Wednesday, January 27, 2016
This survey is discouraging. It reveals that nearly half of companies that gather competitive intelligence rarely act upon it. They have the tools to learn about the marketplace but they aren't using them. One shouldn't be too surprised. It is difficult to listen when one is convinced that he is ahead of the competition. I saw this long ago in a high-tech company that was losing market share rapidly. No one in top management paid attention to the marketing department's reports, so when the company went off the cliff, management was caught unaware of what had happened. Listening is humbling. One is rarely as good as one thinks, and areas of perceived strength can be shown up as weaknesses. Yet, honest CEOs find out what is happening in the marketplace. They listen and decide on what to do with a picture of the whole field of competition. They are inevitably practitioners of public relations in the best sense whether or not they have a PR department.