Competitive analysis is often overlooked by marketers who are too busy running marketing campaigns. However, competitive analysis is critical to your overall strategy. Spy on your competitors and you can strengthen your position in the marketplace.
The purpose is to determine not only the strengths and weakness of your competitors but also to identify ways to improve your own strategy and to find ways to win.
1. Identify your competitors
- If you are in a space with too many competitors to keep track of, you may pick up a few to follow.
2. Get familiar with their brands:
- Follow them on Social Media
- Set-up Google alerts to catch any news that follows up your competitor brands
- Sign up for newsletters and job postings from your competitors
3. Start analyzing
- Company Press Releases are the easiest way to find key pieces of information on your competitors. Think of acquisitions, revenue reporting and so on.
- Conduct SEO analysis on your competitor’s backlinks, keyword rankings etc. It will help your team compete on certain keywords and have a better-optimized website.
- Monitor Traffic stats. It will show you the overall health of their business and help predict seasonality trends.
- Monitor what is being said about them on social media and what the competitors are talking about. It is key to really understand not only their target market but why consumers interact with their brands as opposed to yours. You may uncover that they attract a certain type of customer that you can also market to.
- Analyze their website to get a picture of what promotions they are running, what products they are trying to showcase and so on. You may find clues in their sales and website placement that will trigger your own ideas and refine your strategy.
For example, if all coats are on sale then you can run a sale for shoes instead or you may choose to lower your prices even more to steal their market share.
- Check out your competitor’s job postings to see what areas their business is trying to expand on and what skills they are looking for. This is one of the key data points for the overall company strategy.
For example, if your competitors are hiring a few mobile app developers you can assume that they are trying to develop a mobile app for their business. This, in turn, can change your strategy by either beating them in creating an app faster or promoting your already existing app.
All mentioned above is a good starting point for your competitive intelligence reporting. Once you become familiar with doing monthly reports you can add innovation pieces from both your industry and other industries to get creative ideas for your marketing