Why companies need Intelligenceto stay ahead in a changing worldArt ofIntelligenceJOHANNES DELTLThe
The Art ofIntelligenceWhy companies need intelligenceto stay ahead in a changing worldJohannes Deltl
The Art of IntelligenceWhy companies need intelligence to stayahead in a changing worldby Johannes DeltlCopyright © 2013 J...
Praise for The Art of IntelligenceThe Art of Intelligence gives useful, practical ideas who should invest why into Intelli...
PrefaceI was first confronted with Intelligence in the mid-nineties, while working for the CEO of a small in-vestment ban...
Table of ContentsIntroduction – Getting started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...
3.3 Technological basis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...
1Intro duc tion – G etting star tedIntroduction – Getting startedStructure of this bookThe first chapter discusses the ben...
2 Practical examples: To illustrate the practical applicability of the reviewed analyses and infor-mation, examples and b...
1. Intelligence –what´s in it for me?Main topics1.1 Why engage in Intelligence?1.2 Tactical instrument and strategic ...
5Why engage in Intelligence?1.1 Why engage in Intelligence?‘Every morning, a gazelle awakens in AfricaShe knows she will h...
6 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?The reaction of competitors to a company’s strategies and the recognition of early...
7Why engage in Intelligence?Source: Theron ConsultingIntelligence helps companies to:■■ Anticipate changes in the economy ...
8 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?DefinitionThe terms competitive Intelligence, competitor analysis, market Intellig...
9Tac tical Intelli gence instruments and strategic Intel l igence metho ds1.2 Tactical Intelligence instruments andstrateg...
10 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Difference between strategic and tactical Intelligence with the example of ABB - ...
11The Value1.3 The ValueIntelligence is of strategic importance for every company. In addition, by providing relevant past...
12 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Simulation of new developmentsThe effect of planned measures for adapting product...
13The ValueMinimize risks and save costsIntelligence allows companies to detect pending threats to their current business ...
14 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Highlighting liquidity problemsAn employee of an international industrial company...
15The ValueQuestions Yes No12. Do you know the prices and product policies of your main competitors?  13. Do you know wh...
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  • 1. Why companies need Intelligenceto stay ahead in a changing worldArt ofIntelligenceJOHANNES DELTLThe
  • 2. The Art ofIntelligenceWhy companies need intelligenceto stay ahead in a changing worldJohannes Deltl
  • 3. The Art of IntelligenceWhy companies need intelligence to stayahead in a changing worldby Johannes DeltlCopyright © 2013 Johannes DeltlAll rights reserved.ISBN: 1466216875ISBN-13: 978-1466216877
  • 4. Praise for The Art of IntelligenceThe Art of Intelligence gives useful, practical ideas who should invest why into Intelligence and pro-vides a comprehensive overview how Intelligence could be introduced into an organization. A veryuseful source for anyone planning to invest into this topic.■■ Jutta Wiedenfeld, Head of Market Intelligence, Fujitsu Technology SolutionsThis latest edition of The Art of Intelligence serves as a welcome, much needed, and up-to-date workon the subject of competitive intelligence.  It is refreshingly clear, comprehensive and well organised.I especially value its focus on competitive intelligence as an essential support function in businessstrategy, and will be specifying it to my MBA and executive education students as a required text.  ■■ Prof. Douglas Bernhardt, Lecturer at Wits Business School (Johannesburg), the University of StellenboschBusiness School, and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School(Port Elizabeth), in South Africa, and the Department of Intelligence Studies, Mercyhurst University (Erie,Pennsylvania).The“Art of Intelligence”hits all the marks. It explains in accessible detail the steps involved in competi-tive intelligence, its promises and pitfalls, and the all-important return on investment.This book worksfor those just starting out and those already practicing CI techniques. If your competitors read thisbook, you should be concerned.■■ Larry Kahaner, author of the bestselling “Competitive Intelligence.”The book is the synthesis of strategic view with a sense of detail and analytical capabilities. It is writ-ten in a very clear structure and has compelling arguments - including case studies- why companiesshould have Strategic Intelligence processes and how to start those. Hence, the book is a must forpeople in the profession or those who are asked to become Intelligence Professionals.■■ Daniel Berhin, Senior Manager, McKinsey Company“The first step to successful adaptation is recognising the need to adapt. For this we need what Jo-hannes Deltl describes as Intelligence – knowledge about what is happening and what has happened.We need to know how patterns of events, trends of human behaviour are affecting what we do. Thesecond step to successful adaptation is understanding the adaptation required. For this we also needIntelligence – knowledge about alternatives available, limitations, options, possibilities – so that wecan take the third step, adapting as necessary,– when will again need Intelligence to know how wellour efforts are working and learn to shape a better future…”■■ Max Mckeown, Author of The Strategy Book Adaptability, www.maxmckeown.com
