While companies take competitive analysis reviews individually, there is an urgent need for such review performances in the new normal we are all bound to.
Competitive analysis embraces flexible means of marketing research. Compared to consumer analysis, it is far more time-and-resource efficient. That is why it won’t take much of your corporate budget.
In this article, we will unveil a step-by-step plan, competitor analysis definitions, and feasible suggestions we use to perform competitive analysis for our clients along with Iryna Pikalova, the Senior Brand Strategist at Promodo.
Competitive Analysis at Stake
In times of crises and force majeure circumstances, the results of competitive analysis in marketing ensure enhanced decision-making needed to intensify strategic corporate advantages, pass through the road bumps under the company’s growth, and leverage consumer loyalty.
FIRST STAGE: SETTING UP RESEARCH GOALS
Overall, competitor analysis helps to reveal:
- Price-setting approaches applied by the competitors;
- Strong and weak product categories managed by the competitors;
- Traffic engagement channels used by the competitors; and
- Consumer services offered by the competitors.
At PROMODO we performed competitor analysis with Censydiam Marketing Tool to analyze consumer motivation, reveal best-fit communication channels, and make strategic decisions about product positioning.
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A competitive environment analysis will benefit you as an essential benchmark to make informed business decisions.
Be sure to act now if you are serious about arranging more product categories, adding up new services, setting promotional budgets, and reaching out to market expansion by deeper engagement with your competitor’s consumers in 2023 and beyond.
SECOND STAGE: REVEALING RIVALS
This is the hardest part because in most cases business companies balance between “they are our competitors all around” and “we are special and free of competition.”
While, in theory, both scenarios are possible, the down-to-earth approach and empirical experience prove the opposite. Consumers always enjoy the freedom of choice: it may not necessarily be in your favor, but rather in favor of a similar or substitute product instead.
We have come up with several suggestions you may use to identify your rivals.
CHOOSE SEVERAL BASELINE METRICS TO ANALYZE YOUR COMPETITORS
We suggest applying two main indicators.
Primarily, your business experience is essential while you are perfectly aware of your major competitor.
The second criterion is a quantitative measurement. You should analyze the average traffic flow on your competitors’ websites, the number of physical stores, and their market share. It is vital to analyze the same criteria for every single competitor on a case-to-case basis.
In 2020, PROMODO explored the case of Infoshina for How a market leader can maintain the dynamics of growth?
ENGAGE THIRD PARTIES TO GET THE MOST OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT
Oftentimes a company’s business experience disables it from assessing main competitors objectively. We suggest engaging your prime referrals to ask about the market players they trust most, their purchasing, and user experiences. As part of the follow-up evaluation, it is important to know why they use competitor products instead of yours.
The second and most effective approach is to ask your consumers directly. You may arrange a short questionnaire and add it to your email list, or manage a relative social media poll. In either case, do not focus on the representation effect: as a major takeaway here, you are to recognize your current and potential rivals.
IDENTIFY UP TO 10 MARKET COMPETITORS
Is it necessary to analyze all your market competitors? While estimated players will determine your anticipations, you should compare your business performance with 5-to-10 rivals.
The use of Myk Pono’s Competitive Analysis Framework will help you stand out from your competitors.
The more saturated your market niche is, the more rivals you should analyze. While doing competitor research, focus on 10 major players. Let the first three lead in brand awareness, market share, and traffic share categories, while the following 4-5 will be your closest rivals, and the last 2-3 will involve new entrants or the least influential players.
Competitive market analysis will immediately spotlight market leaders. On this background, you will further grasp trending shifts of your target audience, your closest rivals, and the means they use to win new consumers. In their turn, new and the least influential players will offer non-conventional and unique approaches.
THIRD STAGE: ANALYZING COMPETITORS
Promodo cases are feasible to analyze four approaches to competitor analysis.
Let’s work this approach out by analyzing how digital banks are billed.
Step 1: Market Players and Products Subject to Comparison
As part of the competitor comparison, we have chosen five banks that lack physical departments and offer bankcard products with credit limits.
Step 2: Comparison Criteria
While analyzing competitors, we have relied on consumer research data. In this pursuit, you are free to apply your internal analytics, poll consumers, or opt for the best-fit criteria empirically.
Step 3: Analysis of Compound Data
Previous analysis indicated that card maintenance and the related free-of-charge services have come as a must-have for all the analyzed banks.
