Competitive analysis is the process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of potential and current competitors within your market. This analysis can be used to determine threats as well as opportunities within your industry and develop strategies to better position your business and products. Competitive analysis can be done either internally within a company or by a third-party organization. Often, it is the marketing team who conducts the competitive analysis, however the information gathered is shared across departments and used by sales, product, customer success, as well as the executive team. Competitive analysis is not a one-and-done project. It should be repeated as often as you feel necessary to stay on top of your industry.
There are a number of different types of competitors that your company may come across. It is important to identify who these companies are and where they exist in your market. When compiling a list of competition, be sure to note whether or not a company is a direct competitor, indirect competitor, or aspirational competitor.
A direct competitor is a business that is well known across your organization, comes up in sales situations, and directly competes for your business.
An indirect competitor is one who is a major player in the industry, however does not go head-to-head in sales situations. This could include complementary businesses or partners.
An aspirational competitor is a company that is a major player across your broader industry, which, although you do not compete with for business, they inspire business strategy or marketing efforts.
To fully identify where your competitor sits in your market and to build a competitive strategy, it is critical to see each aspect of a company’s digital footprint. By tracking various insight types, one can map out a competitor’s full digital footprint and effectively map out the competitive landscape. Be sure to monitor the full 360-degree view of each competitive company including:
News & Events
Team & Personnel
Product, Pricing & Packaging
Support Threads & Reviews
Positioning & Presence
Customers & Partners
Content & Social Media
Conversion Tests & Promotions
After compiling competitive data, it’s important to make a plan with clear next steps. Each team within your organization can use competitive intelligence in an actionable way to influence their departmental strategy.
Marketing Teams use competitive intelligence to influence content marketing as well as lead generation campaigns. By identifying the content competitors are publishing as well as social activity, marketers can build an aggressive plan to drive awareness and leads.
Sales Teams use battlecards, pitch decks, and sales content with competitive information. Understanding competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, along with how they position themselves, gives sales an advantage when competing for new business in their markets.
Product Teams use competitive data to influence and refine product roadmaps. Keeping a keen eye on competing products in the market through monitoring reviews, packaging and positioning updates, as well as support documentation, product leaders can aggressively stay ahead of the competition by building out the product strategically.
In order to win as a business, you need to analyze your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and strategic moves. This 50+ page slide template covers each key business area, tools and tips for gathering and presenting competitive data, and strategies for turning the analysis into an actionable blueprint. Download the guide now!