  • 5. PrefaceI was first confronted with Intelligence in the mid-nineties, while working for the CEO of a small in-vestment bank. Since then the topic never let me go. The internal information library of this bank washording mountains of critical business information - but that information never reached the relevantdepartments, as the Information team would wait and hope that someone would eventually showup and ask for support. I was surprised and shocked by the fact that all these critical information notbeing used. So I started researching the topic, first in Sweden, than in the States to understand howother companies are dealing with the transformation of information into Intelligence. My findingswere that other companies would encounter similar issues, and gradually the idea matured to write abook to help close the gap.I saw many mistakes being made, even very respectable corporations. While advising companies, Irealized how much can be achieved by educating managers about market and competitive forces. Somy intention for this book is to share the insights that I gathered in the last decades working togetherwith leading global companies. Intelligence is a business disciplines but also an art that you need tounderstand and practice regularly to excel in it.Today, strategic and actionable Intelligence is more important than ever. Major developments of thelast couple of years, most notably technological progress, the financial crisis and the arising of theBRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) have deeply affected the global competitive landscape. Astrong focus on future trends and developments as well as current market and competitor analysis ismore important than ever to secure sustainable competitive advantages.Whereas companies used to simply ask themselves whether or not to monitor their competitive en-vironment, nowadays they must decide on the amount of resources they wish to deploy for this pur-pose. Most companies fully acknowledge the necessity of Intelligence. What company could afford todo without Intelligence?“Intelligence is the lifeblood of a company.”Johannes Deltljohannes.deltl@acrasio.comwww.acrasio.comSpring 2013
  • 6. Table of ContentsIntroduction – Getting started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11. Intelligence – what´s in it for me? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31.1 Why engage in Intelligence? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51.2 Tactical Intelligence instruments and strategic Intelligence methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91.3 The Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111.4 The Return on Intelligence (ROI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161.5 Intelligence by Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191.6 Intelligence by Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291.7 On Ethics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42Summary Chapter 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 452. How does it work? The Intelligence Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 472.1 Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 492.2 Data collection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 552.3 Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 812.4 Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1172.5 Decision Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1222.6 Counter Intelligence – Watch OUT! Maybe your competitor is already in your head! . . . . . . . 125Summary Chapter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1283. Implementation in your company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1293.1 Are we prepared for it? The foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1313.2 Intelligence Audit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
  • 7. 3.3 Technological basis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1343.4 Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1473.5 Costs/Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553.6 Corporate Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1563.7 People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1603.8 Success factors and pitfalls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163Summary Chapter 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1684. Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1694.1 Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1714.2 Aviation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1764.3 Chemicals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1844.4 Professional Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1874.5 Retail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1914.6 Telecommunications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2005. Intelligence Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2075.1 Essential Rules for the Art of Intelligence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2095.2 And … Action! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210Acknowledgement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212Companies mentioned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214Literature / Recommended reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
  • 8. 1Intro duc tion – G etting star tedIntroduction – Getting startedStructure of this bookThe first chapter discusses the benefits of Intelligence for different corporate functions and industries.The second chapter takes a closer look at the process behind Intelligence and illustrates each step.The third chapter shows the prerequisites that you need within the firm to establish Intelligence. Thefourth chapter presents case studies from large corporations. Executives from different industries andcompanies present their insights and experiences in Intelligence.How to use this bookWho should read this book?Since this is not the book’s first edition, I may report on its readership from my work. It is currentlybeing used by academics in the fields of marketing and strategy, leading management consultanciesand decision makers of medium- and large-size companies.The goal of this book is to show managersthe value of Intelligence and present solutions that can be implemented to stay ahead.The book is structured as follows:Fast forward: Each chapter’s aims are presented at its start i.e. what use does the chapter have for thereader? At the end of each chapter, main findings are summarized.Icons will inform you about:Checklists:This book is written to guide your use of Intelligence within your company.You willtherefore find useful and comprehensive checklists in each chapter.Cloud: You may also download Checklists and additional items online at www.art-of-intelli-gence.com
  • 9. 2 Practical examples: To illustrate the practical applicability of the reviewed analyses and infor-mation, examples and best practices from real companies around the globe are provided.Case Studies: Longer example from several companies around the globe.Hints: This icon marks tried and tested advice.Relevant quotes are included to make the lessons livelier and stimulate further thinking.Happy reading!
