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Building and Sustaining Winning Competitive Intelligence Organizations

ID: SM-175


40+ Info Graphics

90+ Data Graphics

500+ Metrics

50+ Narratives

17 Best Practices

Pages: 132

Published: Pre-2013

Delivery Format: Shipped


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In today’s fast changing business environment, the competitive intelligence organization can play a vital role in corporate success by helping companies anticipate and deploy strategic responses to external threats and opportunities. CI, however, is a relatively new corporate function, is often not fully understood, and is often underdeveloped and undervalued.

This study can help executives learn how top corporate competitive intelligence organizations use data to drive strategy and market success. To determine how best-in-class companies proactively manage their CI functions to sustain efficiency and profitability, Best Practices, LLC researched several major topic areas: (1) creating and communicating CI value, (2) optimal structure and alignment, (3) resource levels, (4) key primary and secondary intelligence.

Best Practices, LLC completed this study in two phases involving a total of 54 different companies representing more than a dozen different industries. Each phase involved a survey instrument as well as separate in-depth telephone interviews with selected CI program executives. Surveys were focused on collecting quantitative data, while interviews collected qualitative data and management insights.

Industries Profiled:
Biotech; Pharmaceutical; Aerospace; Banking; Financial Services; Computers; High Tech; Insurance; Manufacturing; Consumer Products; Health Care; Telecommunications; Medical Device; Professional Services

Companies Profiled:
Amgen; Sanofi-aventis; Boehringer-Ingelheim; Boeing; Centocor; Citigroup; EDS; Eli Lilly; Fidelity Investments; IBM; Kraft; Merck; Motorola; Novartis; Procter & Gamble; Raytheon; Roche; Rockwell Collins; Shire Pharmaceuticals; Takeda; Trane; Weyerhaeuser

Study Snapshot

This research is focused on several major topic areas: (1) creating and communicating CI value, (2) optimal structure and alignment, (3) resource levels, (4) key primary and secondary intelligence sources, (5) high impact CI activities, and (6) effective stakeholder relationships. Specific areas of coverage include:
Tactics for increasing CI value and recognition
Current and ideal departmental alignment for maximum effectiveness
Operating budget levels and trends
Average compensation and bonus potential for CI staff by individual job level
Outsourcing of CI activities
Practices for gathering intelligence from internal and external customers
Top five most impactful activities
Average numbers of company products supported and competitor products tracked
Methods for building trust with internal customers and collaborators
Most effective internal communication approaches
Essential skills, experiences and attributes for employee success in CI roles
Program performance measurement

Key Findings

Among the findings that emerged from this research are the following:
Best organizational fit: Organizational placement or “fit” of the CI function significantly impacts its ability to influence and engage decision makers. Strategic planning and business development are the locations most often cited by study participants as desirable departmental homes.
Customer focus: High performing CI organizations operate within a framework that emphasizes customer focus to shape projects that have maximum impact. Top organizations target and serve critical customer segments that have the greatest impact on the business, personally engage with these customers to understand their business needs, and become instrumental in providing intelligence to inform their customers’ most important decisions. World class CI groups understand the specific needs of each customer and create custom deliverables to meet their individual requirements.
External customers: External customers are a rich source of competitive intelligence because they talk with competitors and receive competitor product pricing and features information on a continuous basis. Customers also use competitor products and can identify weaknesses in them. However, tapping into this rich resource is a challenge for most CI groups.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3
Introduction 3

