You’re about to release a new product or programme. Your thoughts are racing. You have permission to begin your marketing strategy. There are numerous alternatives, including a social campaign, sponsored commercials, a video series, a public relations effort, ad expenditure, and more. Do a competitive market assessment — a research project that will provide you insight into how similar goods are marketed and help you identify the greatest prospects for your launch—before you design a marketing plan.
If you’re establishing a new business, presenting to an investor, or need to refresh your marketing plan, you should conduct a competition study in marketing.
This RisePath article guides you on how to write a competitive market study and how to use the results to influence and improve your marketing strategy.
Determine your rivals.
Most marketers and salespeople frequently discuss competition. You might compare similar organisations based on product offerings, size, revenue, or the number of clients when determining who else is in your area. Because you want to know how to place your product against your closest similar offering, these types of product competitors are incredibly valuable when establishing marketing plans.
Similar products, however, are not your only rival. They might not even be your primary competitor. Your biggest rival is sometimes simply ‘doing nothing.’
Furthermore, when it comes to marketing, your organisation may be playing in someone else’s yard. Let’s pretend your project management software is fantastic for salesmen. You’re no longer simply competing with other project management tools for market share; you’re now competing with every other sales tool.
Make a list of related products after you’ve identified your competitors. Expand after that. Who is each contender pitted against? And who else is in that vicinity? What are all the possible alternatives to purchasing your product? With a competitive analysis framework, you should start there.
Recognize the marketing strengths and shortcomings of your competitors.
It’s time to give your opponents some credit now that you know who they are. If they weren’t any good, they wouldn’t be your competitors, right?
Examining the most successful marketing campaigns of your competitors
We have a tendency to conceive of our competitors as just that: competitors. Instead, consider them as chances for learning. What are they doing that is successful? You can find out by doing the following:
- Investigating their online presence
- Observing how they talk as well as write about their product
- Examine their Google Adwords paid media.
- Use SEO tools to see how they rank for various keywords.
- Discuss their experiences with current or former consumers.
After you’ve finished, see if you can implement some of these programmes in your workplace. You may not be able to catch the same marketing juice as your competitors who had a star appearance at their multi-million dollar conference. Your team can apply these lessons to your own approach if they’re competing on low-cost keywords and doubling down on content or social strategy.
Determine the flaws of the competitors and your opportunities.
What your competitors don’t do can teach you just as much. Are there any channels that they’ve entirely ignored or abandoned? This could indicate that your target audience isn’t using these platforms, or that they are an underutilised resource.
B2B organisations are often the last to adopt new channels, preferring to stick to what they know. As a result, the first actors in these networks gain a lot of advantages. They can swiftly grow a more loyal following and determine whether or not social media networks can be used as lead sources. They also gain a faster understanding of the fundamentals. Not every channel is a winner, but those that pursue them have a better chance of finding out.
The vulnerabilities of your competitors are opportunities for you to profit from or learn from. When you’re finished with your competition analysis framework, consider how your team could explore these prospects.
Examine your competitors’ digital marketing strategies.
We’re all in the same sandbox when it comes to digital marketing. We have a lot of visibility into each other’s strategies because there is only one Google, one Twitter, and one LinkedIn.
You might begin to map your competitors’ digital marketing strategy by poking around.
Here are some questions to get you started, as well as some advice and resources for locating this data:
What networks are they connected to?
You can use Namechk to see a list of all the social media accounts they’ve made under their brand name.
Do they have a search engine optimization strategy?
Check their domain authority, which of their pages are ranking, and if they’ve changed over time using Ahrefs’ ‘Site Explorer’ tool.
Is Google Adwords used by them?
You can use tools like iSpionage to see what advertising your competitors are running and how much money they’re spending. This is a key measure of your ability to compete financially with their marketing budget.
The easiest location to replicate, test, and measure is online. You can experiment with your competitors’ techniques to determine if these elements boost your marketing stats as well.
Examine the pricing and packaging options.
Marketing is a broad phrase that encompasses a wide range of activities. However, one of the most important marketing components that we don’t usually cover is pricing and packaging. The price of your product, as well as what comes with it, is usually the most important component in attracting buyers to it.
When conducting a rival market study, you may determine which products are the most and least expensive. It’s also vital to consider what features are included in that price point while evaluating the price. What about discounts? Customer service for life? Seats for all users?
These elements make up your value proposition, which you may use to explain your product to your target market.
Pricing and packaging are not exact sciences. Work closely with your product and sales teams to determine what is truly being offered and for how much when evaluating the value of each offer. These teams will be able to give you more information on how your product fits into the mix and whether you’re competitive. Your market strategy can be informed by adjusting your pricing and packaging offerings.
Examine the lead flow and customer acquisition of your competition.
After people arrive on your website, marketing does not end. To ensure that your leads become customers, marketing and sales must work together. Examining the lead flow of your competitors might provide insight into how their marketing and sales teams collaborate.
When conducting a competitive market analysis, check to discover if your competitors are:
- Generating leads using web forms
- Having a sales force (you can learn this from LinkedIn)
- Offering demos, free trials, or limited access to the product.
You’ll begin to learn how your competitors not only generate leads but also acquire clients, by researching these issues. This information can be used to estimate their client journey, which you can then incorporate into your overall plan.
One of the numerous reasons to do a new competitive marketing analysis is to assist in the development of your own marketing strategy. These evaluations are frequently important to investors and senior leaders, and they might serve as a reminder that you’re on the right track. These analyses’ research phase can be lengthy. However, they pay off many times over when you can learn from the achievements and failures of your competition.