No! Glancing through your competitor online website and social media posts don’t count as competitive analysis?
Markets are evolving fast and the competition is getting fiercer. Simply knowing what your competitors offer to their customers is not enough anymore. Establishing an edge over your competitors would be your trump card. Some of the best companies in the world keep a close watch on what their competitors are doing. As the famous proverb goes, keep your friends close and keep your competition closer. You could very well be missing out on valuable insights if you don’t.
Now that we have spilled the secret on winning this game for you let’s give you another good news. You can keep a tab on your competitors through a competitor analysis survey software spending half the time and efforts you would otherwise.
In this article, we are going in detail about what a competitive analysis is, how to conduct market research and analysis and how to get all the data you need.
Read through to discover some of the best-kept secrets and tips to do competitive research the right way!
What is a Competitor Analysis?
The definition for competitive analysis explains it as a process of identifying and evaluating your competitors on various aspects and key categories of business to know their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own.
Why Should You Conduct a Competitor Analysis?
Imagine that you are launching a new product. You have to understand the market, competitor’s products and services. This helps you to identify your potential customers and target them better. The valuable insights into how your competitors have priced their products and services lets you have a reference in hand.
Four steps to conduct information-rich competitive analysis
1. Build a framework
You should begin the process by creating a spreadsheet with all the competitor attributes. Fill the sheet with all the information that you already have access to. After finishing your spreadsheet should ideally have the following information:
- Competitor’s Name
- Company website
- Sales pitch
- Mission statement
- Products and/or services offering (with pricing)
- Key differentiators
Over a period of time, you are most likely to get your hands on more information about your competitors. This should be leveraged to uncover even more valuable attributes. As it develops and you gather data, keep on updating it in your competitor analysis spreadsheet.
2. Select Your Top Competitors
This list should include two types of competitors – direct competitors (who sell the same product or service) and indirect competitors (who sell products or services similar to yours).
Depending on the kind of information you want to uncover, select either or pick from both direct and indirect competitors. Add the details of your top competitors as well in the spreadsheet.
3. Extract Information and Gather Data
Continue collecting data about your competitors and keep on building the spreadsheet richer. And the best way to collect competitor data is by simply sending out a competitor analysis survey to your target audience.
What is a competitor analysis survey, you ask
Competitor analysis survey is an important online survey that helps businesses all over, irrespective of their industry to figure out how competitors perform in several key categories of their business when compared to you. This also gives actionable insights on how customers perceive your business and your competition.
Types of questions to be included in your competitor analysis survey
By documenting the outlines on which your business should be performing in the targeted market, you will be able to guide your whole team about the company attributes they should be focusing on to leverage the available possibilities.
The nature and tone of your questions can help you gather relevant data hassle-free.
Gives insights on how your respondent perceives your competitors.
Your customer’s perception of your competitors matters more than yours. It’s always advised to stay on the same page as your customers if you want to influence them. The questions should get answers for the following concerns.
- Have they ever purchased from each competitor?
- How was their experience?
Gauges where the respondent’s loyalties lie.
Truth sometimes hurts but it is quintessential to know whether you are launching your product into an already biased market. Only then you will know how to design your strategy to sway back your customers. Find answers for the following questions to know customer preferences.
- What products or services are customers buying from them?
- Do they buy because of the price or the experience?
- What points are your competitors highlighting to differentiate themselves from their competition?
- What is it that makes their product or service unique?
Benefits of a competitor analysis survey
After asking these questions and thoroughly conducting a competitor analysis survey, you would be able to understand to whom your competitors are speaking to, the strategies they are using, the approach they have chosen and also how they want to position themselves in the market.
Know why customers choose them, why they bought that particular product and why they availed that particular service. This gives you an outline about what you need to do to be your customers’ preferred vendor. Help yourself with insights on where you perform well and where you lack. This helps you make amends in your existing strategy to grab that market share from your competitors.
Valuable data on your customers habits, behaviors, perceptions and preferences help to deliver a better customer experience and win their loyalty. Always remember that the business’s success has never been about acquiring new customers but about retaining existing customers.
4. Analyze Data
You have conducted your competitive analysis survey and has now reached the most important part of it. Your spreadsheet by now should have all the information you need about your competitors. Use this information on competitor’s products, their strengths and weaknesses, the market share they hold, their market strategies and objectives to begin the analysis phase of the process.
Consolidate all the analysis, reports and then incorporate the findings in your marketing strategies to make your company’s market position strong.
Are there other ways to gather competitor data?
Of course, there are! Here are a few you could give a shot at.
- Newsletter – Signing up for their newsletter helps you understand their business and the kind of messaging they use to connect to their audience
- Social media – Follow their channels and pages in social media to understand how they manage to keep their audience engaging.
- Blog – Subscribing to their blog to see the type of content they share with their audience is another old trick in the box. You get to see the domains they are focusing on and the kind of engagement they invite from their target audience.
- Product – Buying your competitor’s product is a very simple and direct approach to check out for yourself how good the product is and go through the experience as their customer. It could uncover and generate actionable information for you.
Competitive analysis can make or break your company. Manually doing it requires a humongous amount of time and other resources. The success of any process in the age of technology is about the amount of work that can be automated. Competitive analysis survey is the simplest way to gather competitor data. Keep your surveys engaging and learn all the tricks and tips to win!