  • 10. 1. Intelligence –what´s in it for me?Main topics1.1 Why engage in Intelligence?1.2 Tactical instrument and strategic method1.3 Benefits1.4 The ROI on Intelligence1.5 Intelligence by Functions1.6 Intelligence by Industries1.7 Ethical standards and limitsObjective■■ Know what is meant by the term Intelligence.■■ Learn the different Intelligence value drivers, quantitative and qualitative.■■ Understand the potential benefit of Intelligence within your industry orfunctional area.■■ Understand why it is important to have continuous Intelligence activities tosurvive in the market.
  • 11. 5Why engage in Intelligence?1.1 Why engage in Intelligence?‘Every morning, a gazelle awakens in AfricaShe knows she will have to run faster than the fastest lion that dayOr she will die.Every morning, the lion awakens.He knows he will have to catch the slowest gazelleOr he will die of hunger.It does not matter if you are the gazelle or the lionWhen the sun rises, you should start running.’(Muhammad ibn Raschid Al Maktum)A company’s environment is no longer what it used to be. It is deeply affected by a much higher flowof information and a fast pace of technological change. Also, the pressure to innovate and to innovatefast is higher than ever before.Increasing globalization of markets makes monitoring and analysis of the competitive landscapemore important than just a few years ago. No company, regardless of size, can afford not be informedabout its market environment, competitors’ products, prices, sales channels and communication ac-tivities. Doing business without systematic use of Intelligence amounts to threatening a company’scompetiveness or even existence in the long run. Out of the Fortune 500 companies of the 80ies lessthan 30 % have survived until today. Can you imagine Google or Apple not existing anymore?Competitive pressure is on the rise and generally considered to be very high. A focus on respectiveindustries shows that competitive pressure is increasing considerably. The main reasons behind thisphenomenon are new market entrants, technological progress and increasing globalization. Thismakes a detailed analysis of the most important competitors and a comparison against the company’sown situation indispensable. It is the only mean by which companies can correctly identify potentialcompetitive advantages and disadvantages.Governments are also getting more involved in business affairs these days than ever before. They arealso showing clear signs of protectionism and preferential treatment towards state-owned compa-nies, as evident in the Chinese government’s support for its solar industry by providing them longterm loans to outmaneuver the competition.
  • 12. 6 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?The reaction of competitors to a company’s strategies and the recognition of early warning signs inthe market need to be incorporated into an evolving corporate strategy. Without actual (market) in-formation, product development, product adjustments, market developments are based on mere as-sumptions and is similar to driving a car in fog. Intelligence is therefore of utmost strategic impor-tance for every company.To speak in terms of the story at the beginning of this chapter, there are a multitude of challenges thatmust be dealt with adequately and continuously.Megatrends and other challenges of risks and chances are arising at the horizonMoving from ad-hoc mode towards a systematic approachMany companies examine their market and competition reactively or passively e.g. a small team ofemployees will gather information such as financial data, market data and product descriptions foran ad-hoc study – often related to a board meeting. However, insights gained from such exercise onlyserves a short-term tactical benefit. Most companies fail to engage in a strategic and long-term ap-proach to Intelligence.To be aware of the competitive environment and, more specifically, of competitors’ plans, product of-fers and competencies, is of primordial strategic importance for any company. A systematic and relent-less approach to Intelligence allows companies to protect and even increase their market shareVis-à-viscompetitors. Deeper knowledge and understanding of the market and of the competition secures acompany’s competitive advantage and constitutes an important basis of entrepreneurial success.Being aware of these competitive threats i.e. whether they are long term/short term or organic/dis-ruptive etc. is crucial for a company’s success. The following matrix illustrates some samples.
