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ROI Railroad

The Answer to C.I. ROI

Sedulo Group

on 29 April 2013

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Transcript of ROI Railroad

Presented by Heath Gross INTRODUCTION Competitive strategy firm
Evolution from strictly tactical competitive intelligence firm to full-service competitive strategy firm
Result was improved value and sustainability Objective is not to find the elusive financial algorithm that answers the CI ROI but rather: Objectives Gain practical and theoretical insight into how you can demonstrate value, win influence and improve sustainability within your organization. GOAL Addressing ROI of CI A Flawed Equation The problem with tackling the ROI question is that by default we want to see the numbers.

Addressing the financial ROI on competitive intelligence is impractical.

The challenge is not to develop a financial model for ROI, it is to change the way we measure ROI. UNDERSTANDING VALUE How do we measure the value of something?

One way to measure value is to examine the impact, positive or negative, that it has on entities that it either intentionally, or unintentionally, affects. STARTING POINT >
Discuss how we measure value

Examine a case study comparison of an early warning monitoring program (tactical CI) to a CI supported futurescape study (tactical + strategic).
Link value to ROI Two Trains The Two-Points Rail In 1855 there was only one Swiss owned railroad. The Spanisch-Brötli Bahn, or Spanish Rolls Railway, which whisked soft fresh bread from Baden bakers to Zurich customers in a mere 30 minutes.

This remained the only line solely within Switzerland for the next 7 years. The train provided a valuable link between the manufacturer and its customers.
The impact of the train had little or no impact on the rest of Switzerland.
It had value, but the value was limited to a very small audience.
Neighboring countries were building thousands of km of railway. WHAT WAS THE VALUE OF THAT TRAIN? Two Trains The All-Points Rail After nearly two decades, Switzerland was on track with establishing a national railway system. In 1882 the new all points rail system culminated in one the great tunneling feats of the century, the 15 km (9.3 mile) long St Gotthard Tunnel.

The value of the Swiss railway was now undeniable.
The national railway connected nearly every major metropolitan in the country. Through a series of bridges, tunnels and thousands of miles of track, it was able to efficiently transport people and products throughout the country and beyond. Two Trains How Does This Relate to CI? Many CI programs operate similarly to the Swiss train of 1855. They are designed in a way that supports the flow of intelligence from the source (CI Manager or Vendor) to the brand team, but that is as far as they go. 

Supports the brand team’s tactical, and sometimes strategic, decision-making.

The impact stops there.  The value is limited. Two Most Common CI Structures THE LIMITATION If the competitive intelligence effort is focused exclusively on supporting the brand team, then the intelligence and insights provided are very likely going to serve the limited interest of the brand team.

This is equivalent to a railway that is just delivering bread to a small group of customers 30 km away.
No one else benefits and therefor there is little value for the research or insights outside of the brand team.

What about marketing, R&D, Medical Affairs, Manufacturing… what about the C-Suite?

Are there insights yielded through the research that can impact their decision making? BOTH STRUCTURES
LIMITING THE VALUE OF CI What Would That Look Like in CI? Like the national railway system, competitive intelligence would flow throughout the organization.

May still be generated at the brand product level Would provide a conduit for two-way transfer of intel. Brand team out to other departments

Intel from other departments back to brand team Would provide a flow of intel into senior stakeholders and C-Suite. Is Sending CI Reports to Executive
Team Enough? Imagine if the Swiss had build a railway that connected all the cities to the capitol, but all the trains carried were rolls. Would that be enough value?

Brand teams ask the questions they need to make their decisions, but they are often not asking the questions that would support the decision making of other departments or the C-Suite. For the trains to have value they need to support the entire economy, manufacturing, military, travel, etc. What Should We Be Asking? The key is to frame the research so that it addresses not only the brand team’s needs, but the needs of larger organization. Sometimes the brand/product teams are made up of cross-functional members including Sales & Marketing, Manufacturing, Medical Affairs, R&D But seldom do they include a member of the executive team What Does the C-Suite
Want To Know Industry
& Market
Evolution Leadership Organizational
Change Operations/
Supply Chain Financial
Performance Commercial Brand Team wanted:
Early Warning
Forecasting Support
Competitor Messaging, Contracting, Positioning Ongoing monitoring program and periodic ad hoc requests
Primarily tactical intelligence Provided quarterly update reports and frequent flash reports with time sensitive intel
Answered well over 90% of client KITs and KIQs Needed to improve innovation strategy to avoid:
Incremental innovation
Crowded market
Little product differentiation Conducted a multi-phase ad hoc project
Phase 1: Market Landscape Study
Phase 2: Competitor Deep Dives
Phase 3: Competitor Product Pipeline Analysis
Phase 4: White Space Analysis
Phase 5: Recommendation Culminated in innovation workshop with buy-in from SVP
Research findings provided insight for R&D, Manufacturing, Brand Team, Senior Leadership
Used findings to adjust innovation strategy
Canceled a number of development projects
Added new initiatives that would take advantage of market white spaces
CI is now seen as a strategic imperative in the organization Impact = Value = ROI
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