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Crayon’s Fifth Annual State of Competitive Intelligence Report Reveals Increased Investment in Competitive Intelligence as Competition Becomes Fiercer than Ever Before

Crayon, the competitive intelligence backbone trusted by HubSpot, Dropbox, Gong, and Salesforce, announced the results of its 2022 State of Competitive Intelligence (CI) Report. Based on survey data from more than 1,200 CI practitioners and stakeholders, the survey is the largest and longest-running in the CI industry and focuses on the ways in which companies are supporting, practicing, and measuring competitive intelligence.

This year’s data revealed that 59% of practitioners say their markets have gotten much more competitive – a 16% increase since 2020. To combat competition organizations are committed to investing, with 42% of respondents planning to add CI headcount at some point this year and more than half planning to increase their use of CI technology in 2022.

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“This year’s State of Competitive Intelligence report clearly shows this industry is at a positive inflection point,” said Jonah Lopin, founder & CEO of Crayon. “Companies who leverage technology to compete and win in real-time are dramatically more likely to grow and prove revenue impact. Competition is up in every industry and the best firms are investing aggressively to build a sustainable competitive advantage in 2022.”

Additional findings and takeaways from this year’s report include:

  • Technology is pushing competitive intelligence to new heights. Compared to 2018, CI teams are spending 14% less time on research and 15% more time on activation—primarily because of advancements in automation. Teams with dedicated CI platforms are 2.5X more likely to activate intelligence daily, empowering them to drive twice as much revenue impact as teams without dedicated CI platforms.
  • CI is an increasingly measurable investment with more work to be done. CI practitioners are looking to become more metrics-oriented. Compared to 2018, CI teams are 88% more likely to say they’ve established KPIs—but the majority are still unable to reliably prove much impact. Amongst companies that have not yet defined success metrics, three-fourths of survey respondents say they’re in the process of doing so.
  • A need exists to deliver battlecard intel in the right places. While two-thirds of CI team respondents are maintaining battlecards, the report found that only 20% are activated via a CRM and a mere 17% are activated via sales enablement platforms. Not enough companies are delivering intel to sellers in the places where they live which can be a challenge for battlecard adoption.
  • CI function maturity is evolving. CI remains a growing industry where companies are investing. The report found that 43% of respondents describe the maturity of their company’s CI function as established or advanced while 57% of CI practitioners describe the functions they’re supporting as “ad-hoc” or “emerging.” Crayon predicts that more investment will result in more maturity over time.
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“With decreased barriers to entry in virtually every industry, the greatest strategic risk that businesses will face over the next three years will be new unknown competitors. Now is the time for competitive intelligence to shine,” said Cam Mackey, the CEO of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP). “Regardless of whether your organization is just starting on its CI journey or looking to level up to world-class, this report will be valuable to you.”

The 2022 State of Competitive Intelligence Survey was open from November 23, 2021 until December 30, 2021. 31% of respondents were full-time CI practitioners, 51% were part-time CI practitioners, and 18% were CI stakeholders.

The State of Competitive Intelligence is the largest and longest-running survey in CI, and each year, we fine-tune and improve our data collection and analysis standards to produce the sharpest and most accurate insights. In 2022, we made two improvements to our data standards to increase integrity and quality: (1) we exclude partial responses from survey results, and (2) we normalize time series findings for the mix of paid vs. organic survey responses, because these channels often have different average program maturities. Where time series spanning prior reports are included in the 2022 report, we retroactively applied the 2022 data standards improvements to prior year data to ensure consistency and trendline accuracy. As a result, some prior year statistics may not match prior year reports because they now reflect the prior year findings from the subset of respondents who meet the improved 2022 data standards, and because results have been normalized for the mix of paid vs. organic responses.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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