Research Approach 3

Participating Companies 4

Key Findings 6

Report Structure and Organization 6

Definitions 9

Data Segmentation 10

The Competitive Intelligence Value Cycle 11

Creating CI Value 14

Communicating CI Value 20

Effective CI Structure & Alignment 23

Proximity of Function to Senior Leadership 27

Current Departmental Status & Alignment 31

Ideal Departmental Home 32

Resource Levels 39

Operating Budget 39

Staff Compensation 41

FTE Numbers 45

Staff Competencies, Skills and Training 45

Outsourcing CI Activities 52

CI Leadership 56

Intelligence Sources 61

Primary CI Resources 61

Secondary CI Resources 70

High Impact CI Activities 72

Top Five Activities 72

Productivity 78

Effective Stakeholder Relationships 81

Internal CI Customers 81

Teaming with Collaborators 88

Building Trust 93

Effective Communication Practices 96

Use of Feedback and Evaluation Metrics 99

Response Matrix: Customer Groups that Elevate CI Value 101

Best Practices Matrix: Communicating & Sustaining Value 103

Best Practices Matrix: CI Management 105

Appendix 1: Study Participant Data 106

Phase I 106

Phase II 108

Appendix 2: Survey Questions 111

Phase I 111

Phase II 121

Appendix 3: Customer Communications Practices 127

List of Charts & Exhibits

Figure S.1-Benchmark Class 4
Figure S.2-Interviewed Companies 5
Figure 1.1-Age of Participating Competitive Intelligence Organizations 11
Figure 1.2-Competitive Intelligence Value Cycle 13
Figure 1.3-Competitive Intelligence Pyramid 19
Figure 1.4-Tactical vs. Strategic Competitive Intelligence Focus 19
Figure 1.5-Winning a Seat at the Strategy Discussion Table 20
Figure 1.6-Competitive Intelligence Success Strategies 22
Figure 2.1-Centralized vs. Decentralized Competitive Intelligence Structure 24
Figure 2.2-Centralization of Competitive Intelligence Function:
All Companies 25
Figure 2.3-Centralization of Competitive Intelligence Function:
Pharmaceutical Segment 26
Figure 2.4-Organizational Levels between Competitive Intelligence
Head and CEO 28
Figure 2.5-Competitive Intelligence Reporting Lines 29
Figure 2.6-Competitive Intelligence Head Reporting Relationship 29
Figure 2.7-Leadership Rank Signals Status 29
Figure 2.8-Separate Competitive Intelligence Department
Reporting Structure: All Companies 30
Figure 2.9-Competitive Intelligence Department Reporting:
Pharmaceutical Segment 30
Figure 2.10-Integrated Competitive Intelligence Function
Reporting Structure: All Companies 31
Figure 2.11-Ideal Organizational Alignment for
Competitive Intelligence 32
Figure 2.12-Pros and Cons: Reporting to CEO/Senior Leadership Team 33
Figure 2.13-Pros and Cons: Reporting to Business/Corporate
Development Team 34
Figure 2.14-Pros and Cons: Reporting to Strategic Planning 35
Figure 2.15-Pros and Cons: Reporting to Market Research 36
Figure 2.16-Pros and Cons: Reporting to Marketing 37
Figure 2.17-Other Effective Reporting Structures 37
Figure 3.1-Competitive Intelligence Operating Budget 38
Figure 3.2-Allocation of Competitive Intelligence Operating Budget 39
Figure 3.3-Competitive Intelligence Budgets Over Time 40
Figure 3.4-Average Base Salary: Competitive Intelligence Head 41
Figure 3.5-Average Base Salary: Senior/Exec Director 41
Figure 3.6-Average Base Salary: Director 42
Figure 3.7-Average Base Salary: Senior Manager 42
Figure 3.8-Average Base Salary: Manager 43
Figure 3.9-Average Base Salary: Analyst/Senior Analyst 43
Figure 3.10-Number of Competitive Intelligence FTEs 44
Figure 3.11-Key Attributes for Competitive Intelligence Employees 45
Figure 3.12-Competitive Intelligence Professional Characteristics 46
Figure 3.13-Competitive Intelligence Competencies: Benchmark Class 46
Figure 3.14-Competitive Intelligence Competencies: Pharma 47
Figure 3.15-Success Strategies: Leverage Team’s Strengths 50
Figure 3.16-Competitive Intelligence Training Hours 50
