5 future marketing trends in competitive intelligence to look out for

5 future marketing trends in competitive intelligence to look out for

The business world is in a constant state of evolution. You can never trust that the skills and knowledge you have right now will suffice a year from now. No matter what industry you’re in, no matter how long you’ve been working in it, your industry will change in the years to come. Being in product, marketing, or sales enablement, part of doing your job well is staying on top of industry trends and the competitive landscape, so you’re never left behind. 

Of course, even the competitive intelligence (CI) industry is in a continual state of flux. The processes and requirements involved in understanding who your competitors are and what they’re up to is changing as well. If you’re in a job role where having up-to-date, thorough competitive intelligence is important, here are the trends to be aware of going into 2020.

 

1. B2B Industries continue to grow. 

Soon after someone has an idea for a new product or feature people need, others will realize it’s an opportunity. Even if you were one of the first businesses helping to establish a new industry, it won’t stay that way. Across sectors, business-to-business industries are growing. 

One of the most illustrative examples of this is the Chief Martech marketing technology infographic that’s published every year. In 2019, over 7,000 brands were included, up from around 150 when the graphic started in 2011.  

The marketing technology industry’s not alone. The financial technology industry (Fintech) is expected to grow at a rate of 24% a year through 2022. Education technology is expected to grow from a $6 trillion industry to an $8 trillion one. Chances are, your industry is seeing similar growth. 

The more companies that join your space, the more important competitive intelligence becomes, and the harder it will be to track all your competitors consistently, in real time. You don’t want to find out after your customers do that a competitor is offering an extremely similar product for a lower cost, or one with more advanced features at the same price. But that’s an entirely realistic scenario for many businesses if you’re not proactive about monitoring your competitive intelligence.

2. Your channel focus with change as new options emerge

This one is no surprise, we’ve all been watching it play out over and over again from the time computers came onto the scene. We saw it when mobile usage overtook desktop in 2016. We see it every year when new social media platforms start to gain dominance as old fall in popularity. 

Three years ago, you would have been baffled to hear that in 2019 Google Plus would be dead and a social media platform named TikTok would be the new player in town. Who knows what the social landscape will look like this time next year. What you can count on, is that you’ll likely have to shift your marketing strategy over the course of the coming months and years based on what new channels arise, and how your target audience changes their behavior. 

And it’s likely it won’t just be a matter of replacing old channels with new ones, but rather adding to an already long list of places where you need to develop a presence and monitor your audience online. It’s already a lot, but it’s important to be where your audience is. Businesses will need to figure out better processes for being in many different places at once in order to continue to meet customer expectations.

3. Competitive Intelligence tracking will become more complex.  

Both of our first two trends contribute to this one. When you have more competitors to follow and more channels to monitor, your job becomes harder. Add to that the trend in personalization, which means that different members of your audience see different messaging from your competitors, and it’s even harder to stay on top of what your competitors are doing. 

Monitoring multiple competitor websites is hard enough. Trying to follow what they all do across dozens of marketing and advertising channels for different target audiences—from email to social media to search engines—will present a challenge of sizable proportions for businesses.

 

4. Data quantity will take a backseat to data organization. 

All of these changes add up to having more information to keep track of, which creates an additional challenge on top of collecting it all—organizing it. An overabundance of data creates a whole new problem, because it makes it harder to pull out the details and insights the information needs to provide you for it to be useful. 

One of the biggest challenges in the competitive intelligence industry in 2020 and beyond will be figuring out how to organize the mass of CI data available into a format that makes it usable. Or, more accurately, into the variety of formats required to make it useful to each of the people in an organization that can benefit from it. Sales will have different needs when it comes to competitive intelligence than marketing, so the insights they need to gain from CI data will look different. 

Businesses will need ways to easily and efficiently organize CI analytics into the particular formats and visualizations different departments need, then distribute it to all the people in the organization that need access to it. And just as importantly, they need a way to update that information for everyone regularly as the competitive landscape changes. That’s no small feat, and the ability to pull it off will be a differentiating factor for businesses in competitive industries.

 

5. AI will take over some CI tasks. 

Many of these trends may look like they’ll make maintaining competitive intelligence in the coming years impossible. But as the marketplace and competitive landscape grow in complexity, technology will as well. And all of these challenges become considerably more manageable when you can offload many of the tasks that are especially difficult for humans onto artificial intelligence.

AI can help you more efficiently track all your competitors, even as their numbers grow. Technology can automate the process of monitoring their general moves, their marketing tactics, and any changes in their approach, saving employees hours of time. And as AI tools learn and get smarter over time, they’ll also gain the ability to help you quickly pull out the most important insights and trends in the data they collect.

Humans will still have an important role to play, naturally. But the more tedious CI work that’s overwhelming for people to manage now will increasingly be trusted to software. With the right product, companies will be able to stay on top of CI trends without drowning in the deluge of data.

 

How to Prepare for the Competitive Intelligence Future

A big part of being prepared for the inevitable changes in the CI landscape in years to come is simply approaching the future with a willingness to adapt. You can never get complacent with the way things work now. The moment you do, you’ll start to fall behind.

Having the right mindset is at least half the battle, but the rest of it is figuring out the right process to efficiently and consistently stay informed about the competitive landscape in your industry. That will include developing a CI strategy, investing in the right competitive research product, and committing to keeping up with your CI analysis over time. 

Kompyte can make all of that much easier. To get a taste of how the product can simplify your CI processes, while deepening the insights you gain at the same time, sign up for a free trial. You’ll be moving into the future better equipped to meet the challenges your competitors present and come out on top. 

 

Sign up for a free trial to see how Kompyte can change the way you compete and produce great opportunities to create and sustain a competitive advantage.

 

Liana Calicchia

Liana Calicchia

Product Marketing Director

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