Global Developments in Competitive Intelligence

Ruth Stanat
SIS International Research, USA


Competitive intelligence has existed since the beginning of world trade in the thirteenth and fourteenth century. Trade within Europe and between Europe and Asia prompted businesses to keep abreast of their competition. During the pre-industrial and post-industrial periods, Europe and North America concentrated on building their domestic markets. To stay competitive, both small and large businesses had to informally monitor their competitors. Clearly, competitive intelligence methods during this period were very rudimentary and were largely observational.

The postWorld War II period brought a dramatic change to the worldwide economy. European and Asian regions were focused on rebuilding their domestic economies. In North America, the postwar baby boom fuelled a domestic consumer economy. During the 1950s and 1960s, manufacturing and consumer companies were expanding at a rapid rate to meet the increased demands of rapid household formation. During this period, consumers pulled demand through in the economy. New product development accelerated at a rapid rate to meet consumer demands. Pricing, distribution, and advertising and promotion emerged as marketing disciplines. As a result, more competitors entered the market in the hopes of gaining a larger share of growing consumer markets.