Figure 3.17-Activities Outsourcing 52
Figure 3.18-Outsourcing Competitive Intelligence to Vendors 52
Figure 3.19-Offshore Outsourcing 53
Figure 3.20-Additional Activities 54
Figure 3.21-Competitive Intelligence Head: Years of Experience 56
Figure 3.22-Role of the Competitive Intelligence Head 56
Figure 3.23-Competitive Intelligence Head: Management Authority 57
Figure 3.24-Range of Activities Performed by the Competitive Intelligence Head 57
Figure 3.25-Volume of Activities Performed by the Competitive Intelligence Head 57
Figure 3.26-Job Level of the Competitive Intelligence Head 59
Figure 4.1-Primary Information Sources: Benchmark Class 60
Figure 4.2-Primary Information Sources: Pharma Segment 61
Figure 4.3-Primary Information Sources: Non-Pharma 61
Figure 4.4-Spotlight: Tapping into Corporate Employees 62
Figure 4.5-Spotlight: Competitive Intelligence Hotline 65
Figure 4.6-Sales Force as a Source of Competitive Intelligence 66
Figure 4.7-Secondary Information Sources: All Companies 69
Figure 4.8-Secondary Information Sources: Pharma Segment 70
Figure 4.9-Secondary Information Sources: Non-Pharma 70
Figure 5.1-Importance of Competitive Intelligence Activities: All Companies 72
Figure 5.2-Importance of Competitive Intelligence Activities: Pharma Segment 72
Figure 5.3-Importance of Competitive Intelligence Activities: Non-Pharma Segment 73
Figure 5.4-Competitive Intelligence Responsibilities 73
Figure 5.5-Conference/Trade Show Intelligence Gathering Process 75
Figure 5.6-Early Warning Process 77
Figure 5.7-Number of Company Products Supported by Competitive Intelligence 78
Figure 5.8-Number of Competitor Products Tracked 78
Figure 5.9-Number of Competitor Companies Tracked 79
Figure 6.1-Principal Competitive Intelligence Customers 80
Figure 6.2-Additional Competitive Intelligence Customers 81
Figure 6.3-Customers that Elevate the Role of Competitive Intelligence 82
Figure 6.4-Schedule Time with Key Executives 83
Figure 6.5-Executive Competitive Intelligence Customer Interaction 84
Figure 6.6-Serve All Internal Constituents 85
Figure 6.7-Cross-Functional Competitive Intelligence Input: Case Study 87
Figure 6.8-Competitive Intelligence Collaborators 87
Figure 6.9-Competitive Intelligence Collaborators (cont’d) 88
Figure 6.10-Dissemination of Competitive Intelligence Findings 96
Figure 6.11-Effective Communication to Stakeholders: Summary 97
Figure 6.12-Stakeholder Communication Frequency: Summary 97
Figure 6.13-Feedback on Competitive Intelligence Performance 98
Figure A1.1-Benchmark Class-Study Phase I 105
Figure A1.2-Participant Interviews-Study Phase I 105
Figure A1.3-Participant Industry Profiles-Study Phase I 106
Figure A1.4-Participant Company Revenue-Study Phase I 106
Figure A1.5-Participant Answer Perspective-Study Phase I 107
Figure A1.6-Benchmark Class-Study Phase II 107
Figure A1.7-Participant Industry Profiles-Study Phase II 108
Figure A1.8-Participant Answer Perspective-Study Phase II 108
Figure A1.9-Participants’ Job Titles-Phase II 109
Figure A1.10-Participant Industry and Competitive Intelligence Experience-Phase II 109
Figure A3.1-CEO/Leadership Team Communication Methods 124
Figure A3.2-Franchise/Brand Mgmt Communication Methods 124
Figure A3.3-R&D Leadership Communication Methods 125
Figure A3.4-Field Sales Leadership Communication Methods 125
Figure A3.5-Strategic Planning Group Communication Methods 126
Figure A3.6-Managed Care/National Accts. Communication Methods 126
Figure A3.7-Line Staff Communication Methods 127
Figure A3.8-CEO/Leadership Team Communication Frequency 127
Figure A3.9-R&D Leadership Communication Frequency 128
Figure A3.10-Franchise/Brand Mgmt Communication Frequency 128
Figure A3.11-Managed Care/National Accts. Communication Frequency 129
Figure A3.12-Field Sales Leadership Communication Frequency 129