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Podcast Episode: Taking a Tiered Approach to Your Competitive Landscape

Another month is here and you know what that means — a brand new episode of Into the Fray: The Competitive Intelligence Podcast

In our latest installment, podcast host, Erik Mansur (our VP of Product Marketing), sat down with Matthew Tyrer, the Head of Competitive Intelligence at Commvault, to talk all things competitor segmentation.

As a data protection and information management solution provider, Commvault is firmly planted in the security space — which means their list of competitors is a mile long. And when you have a list of competitors as long as theirs (or even half as long), the first step of implementing a sustainable competitive intelligence program is to segment your market landscape into competitor tiers.

Today’s blog post will feature highlights from Erik’s conversation with Matthew, including a tier-by-tier breakdown of how Matthew segments his own competitors. Let’s dive in!


Segmenting your Competitors: Taking a tiered approach to your competitive landscape | Matthew Tyrer, Head of Competitive Intelligence at Commvault

Erik started off by asking Matthew to think back to when he had just started getting his CI function off the ground. When he was first drawing boxes around competitors to give his team a way to focus on those who were more problematic than others, how did he create his competitor segments?


Matthew explained that at the start, you must define your competitors in terms of deal frequency and market positioning in order to identify the major players in the space — whether they are market leaders, thought leaders, or both. Depending on the information collected through your CRM, anecdotal evidence like chatter in your space, and factual evidence provided by market analysis you should be able to identify your top tier competitors.

Tier 2 is where you will put your aspirational and adjacent competitors — those who are not direct competitors, but are making significant moves in the market. Think of it this way: there’s tracking your competitors, but there is also tracking who affects the market. Use your second tier to keep an eye on those companies with high market influence, where they go will indicate where the rest of the market is headed.

Tier 3 is where you will put the smaller, under the radar, growth stage companies who are on their way up in your market. To identify these lower tier companies, take a line of business approach to see who you would compete with on a certain use case or during a specific feature rollout. While you may not encounter these competitors in very many sales, you will want to be prepared when you inevitably do.

“When you take a broad market view, any decision has the power to add competitors to your landscape. To avoid being blindsided, keep your finger on the pulse by looking out for the up and comers in your space. Who are the next disruptors trying to make some noise?”

With his tiers clearly defined, Matthew reiterated the fluidity built into taking this approach to competitor tracking. It’s key to remember that this is an additive relationship — when you add new features, there will be new competitors in your space. Therefore, you need to be open to reshuffling your competitor tiers every once in a while based on market behavior.

And that was just the start of Erik and Matthew’s conversation. For more insights into segmenting your competitors — including how a smaller solution that competes on a single front should compartmentalize the competition — tune in to the full episode above or right here!

The Case for a Tiered Approach to Competitor Tracking

Competitor prioritization is both reactive and proactive. You are not only reacting to a moment as it happens — like a Tier 1 competitor overhauling their pricing strategy — but you are also proactively staying up to date on competitive movement to update battlecards before they are needed.

Without compartmentalizing your competition into tiers, you run the risk of blurring your view of your competitive landscape with irrelevant data and losing sight of valuable market movement. 

But if you’re still not convinced that you need to start segmenting your competitors ASAP, maybe The Case for a Tiered Approach to Competitor Tracking will be able to do the trick.

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Madison Blask
Madison Blask is a Content Marketing Senior Specialist at Crayon, where she creates compelling content that converts. Prior to joining Crayon, Madison worked as a Senior Copywriter at CXD Studio, a proudly women-owned creative agency based in Boston, MA.