Competitive Intelligence

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

A lot of people are writing questions either here or on the SCIP linkedIN page about how to either 'sell' CI and/or show their superiors (the intelligence customers) the difference between positions (vs. Market Research, vs. Business Intelligence, etc).


I have therefore started to develop a 'pitch' document that would aid in what CI actually does. I am starting with Powerpoint and I am trying to keep it as simple as possible so that the message is clear and complete yet somewhat short (so that we do not lose their attention). Your aid in this matter will allow me to create a document that is consistent with the CI profession. The goal is to create a generic model and description.


My Research so far has narrowed two very good reference books:

'Business and Competitive Analysis - Effective Application of New and Classic Methods'

-Authors: Craig S. Fleisher (thanks Craig)

               Babette E. Bensoussan


'Competitve Intelligence Advantage - How to Minimize Risk, Avoid Surprises, and Grow Your Business in a Changing world' 

-Author: Seena Sharp


To those interested, I can send you my work in progress and we can develop a consistent presentation that will encompass all that CI should be and what it actually does. I can be contacted at 


I am also in the process of creating a Montreal Chapter for SCIP along with Robyn Reals, Education and Training Manager for SCIP, and others, to help increase awareness and create a demand.


I look forward to your replies, 


Matthew White

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Hi Matthew


Can you please send in the copy of the presentation


Best Regards


Sure! I only have some of the headlines right now as I am gathering information to solidify the definitions. With your help, we will be able to create a consistent structure to 'sell' CI to those who are unaware of the profession and its outstanding capabilities.


Furthermore, it would be helpful to get insight on actual experience from successful CI professionals that have achieved to create a CI program within their respective companies. This will help in proving CI's uses and help to motivate future CI clients in investing in this program, thus, creating new opportunities for CI professionals.




1. Regarding your first objective, how to sell CI.

As an experienced Senior Strategic Analyst, CI Manager/Director/Consultant, there is only one way in my 13+ years of experience to SELL CI, and that's actually produce the intelligence the organization needs, not talk about it. With that in mind, I paid one of the top names in the CI business may years ago to come into my company to try and talk to my CEO about the value of competitive intelligence when I was in the process of getting the team up and running, etc etc. It was my idea to bring this person in as I thought falsely he/she could help me lead the charge to get buy in, and support for building out the function. The person charged like $3K or $4k for the morning, and my CEO wanted to boot him/her and his/her poorly produced B/W photocopies of CI models, out in the first 5 minutes. It was a complete waste of time and money. What I didn't realize at the time, was that I had all the skills and capabilities the company needed, they were in full support of what I was doing, wanted more of what I was producing and that I could accomplish my objectives myself --- yep, by just continuing to produce what they wanted. Now, of course and perhaps this is the difficult part for folks, doing this requires deep subject matter expertise, sound business judgement and prioritization, an understanding of your company and your competitors and the market, and more often that not, little feedback or direction from the execs just have to know what they need for the most part, rarely will they actually and thoroughly articulate what they need from you. So, stop talking and keep producing that's how you are going to sell CI.

2. The differences between MR and CI- see my post on this topic on this board I think it might be most useful to you.

3. Create a generic model.
MN: There is no such thing as a generic model that will work across the board. There are many different models, and there are dependencies - like culture of the company, behavioral profile, resources and task at hand, receptivity to change and truth, whether there is even a framework for utilizing strategic information produced, etc. Things have to be done differently based on the interplay of those factors.

4. Generic Job description- I don't think there is any such thing. There are different CI roles-strategic, tactical, technical and they require different skills. I've written job descriptions for each. I'd be willing to share the basics if you wish.


Thanks Monica for your reply.


The reason I want to create a presentation is to inform my target industry, entertainment (more specifically, video games). I have been in contact with one business development manager at one of the very promising casual gaming studios, Frima, and he told me that they were not aware of this profession. Same goes with CEOs from concept art outsourcing companies such as Volta and Steambot. 


I am seeking to create a demand in this particular industry as one, it is highly competitive and it could benefit from CI. Second, I would like to work as a CI analyst (I have yet to find employment). I believe I have what it takes given my past Military Intelligence background (and current as I am re-enrolling part-time in the trade as of May of this year). I am also in the process of helping create a SCIP Montreal chapter. As such, what I mean by generic would be to have a thorough CI hierarchy of descriptions (collectors, analysts, etc.) and a list of tools, methodologies, softwares,etc. used to accomplish the task of CI. Mr. Fleisher's book is an excellent source so far, yet I still am seeking more. Also, I think it would be wise (if not already taken care of) to establish salary brackets to protect and promote other CI professionals.


Basically, I would like to paint a good picture of the CI profession to those companies I think would benefit from it and do not know of it while trying to keep it as general as possible so I do not lose them in the description.


Thanks again Monica.






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