Unless you are offering a unique product or service in the market as the first company in history, chances are you have competitors all around you marketing a similar product or service. As a result, you need to establish an edge over all the competitors so that you can plan your marketing and production activities. It is of paramount necessity that you consider conducting a thorough competitive analysis on a regular basis to ensure that you keep track of your competitors to help you stay ahead of them.
In this article, we will provide an overview of what a competitive analysis is and guide you through ways to develop a complete one.
What Is a Competitive Analysis?
A competitive analysis refers to the process of conducting research, analysis, and later a comparison of your organization/business to those of your competitors. Businesses conduct a complete competitive analysis for the following reasons:
- GTM strategy;
- Conversion optimization;
The main aim of conducting a competitive analysis is not only to learn more about your competitors but also to gain clarity and confidence in the market. This is made possible by the fact that a competitive analysis will help you learn what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are.
You can use the complete CA to develop better strategies for your company to gain a stronger competitive advantage in the market, which is the aim of every business. There are a variety of benefits that a business can obtain from conducting a thorough and frequent CA:
- Usability insights;
- Design gains;
- An improved value proposition;
- More and better ideas for testing.
Who Uses a Competitive Analysis?
A competitive analysis is used by various companies in the market to be able to stay ahead of their competitors in the market. A competitive analysis is usually carried out by any individual interested in knowing who his or her competition is and what their value is in the market.
Once you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you will be in a better position to pinpoint what their objectives and strategies are. All this is done to help you develop better ways and strategies to stay ahead of the competition through developing a stronger competitive advantage for yourself.
It is therefore clear that a competitive analysis is used by organizations operating within the same geographical location and market segment. This helps the companies selling the same product or a substitute to market their brands with better positioning and branding over the competition. However, you have to first determine who the direct and indirect competitors are.
Ways in Which a Complete Competitive Analysis Can Help Your Business
There are a number of ways in which a competitive analysis can be beneficial to a business and they include the below.
- Identification of market gaps: A competitive analysis is conducted by strategic planners in a business and their aim is to identify the exploited and unexploited market gaps. The tool used here is a competitor map and it mixes with a matrix to help position the competition based on their rare quality. In this case, the business owners will be able to know what prices the competitors charge, the quality of their products, and their customization level.
- Product development: This is mostly applicable in the technology-based companies that rely on their innovation to sell products or services in the market. It is essential that you conduct a competitive analysis to determine what your competitors are planning. Determining what quality, specifications, and features of their next product are will help you in developing an better brand in future.
- Market trends: A competitive analysis allows businesses to learn more about the competition’s market trends thus giving them a chance to exploit the available opportunities. Identifying the market trends of your competitors is a good strategy for you to differentiate your product or service in the market.
- Marketing purposes: In this era, businesses focus more on marketing the quality, value, and benefits of their brands rather than just talking products and services. Conducting a competitive analysis will help you identify the marketing strategies of your competitors. In return, you will be able to know what the market perceives of your competitors’ products. This is a good start for you to develop improved strategies to market your brands in the segment for better positioning and with a greater competitive advantage.
6 Steps to Develop the Competitive Analysis Your Brand Needs
1. Goal Setting
The first step for you to develop a competitive analysis is to determine what your goals are so that you can influence how the consumers and the general market think of you.
When you know what your goals are, you will be able to develop strategies around achieving them.
2. Identifying Who Your Top Competitors Are
After you’ve determined what goals your business aims to achieve, you need to identify your top ten competitors. These are the businesses that you are afraid of in the market. They are the ones that always find a way of taking advantage of your ideas and grabbing your prospective customers.
The sales and marketing department will be useful here. This is because they will identify who your top competitors are and what differentiates them from you.
3. Comparing the Content of Your Competitors
Different companies rely on varying content creations for their products and services. As a result, you should begin your competitive analysis by identifying the content used by your competitors as a way of determining the quality of their brands. Some of the content they use includes:
- Buyer guides;
- Feature articles;
- Case studies;
- Press releases.
Comparing the content that your competitors are sharing to yours is a good start for you to differentiate yourself from them and know what you are not giving your customers that they are.
4. Analyzing the SEO Structure of the Competition
At this point, you may realize that you are sharing the same content with your competitors and it is essential that you do it frequently to keep your users updated. However, you may have a different SEO especially when it comes to the keywords application.
It is important that you first consider the keywords with a low search volume. This is because they happen to be more specific and will may help you identify additional keywords for your SEO structure.
5. Analyzing the Social Media Integration of the Competition
Engaging in social media platforms has become a common thing among business today especially as a marketing strategy. It is important that you search for your competitors on all social media platforms and try to analyze them. You can focus on:
- What they share;
- How many followers they have;
- How frequent they update their content.
You can use the answers to these facts to help establish yourself in the social media platforms. Then, integrate them in your marketing strategies.
6. Identifying the Areas You Need to Improve
The last step in your competitive analysis is to determine what areas of your business need improvements with respect to the information you obtain about your competitors.
This is not only with reference to the content you create. SEO, and social media integration matter. But also remember to establish the presence of your business in the market.
Preparing for the Market
Conducting a completed competitive analysis is a good start. You will learn more about how your competitors establish themselves in the market.
Then, you are giving your business a new and better direction.