Which industries use Competitive Intelligence and why?

This article takes a look at which industries use Competitive Intelligence and why? Some people consider Competitive Intelligence as a specialism to specific industries. This idea comes from the industries who use it most and were the first to adopt Competitive Intelligence into their day to day business activities.  

Industries that immediately spring to mind are defence, aerospace, some software organisations and in particular pharmaceutical companies. The key differentiator with these industries is that they are fast-paced, have a long product and market development cycles, and they do not want to take what's going to happen in their future to chance. 

Competitive Intelligence is a critical function

These industries and many others see Competitive Intelligence as a critical function to help them develop and launch their new and hopefully unique products into their markets. Ahead of their competitors and to a great reception from their customers. Industries which have hyper-competition and a great deal of Intellectual Property(IP) use Competitive Intelligence to not only looking at what others are doing and planning but to protect their own positions and their IP.

Why use Competitive Intelligence to protect?

Why? Well the time, money and stress associated with a new product coming into the market or the merger between two companies pale into insignificance if:

  • Your competitor releases a similar or better product the day before your revenue busting lifeline product. 
  • Or your competitor hears about your merger or purchase of another company, and they try and scupper the deal, offer better money to the target or generally make mischief within the target company. 
  • Your competitor hears about your new product or merger and speaks to a couple of editors and drips some rumours out.

Different needs

However, Competitive Intelligence works in every industry, their needs may be different, more or less urgent and perhaps with smaller budgets. And it doesn't need to be cloak and dagger. From single players to new startups to mid-market businesses and the biggest companies in the world use Competitive Intelligence to look out to:

  • Plan their strategies
  • Predict competitor developments
  • Monitor market patterns and trends
  • Knock on the right doors and with the right message
  • Maximise opportunities 
  • Reduce risk and uncertainty

You have to make sure that you are travelling in the right direction. And you have all the gear to get over the mountains and lakes that are blocking your way. Now, some CI software will help, but the trouble with software is that the Intelligence is only as good as what information and effort you put in. 

That last mountain

And when you are tackling that mountain face, it would be ideal if your competitors are not cutting your rope. Without Competitive Intelligence competitors, distributors, and even your employees can also be throwing stones at you. And you are blindfolded rock climbing to the top, thinking it's just raining. You may get there, of course, but it will not be a pleasant journey. And you may get to the top of the mountain only to find you are on the wrong one. 

Now, we hear all the time things like; we are market leaders, we outshine our competitors and the classic we don't have any competitors "as such". That may be true (it isn't but let's play along), but with this sort of attitude, you are ice climbing in an avalanche zone. 


This article looked at which industries use Competitive Intelligence and why? But so many industries use Competitive Intelligence to lookout for new opportunities and potential threats. Likewise, implementing Competitive Intelligence into your strategy will protect your product launches and planning Intellectual Property, your capability of developing even more sales and creating something special in your market.

About Octopus Intelligence

Octopus is a global Intelligence service company. Answering the questions to help you grow.
We help brands and investors like yourself reimagine how you can beat your competitors, make more money, be disruptive, and enter new markets, enabling them to grow faster with more certainty with Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence and good old common sense. We live in an increasingly uncertain, competitive and ever-shifting world.
What you need is active real world strategy, where deep expertise combines with Competitive Intelligence based actions to answer the what and the how, for the now and the next.
Follow us on Twitter/octopusintell and Linkedin 
And, get in touch with Octopus via our contact us page.
Also, please feel free to sign up to our daily one-liner Intelligence tip. Or sign up for our monthly article.
And some more reading:
10 ways to catch and solve business problems quicker
7 interview brainteasers to assess critical thinking
How to conduct market research for a new business?
In-house set up
Intelligence is smart! Here are 6 reasons why
This is an icon of a shop open sign representing OSINT topics beat competitors, increase sales, solve problems, Competitive Intelligence & Competitor Analysis with Octopus Intelligence
We can help
Fill in your details below for a free no obligation consultation
This is an icon of the Competitive Intelligence button. Beat competitors, increase sales, solve problems, Competitive Intelligence & Competitor Analysis with Octopus Intelligence. Free Competitive Intelligence templates what is competitive intelligence
How to start a CI Project
Download our free how to start a CI Project template