If you are up to comparing other rates, we suggest making up a «legend» and setting proper conditions to compare market players objectively. For instance, on a monthly basis, you may select ten operations for each criterion, where half will come at the lowest rate while the other half will come at the highest rate accordingly.
The Case of Compiled Data Analysis
Price setting analysis will let you:
- Understand your market position among the competitors;
- Spot your strengths and weaknesses compared to the competitors;
- Focus on must-haves that are not unique to your targeted audiences;
- Comprehend competitor approaches to price setting.
ANALYSIS OF PRODUCT CATEGORIES
The tactic best suits competitor analysis online, while it is much harder to gather competitors’ product categories offline. Let’s view this approach by analyzing brand (producer) representation on competitor websites.
We suggest using Parsers to analyze competitors:
- Select competitors, product categories, and relevant measurements (i.e. either the overall assortment of products or only those currently available);
- Do data parsing; and
- Analyze and compare the results with the data available on your website.
The Collected Data Per Branded Products Available On Competitor Websites
The importance of the approach is that it lets you compare your company with the competitors, spot major weaknesses, and focus on the product categories and producers you should add to your assortment. We suggest this approach whenever you need to analyze your online demand. You will need these analytics to compare competitor assortment with actual demand.
COMPETITOR TRAFFIC ANALYSIS
We suggest using SimilarWeb to analyze competitor websites, and Data.ai to analyze competitor mobile apps.
Step 1: Select your competitors and analyze their performance with SimilarWeb or Data.ai
At this stage focus on:
(1) General traffic dynamics on the competitor websites (incl. rising and falling tendencies over respective periods); and
(2) Target audience engagement indicators (i.e. page views, time spent on the website, and bounce rates).
Step 2: Traffic Engagement Channels
Analyze every channel per overall traffic engaged by your competitors, as well as the channel’s peaking periods.
Step 3: Website Audience Analysis
Compare your website visitors to the audiences engaged by your competitors, including
- Avatar of your target audience (region, age, gender, etc.);
- A share of new and returning visitors;
- Audience crossing (the number of users that visited your webpage, though have turned to the competitor’s one within 24 hours).
Website audience analysis will help you to:
- See traffic shares among the competitors and determine market leaders;
- Spot major traffic engagement channels and promotional strategies used by the competitors, and
- Identify audience crossings among the market players.
COMPETITOR SERVICE ANALYSIS
The approach is adaptable to the vast array of needs ranging from standard services analysis (including delivery and payment terms) to package offers of services and functions of competitor mobile apps.
Step 1: Select the competitors to analyze
Competitor service analysis should involve a vast array of market players. For this purpose, you may additionally select a market or category benchmark, or even add up a foreign market player.
Step 2: Template Design
Before gathering competitor data, make sure to cover all the criteria and apply all the available services needed to do a comparative analysis.
Step 3: Data Mining
Identify main sources and data-mining approach. You are free to use anything from the official websites of your competitors to their social media pages, Google maps, and user feedback. You may also contact your competitors on the phone and clarify their currently available services and rates.
Step 4: Data Analysis and Data Processing
We classify all services into three categories here:
- Must-have services used by all market players;
- Growth points — services provided by a sheer minority of market players, which suggests a minor comparative advantage;
- Unique services — outstanding services with unique features used by competitors to win more consumers.
Competitor service analysis will help you to
- Acknowledge your market positioning from the service standpoint;
- Set priorities for service implementation; and
- Find growth points to understand which services help your competitors diversify.
FOURTH STAGE: RESULT PROCESSING AND SCORINGS
To keep everything at hand, you should eventually finalize the analysis results.
FREE SWOT Analysis & SCORING Templates By PROMODO
Once you have opted for the Scoring method, mark every analysis criterion with a relevant score, where 1 will stand for the best result among market players, whereas 10 will mark the worst possible result. Sum up the results and check out your market position.
While Scoring will not tell you what you should do next, it will serve as an objective measurement of a current situation as is. With the use of these data, you will be able to plan your future actions and set priorities way more rationally.
While making your products, services, and customized services stand out, always mind approaches used by the competitors within your niche.
In due process, pay attention to every single aspect: from new product launches to ways of strategic planning and marketing.
The highlighted approaches in this article will help benefit you. Apply these methods all at once or mix them up as the case may be.
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