  • 13. 7Why engage in Intelligence?Source: Theron ConsultingIntelligence helps companies to:■■ Anticipate changes in the economy and their specific industry■■ Anticipate competitors’activities■■ Enter new markets■■ Discover new or potential customers■■ Generate new knowledge about the latest technologies, products and processes■■ Generate new knowledge about the political, legal or societal changes which may influencethe company■■ Identify potential acquisition targets■■ Learn from the successes and failures of others■■ Realistically assess or benchmark company’s own strengths and weaknesses■■ Systematically discover new markets and product nichesEven the German gods engaged in IntelligenceGerman god Odin had two agents called Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory). Disguised asravens, they both flew out into the world each day to gather information for Odin. Nothingcould hide from their discerning gaze, and when they returned to Odin, they would land on hisshoulder and whisper their thoughts and memories into his ear.
  • 14. 8 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?DefinitionThe terms competitive Intelligence, competitor analysis, market Intelligence, corporate foresight, cus-tomer insights, competitor research, business Intelligence etc. are all interrelated.Existing terms across the companyWhat matters is not the terminology itself, however, but what these terms stand for, how they areunderstood and used within a company, and how a company can utilize them.Intelligence is a systematic management method that includes the following activities or elements:■■ Gather and analyze data and information from internal and external sources■■ Analyze, process and document strategically relevant information into reports and Intelligencewhich constitute ready-for-action decision aids for management■■ A structured evolving process■■ Sharing the newly acquired insights with requisite decision makers (an important componentof management’s decision-making process)Approach to study and monitor the competitors and market environment in a continuous, systematicand a thorough manner whilst transforming this information into useful decision support to achievestrategic competitive advantage.
  • 15. 9Tac tical Intelli gence instruments and strategic Intel l igence metho ds1.2 Tactical Intelligence instruments andstrategic Intelligence methods‘If you know yourself and you know your enemy, you will win each battle.If you know yourself but not your enemy, you will lose one battle for each battle you win.But if you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you are a fool and you will lose every battle.’(Sun Tzu, The Art of War)Intelligence deals with a long-term strategic method as well as a short-term tactical instrument. Ide-ally, Intelligence should deal with both.The strategic component is oriented towards the long run and the future. It is about anticipating fu-ture goals of competitors, as well as their current strategy, their assumptions about your own compa-ny and the market as a whole. It is about foreseeing market developments and competitors’responsesto your own strategy. All this must adequately take into account long-term developments that are notcovered in the current business activities.The tactical component is less oriented towards the future. It mainly deals with concrete informationabout the present. This makes the tactical component of Intelligence an important ingredient for ev-eryday operations of a company.Tactical StrategicIssues covered Day to day: price changes, salesforce deployment, tweaks to marketmessagingLong term: industry trends, MA,in-depth competitor assessmentsResearch Methods Focused on field Intelligence,customer insightsMultiple sources such as field sales,industry journals, consultants, etc.Analysis Methods Win-loss, SWOT, productcomparisons5 Forces, value chain, Ansoff productmatrixInternal customers /Target groupSales teams, customer support,pricingTop management, marketingstrategy, business developmentApplications and uses Win business today Plan for long termSource: Outward Insights (www.outwardinsights.com)
  • 16. 10 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Difference between strategic and tactical Intelligence with the example of ABB - Source: ABB
  • 17. 11The Value1.3 The ValueIntelligence is of strategic importance for every company. In addition, by providing relevant past,present and future information of the competitive landscape, Intelligence serves not only strategic,but also operational and tactical decision-making and helps to identify emerging opportunities andrisks early on. In practice, Intelligence and reaching the related goals and targets give companies adiverse range of benefits:Value of IntelligenceDecision supportStarting from the acquired information, Intelligence supports the companies to develop a strategicdirection, for example regarding market development and marketing plan.
  • 18. 12 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Simulation of new developmentsThe effect of planned measures for adapting products and strategies vis-à-vis different market situa-tion can be simulated and tested in advance (see‘war gaming’in Chapter 2.3).Monitoring AchievementsIntelligence allows managers to monitor the success of the measures they take in the various strategicand operational units of the company. Managers might ask themselves:■■ Are we achieving the desired strategic positioning?■■ Did we also achieve qualitative goals in addition to business goals?■■ How does our success with customers measure compared to that of the competitors?■■ How do our marketing measures differ from those of our competitors?■■ Do new product features lead to a desired positioning for our products?Questions like these allow management to go beyond mere financial control to a more strategic andproactive leadership role.Intelligence adds value in the following ways:Time and speedA further advantage of undertaking Intelligence in a professional manner is time/speed. Intelligenceallows companies to stay abreast of a broad spectrum of ongoing changes in the market. This al-lows management to act quickly in developing strategic options. This type of competitive responseis especially important when there are changes in the law affecting the business or game-changingmoves of key competitors – such as an aggressive advertising campaign, radical price rebates or arevolutionary sales strategy. Intelligence thus acts as an early warning system, which increases man-agement’s flexibility.Maximize opportunities – increase deals, turnover and profitIntelligence serves to maximize opportunities for further market growth by identifying new saleschannels, business opportunities and profit centers. Some companies achieve higher hit rates thancompetitors in invitations to bid and pitches. Detailed coverage and constant monitoring of the com-petitive landscape and market environment make new markets and market opportunities visible,which may lead to increases in turnover and profit.
