How to Conduct Competitive Analysis for Marketing Strategy

An effective competitive analysis can illuminate your strengths, expose potential threats, and help tailor your marketing approach. In this guide, we’ll dive into the nuances of conducting competitive analysis research that can form the foundation of your marketing plan.

What is competitive analysis?

A competitive analysis is a strategic evaluation where a business identifies major competitors and researches their products, sales, and marketing strategies. By doing so, you can create solid business strategy that improve upon your competitors.

This process helps you understand your competitive environment, identify opportunities and threats, pinpoint what makes your own products unique, and ultimately, informs your positioning within the market.

Our competitive analysis framework includes:

  • SEO competitive keyword analysis
  • PPC research
  • competitive price analysis
  • Customer reviews and so on.

Selecting Relevant Competitors

Before delving deep into the intricacies of competitive analysis, it’s essential first to identify who exactly you’re competing against. Not every company in your field is necessarily relevant to your unique strategy and goals. By selecting the most pertinent competitors, you can ensure your analysis is focused, actionable, and geared towards real-world challenges and opportunities. Here’s a list of criteria and methods for selecting these key players in your market:

  • Customer Mentions: During in-depth interviews or feedback sessions, if a customer mentions other companies, take note. Such mentions are a clear indicator of who’s on their radar, giving you a glimpse into your perceived competition.
  • Industry Alignment: Naturally, you want to focus on those operating in the same sphere as you. Who are the other big players in your industry?
  • Market Share Dynamics: Those with a large market share or those on a rapid rise are essential. Their moves could shift the market dynamics.
  • Product/Service Similarities: Competitors with offerings akin to yours are crucial, as you’re vying for the same target audience.

Key Aspects to Focus on During Research

As you venture deeper into competitive analysis, it’s imperative to know exactly where to cast your analytical net. While there’s a wealth of information available, focusing on the most impactful aspects ensures that your research is both efficient and effective. Here’s a list of key components that can offer you a comprehensive understanding of your competition:

  • Online Footprint: Start with their online presence, diving into their website, content strategies, and even advertising techniques. Are they optimally utilizing these avenues?
  • Product and Pricing Models: Examine their product features, how they price them, and any unique selling points (USPs) they push.
  • Customer reviews: Platforms like Google and Yelp can offer invaluable customer reviews. What’s the general sentiment?
  • Content: By reviewing their blogs, white papers, and e-books, gauge how they position themselves in the industry.
  • Social Media Dynamics: How active are they? The type of content, engagement rates, and post frequency can offer insights into their social media prowess.

Competitive analysis example

Here’s a competitive analysis example from a real project (unfortunately, we can only show the table structure, but it’s more than enough for a basic understanding of the approach):

As the outcome, you should have a complete SWOT analysis:

What’s their USP? Be it a renowned brand image, pioneering products, or an expansive customer base, pinpoint it.Where are they faltering? Are customers highlighting any recurrent issues?What market gaps are they overlooking that you can leverage?When you start exploiting these opportunities, what challenges could you potentially face?

Your Analysis Deliverables

Once your B2B competitive analysis research is complete, it should yield:

  • Competitor Profiles: A detailed snapshot of your main rivals, encompassing their offerings, market stance, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • SWOT Reports: A clear SWOT breakdown for each competitor, giving you a strategic overview.
  • Action Items: With all this data, draft actionable steps to refine your marketing plan.

With such comprehensive competitive analysis, you’ll uncover not just insights about promotional strategies but also revelations about your business model, pricing, and more.

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