Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Competitive Intelligence:: Are Analysts getting behind customer intentions?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
CI analysis is most effective when it is conducted in both top down and bottom up manner simultaneously, in combination with both internal and external perspective building. Where approaches differ is in how the workforce are to be influenced to support a centralised CI analysis resource.

Many companies prefer to take the "SAS parachute them in approach" where they drop the CI analyst in behind enemy lines under cover of dark and expect them to slowly develop the intelligence assets in order to develop effective perspective, in order to begin the process of identifying, synthesising and presenting CI in ways that provide significant value. Of course, if they succeed they get to stay on. If they fail, they suddenly disappear - with (strangely) no one accountable for their actions.

Of course the other way is an executive led approach, where the managment team of the day are seen to be directly influencing the implementation and acceptance of the new CI unit within the body of the company.

We have seen both approaches succeed and both approaches fail.

Much depends on qualifying the customers requirements and organisational fit for CI, prior to choosing the correct approach to implementing CI.

Whilst many CI professionals are dedicated to their jobs and highly qualified in terms of their technical and business analysis accumen, we have found that there are blind spots in terms of how CI analysts qualify the customers intentions. For some customers, CI is a tool to be used for reducing the power accrued by middle management. Other customers look upon CI as being an administrative device for centralising, organising and representing commercial data. Others look upon CI as a strategic mechanism for leveraging and positioning their products and business etc.

Whatever the customers intentions - be sure you get behind it.

It will make a real difference to how you should approach CI and ultimately how it will be received by your customer.

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