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Three companies that crossed the ethical line | Compete DNA across the org | Elite PMMs

Last year we marched into Minneapolis for SCIP IntelliCon 2022. We interviewed 12 compete pros and turned them into our Klue LIVE at IntelliCon series

We took it up a notch this year. We caught up with some of our favourite people, invited them to the AirBnB and filmed a bunch of interviews in stunning 4k resolution.

The first interview is LIVE on our podcast page and YouTube channel (links below). And we can’t wait to share the rest out in the next few weeks!

Here’s what we’ve got for you in today’s edition of ☕️ Coffee & Compete 🤜🤛

🌵 – An interview with Movista’s Brad Lawless from Scottsdale

⛔ – Three examples of competitive intelligence ethics gone wrong

👫 – The skills and traits elite product marketers have in common

Let’s roll,


🧬 Embedding Compete DNA Across the Org 🧬

Brad Lawless Movista

You know how we feel: compete starts with sales. But the competitive enablement holy land lies beyond the sales team. And Brad’s team at Movista are the right guides to take you there. 

Here are three ways they’re going over and above your typical compete team.

🃏 More than just battlecard builders🃏

Imagine having an internal team that serves as your own competitive and market research group. That’s exactly what the compete team at Movista has become. 

They dive deep into market research, surface trends and share them across the organization. This helps inform — among others — the product team with intel on what the market craves and how their competitors compare.

🤝 Higher customer retention through CS enablement 🤝

Budgets are tight. If a renewal is coming up and you’re not shopping around to see if you can find the same functionality for a better deal, you’re not doing your job. 

Brad and team are getting out ahead of this reality by enabling their CSMs with the right context and talk tracks to get out ahead of renewal conversations — and retain more customers. 

🗣 Meeting the audience where they are 🗣

Intel digests to the inbox. Competitive intel channels on Slack. It’s about connecting with your audience through the channels they’re already using. 

And when content adoption is slipping within one department or another, that’s the team’s cue to check in and see what they can do to improve. 

As ever, you can watch and listen to the whole interview on our website. (But you should really watch it because it looks 👌)

⛔️ 3 Companies that Crossed the Ethical Line in CI ⛔️

competitive intelligence ethics: examples of companies that crossed the line

Oracle vs. Microsoft

In the year 2000 Oracle admitted to hiring private detectives to investigate independent trade groups that, according to Oracle, were giving Microsoft special treatment.

When documents uncovered by the investigation showed up in the New York Times and Washington Post, it was alleged, though never proven, that those documents came from stolen laptops. 

Hewlett-Packard vs. Itself 

Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) board hired private investigators to find out which directors were leaking information to the press. 

It was later revealed that some of those investigators misrepresented themselves to phone companies to improperly gain access to the call records of Hewlett-Packard directors, as well as the journalists who reported on the leaks. 

General Motors vs. Volkswagen

Volkswagen paid $100 million ($188M in 2023 dollars) in a settlement over illegally obtained corporate documents.

The case revolved around José Ignacio López de Arriortùra, a former Global Vice President of GM who was poached by Volkswagen. He was accused of stealing and sharing thousands of sensitive, confidential documents about GM’s pricing, technology and more.

Pepsi vs. Coke: CI ethics done RIGHT

When a former Coca-Cola employee offered to sell trade secrets to PepsiCo in 2006, Pepsi did the right thing and alerted the authorities. The former Coca-Cola employees were sentenced to eight and five years in prison respectively.

CI Ethics Tl; Dr

  • Don’t pose as someone you’re not to gather competitive intel
  • Respect the integrity of non-compete clauses and NDAs
  • Stay within the law
  • Establish an internal set of ethical guidelines and make your employees aware of it  

If you’re looking for a good place to start, check out the code of ethics our friends over at SCIP have on their website. 

And check out our latest blog to dive deeper into competitive intelligence ethics. 

👭Coffee & Compete Community Corner 👬

Devon O’Rourke. Founder at Fluvio. Host of the Embracing Erosion podcast on the Compete Network — and friend of the Competitive Enablement Show.

An elite product marketer in his own right, here are the three things Devon says the best product marketers have in common 👇


Thanks for reading this week’s edition of Coffee & Compete. As always, please reach out to me and the rest of the team with your thoughts and feedback. 

And If you know someone who isn’t already subscribed to Coffee & Compete, be a good friend and tell them about us.
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