sources, report the intelligence, and draw conclusions and implications from the intelligence that might identify threats, opportunities, or topics needing further monitoring. Competitive strategy takes this one step further by offering actionable recommendations. For example, if the identified threat is that a competitor will be launching a new messaging campaign highlighting a specific differentiating efficacy message, the recommendation would include a specific action plan to blunt the effect of that new positioning. Competitive strategy is an extension of competitive intelligence rather than different functions.