The term competitive intelligence conjures up images of spies, undercover work and self-destructing messages. In some companies the concept may be so under the radar, or more likely underfunded, as to be almost a genuine secret, but for many pharma companies it plays a crucial role in their market research methods.
What is this intelligence and why is it needed?
Hiding in a mountain of big data and ever-increasing information are the golden nuggets that have the potential to transform a pharma company’s direction in regards to personalized medicine. The tricky part is to pinpoint and collect those valuable nuggets to build a wealth of usable material or intelligence that supports a targeted therapy or diagnostic and provides a competitive edge.
There is no set way or standard approach to access such material but it goes without saying that any means used should be legal, ethical and above board. So if you have seen one of your competitors openly recruiting for an expert in, let’s say, diagnostic commercialization, that’s a bit of competitive intelligence. If you read a press release from a rival company or their annual report, you’re also gathering competitive intelligence. And there is the information accessible regarding clinical trials and drug pipelines to help guide your own stealthy moves and strategies.
For some pharma companies this collection of information involves dedicated teams who can sift through the rocks to find little diamonds that can be shared directly with the departments that need to know these things, while others collect the same information and then invite their colleagues to roll up their sleeves and find for themselves anything that might be useful.
The alternative to keeping this hush hush and behind closed doors it to hire an external vendor to collect competitive intelligence. This is a popular model in personalized medicine that can work well, but what if that link is broken for whatever reason? Here’s an outsider that holds vital information on your company in relation to the competition, and if the key data and knowledgeable insights it has gathered have not been captured internally, all this competitive intelligence could be lost.
In the world of personalized medicine with its shifting market dynamics competitive intelligence can be particularly useful. The models in use are constantly changing and they all have some risks, but pharma and diagnostic companies need to ask themselves whether they should take that risk or learn to live with the feeling that they are being watched.
Expert Insight – Pharma’s Increasing Need for Competitive Intelligence
Competitive intelligence can offer huge benefits to pharma companies, especially in personalized medicine where market trends are continually shifting. In a world where available data grows by the second, Steve Vitale of Diaceutics AIS examines how it can be used to optimise expertise and understanding in order to gain an edge.