Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

Hi, I'm trying to find out how much is spent on Competitive Intelligence by industry...Pharma, Financial, Retail, etc.  This seems like a very difficult thing to find given that the CI industry doesn't really have any CI on itself.  Any help or leads or direction would be greatly appreciated. 


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job listings might be a decent proxy
Hi Mark:

You are correct in that it is nearly impossible to find this information. Part of this is due to the fact that CI is frequently co-mingled in with other things, particularly in marketing and planning. I have been a part of dozens of industry studies through the years that have gotten data for specific industries. We could proxy spends based on knowing numbers of employees and salary levels, amounts spent internally and externally (i.e., on consultants, projects, outsourced support, etc.), and even in a few cases had reasonably good budgeting data to work with, nearly all of which were always protected by way of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Having said that, the "CI industry" studies done by John Prescott, Dan Smith, myself and typically supported by SCIP starting way back in the mid to late-80s (disclosure: I wrote up a summary in the old Competitive Intelligencer with JE Prescott called "SCIP: Who We Are and What We Do" that was published probably in 1990 or so and is still floating around in cyberspace and SCIP's archives) and continuing into the middle part of this decade by the CIF and others tend to provide ranges of financial information that you can utilize with a fair degree of confidence.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but most of my data came from purpose-driven benchmarking efforts. Maybe other colleagues can be more helpful.
Hi Mark

In 2007 a colleague and I released a study called "Staying ahead of the Competition - how firms really manage their competitive intelligence and knowledge; evidence from a decade of rapid change". In that report which covers the period of 1996-2006 in Australia, we looked at CI activities by industry, by size and we have some evidence of spend over that time. Have a look at - to download a free report summary. It is the third article on the list.

You can also view sections of the book free on Amazon. Go to our book page and link through there.
I wonder if Alan Michaels would know about this since his focus is by industry.
Thanks to all for the responses. It indeed does seem like there is relativly little out there on this topic. I was able to find a report by the Global Intelligence Alliance: Global Market Intelligence Survey 2009 that has some stats. The one in particular is that companies, on average, spend 1/1000 of their revenue on MI. There are some other interesting results, but not much in terms of absolute dollars spent.


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