Competitive analysis is the process where you categorize and test your rival brands. It involves using a collection of metrics to understand their strengths and weaknesses. This is also called competitive benchmarking. You look to define the best practices and compare your own brand’s performance.
The benefits are undeniable. The better you know your rivals, the better is your chance to surpass them as market leaders. The concept is simple, the process is a little more complicated. Competitive analysis ranges over many areas, metrics, and orders. The more extensive your research the more effective your competitive analysis.
Here we attempt to discuss the steps to competitive analysis in detail.
How to Perform a Competitive Analysis?
Competitive analysis can be as exhaustive as you wish it to be. It is important to have an organized view of which metrics would be the most useful for you. Competitive analysis will allow you to know when your competitor is doing well or losing. Both these times are a good time for you to check your standing against theirs.
Choosing the Right KPIs
The first step is to know which metrics you should be focusing on. Think about your business and what KPIs could be an indicator of bigger outcomes. Say you notice a drop in your share of voice/engagement rate. Check if you are doing something wrong or your competitor is trying something better. Keep comparing your performance to your past performance and to your competitor’s results.
Consult all other departments to know what metrics are useful to them. This is how you put together a wholesome list of KPIs. You can track them and share them with most of the departments in the company.
Identify your Primary Competitors
You will already have a list of your competitors but is it comprehensive? Have you considered all the criteria? You have two types of competitors – direct (primary) and indirect (secondary). Your direct competitors are the ones that are selling the same product as you. And to the same audience and even the same geographic location. An indirect competitor may be selling the same or similar products but targeting a different audience. Your relation with your competitors differs hence whom to include depends on what you wish to get out of it.
You can start benchmarking against your closest competitors. These are the companies closest to you in size, success, and structure. Benchmark yourself against them to get a fair sense of the companies you are up against. This qualifies as your near or mid-future planning.
You might have bigger ambitions than winning against your closest competitors. Its time to look at the best players in the industry. Competitive analysis can put forth an analysis of how well they are doing and how you can reach them. It isn’t going to be easy to follow the best in one day. The competitive analysis gives you a foundation on which you can build further.
Metrics To Consider
Before delving into the absolute nitty-gritty of competitive analysis, learn about the basic stats. First, get a general overview that tells you about the competitor, their size, followers, activity, reach et cetera. This helps you establish a preliminary comparison between you and your rival.
With time you can delve deeper and research further data points. The most commonly available data covers their revenue, the number of clients, fields of operations etcetera. If the company publicly listed, you can access their annual reports to track their financial records and performance.
As for their marketing messages, track them across the channels they use and identify the audience they target. Use social media monitoring to measure their brand mentions and to gauge their reach, their share of voice, and their share of mind and engagement rates.
SEO and Keywords
Google offers the most successful way to gain organic traffic. You will need to check your competitor’s SEO. In other words, how well do they rank on Google? Next, check the keywords they are ranking for. Lots of SEO and social listening tools will give you an overview of the domain/top keywords used.
Once you have a general idea of the ranking of all your competitors, you can start chalking out your strategy. SEO is the greatest way to earn organic traffic and revenue. Hence ranking high on google can never go wrong and actually goes on to show you’re doing well.
In conclusion, we would say that competitive analysis does take a lot of hard work but the fruits are worth it. The insights will help you know how to differentiate yourself and compete against your competitors.