Why Conduct Competitor Analysis?
Do you have an effective competitor analysis plan? It may seem like a straight forward question but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t and can’t name at least five of their direct competitors, can you?
If you’ve never undertaken any kind of competitor analysis then I strongly suggest you start, it’s important for a variety of reasons:
- Improve your product / service offering
- Learn more about what your competitors are doing
- Get a better insight into your target audience
- Identify your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses
- Develop an improved level of service
- Create a strong brand identity
- Enhance marketing activities
- Offer an improved customer experience
This is just a selection of reasons but already I’m sure you can start to realise the importance of competitor analysis and how it can benefit your business.
Competitor Analysis – An Action Plan
Once you’ve identified your main three to five, direct competitors you need to create a plan of action in order to monitor, analyse and report on. You ideally need to do this on an ongoing basis, ensuring you’re always up to date with what’s happening within your competitive environment.
Develop a database, list your key competitors and include a variety of different business elements that you want to track. These can include but is not limited to: Business size, core product / service offering, prices, target markets, media channels used, primary marketing tactics, special offers, geographical reach, biggest clients. Keep the database updated on a monthly basis, noting any new initiatives you’ve identified from your competitors. Over time this will help to build up a picture of your primary competitors, how they operate and their key strengths and weaknesses. This will then in turn better assist your own business planning and aid you to offer an improved competitive advantage.
So, you have a plan in place, you’re ready to start your competitor analysis programme but where do you start, how and where do you obtain the key information you need? Apart from ringing them up directly, pretending to be someone else and actually asking for details, there are other more in-direct ways you can source the relevant competitive information. Some of these can include:
- Company Website
- Companies House
- Social Media Accounts
- Company / Product Literature
- Press Releases
- Google News / Google Alerts
- Customer Feedback
- Seminars / Exhibitions
This is by no means an exhaustive list but as you can see there are numerous sources you can investigate to gather key competitor intelligence.
Act and Communicate
Once you’ve started your competitor analysis and started compiling a base of information you want to obtain, don’t just then leave it. Act on it, communicate with your colleagues, use the insights to better improve your business, your proposition and service to your customers. Gathering competitive information and insights should prove an integral part of your overall marketing plan to assist you in achieving and exceed your primary goals and objectives.
Do you regularly conduct competitor analysis? Has it helped with the performance of your business? Please do let us know your feedback and experiences. If you have any further questions, or need any advice on developing an effective competitive analysis strategy, please do Contact Us for an initial consultation.
Marketing Consultant – Elite Marketing Services
Measurable Marketing. Results That Exceed Expectations.