You’re in business to succeed, taking charge of your success through best practices. You want to be competitive and to take your share of the market. A key part of your marketing plan involves conducting research on your competitors and analyzing the competition, producing information for your business planning and, ultimately, your success.
Why Conduct Competitor Research?
If you have a great strategic marketing plan, a product that meets market needs, and great staff to get the job done, why bother with competitor research? You may have a winning formula for success, but if it doesn’t include competitive analysis, it’s missing a key ingredient that will help you learn about and learn from the competition.
Specifically, competitor research helps you to:
- Identify opportunities and obstacles in the market
- Understand your competitive strengths and weaknesses
- Differentiate your brand and your products for marketing
- Adapt more quickly to respond to competitor activities
- Identify gaps in the market that competitors aren’t serving
- Become driven to greater success
You’re driven to greater success because you have the insight you need, creating excitement around taking advantage of the findings of your analysis. Knowing where you stand spurs on action to move ahead.
Setting Up a System for Competitive Analysis
To set the stage for collecting research results, companies create an online competitor dashboard with tabs for each area of data collection and analysis. A popular alternative involves using templates found online to create your working document. Your competitive analysis will cover in-depth research in the following areas and others as determined by your market:
- Develop a company overview including key facts, leadership personnel, sources of funding and annual revenue
- Identify your competitors, their brand, their products and services
- Determine the market segments your competitors serve and how well they serve them
- Study their marketing, including traditional marketing, social media marketing, customer engagement practices, and sales methods
- Track competitor pricing and what’s included in the price
- Discover service delivery methods, including shipping or client services
- Identify their tech stack or solutions stack
- Conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) based on the information collected
Begin collecting competitor information by conducting a review of their website and marketing content, especially social media, as well as news stories and online reviews and support threads. For specific aspects of research, find available tools that will collect data, show trends and changes, and provide helpful alerts.
While you’re collecting this information on your competitors, you should create a similar analysis on your own company. In this way, you’ll identify gaps between you and your competitors more clearly.
From Analysis to Action: Making Moves for Your Customers
Once you’ve completed your competitive analysis, you have a template for your process. Continue to track your competitors on a regular basis by setting up plans and systems that make the process more efficient. Keep up with new competitors as they enter the marketplace.
Is all this overwhelming for you? Do you know what to do but don’t have the time? Redwood Valley Technical Solutions can help. Contact us to discuss your project.
Armed with your competitive analysis, you’ll be ready to plan for greater success in the market. This means finding ways to better serve your customers, meeting their needs more effectively. You may find that you can serve customers in new ways or uncover new target audiences to accelerate your growth.
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