Most of the competitive intelligence engagements in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry involve gathering intelligence via third party vendors and assessing implications. In the vast majority of cases, the qualitative level of threat is determined via obligatory so-what analysis, aka implications. Stakeholders are made aware of the implications and the engagement reaches a cul-de-sac. Effectively with the current modus operandi, stakeholders get a snapshot of the status of play.
Smart competitive intelligence solutions providers can take it to the next level wherein the engagement endows the stakeholders with predictive power about the competitors. The key to this is to understand the underlying strategy of the peers/competitors rather than to focus exclusively on the external manifestations of those strategies, which happens in a multitude of cases.
Combined with the intelligence and knowledge of the strategy frameworks, stakeholders can anticipate the future course of actions and events of competitors, which helps to reduce unwanted surprises, reveal blind spots, refine strategy and tactics dynamically, future-proof one’s own strategy, etc. Key diagnostics questions to ask are:
Are the vendors primarily documenting competitors’ activities in the intelligence gathering exercises?
Do the vendors help stakeholders to see the wood from the trees?
Do the vendors have an understanding of corporate decision making?
Are the vendors aware of strategic frameworks and can join the dots to and from collected intelligence to decode competitors’ strategy?