  • 19. 13The ValueMinimize risks and save costsIntelligence allows companies to detect pending threats to their current business resulting from suchthings as regulatory and legal frameworks, changes in technology, changes in customer needs and soon, and to take effective counter-measures. Intelligence allows companies to save time and money,for example in preventing technical faults in product design, in designing marketing campaigns andin extending capacity. Benchmarking different divisions within the company vis-a-vis competitors orcompanies from other industries enables cost reductions.Which strategic risks are we facing?■■ Could there be market erosion?■■ Are consumer behaviors/consumer preferences changing to our disadvantage?■■ Will the pressure for lower margins in our industry rise?■■ Are new technologies on our radar?■■ Will the market continue to stagnate? ■■ Are there new players in our market in the emerging economies (China, India)?Source: Douglas BernhardtRecognizing disruptive elementsDisruptive elements are new market participants, products/services or events, which have the po-tential to change the entire industry. An example within the telecommunications industry would beApple, that not only introduced a new mobile device to the market but also their own closed‘ecosys-tem’ which shuts out telecommunications providers. Or think of natural disasters like the tsunami inJapan. These developments can only be adequately recognized by regularly and broadly monitoringmarket signals, which are otherwise too weak to get picked up.Identifying blind spotsRecognizing the company’s own ‘blind spots’which have crept up during years of industry experienceis another added value of Intelligence. I have realized in many workshops that many managers havesteadfast opinions and are oblivious to current developments. Their motto is‘But it was always like this’.Preventing bad investmentsAnalyzing a main competitor’s online banking services and monitoring the customer approvalrates over time leads one company to reduce their own activities in this arena and only offera minimal version to customers. In retrospect, this allowed the company to prevent a hugeinvestment, which would have gone to waste.
  • 20. 14 Intel l igence – w hat´s in it for me?Highlighting liquidity problemsAn employee of an international industrial company discovers during small talk at a sympo-sium that an important customer is in serious financial trouble. Though this does not affect herdirectly, she wrote a short report that is fed into her company’s Intelligence database. Withinminutes, the respective account managers and decision makers are alerted about this new de-velopment by email, which allows them to take the necessary steps. In this case, the customer’spayment terms was changed.Below, you will find a checklist to assess if you or your own company is sufficiently informed on yourcompetitors and market (or is there room for improvement)?Checklist: Information on competitors and your marketHow do you compare to the competition?Evaluate the extent of your information about your industryQuestions Yes No1. Do you know your industry’s megatrends?  2. Do you draw new ideas for strategy from them?  3. Do you know all potential competitors?  4. Do you know your competitors’ products/services?  5. Do you know your keys competitors well enough to be able to anticipate their futurestrategy?  6. Are you aware what sales pitch your competitor is using?  7. Are you aware of your product’s advantages over competitor products from acustomer perspective?  8. Are you aware of your product’s disadvantages compared to competitor productsfrom a customer perspective?  9. Do you know the future developments of your industry? The opportunities and risks?  10. Would you be prepared if the competition were to lower their prices aggressively?  11. Have you taken measures to prevent key employees from being wooed away bycompetitors?  
  • 21. 15The ValueQuestions Yes No12. Do you know the prices and product policies of your main competitors?  13. Do you know what patents your competitors have applied for in the last six months?  14. Are you aware of the financial clout of your competitors? Are you aware of theirownership structure?  15. Do you know the customer structure of your competitors?  16. Do you know the suppliers of your main competitor?  17. Are you familiar with your competitors’ marketing activities?  18. Are you aware of your international competition?  19. Do you know which factors are set to strongly influence your industry?  20. Do you know which planned or announced legal or regulatory changes directlyaffect your division?  Is the number of ‘No’-responses discomforting?In that case, you should definitely continue reading.And even if you know most of it already, you should keep reading nonetheless – one cannever know too much.
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