Julie Petersen is a language tutor, blogger and writer, who features the latest marketing trends in her articles. She works as a writing expert and a blog editor at Essaymama writing agency.
6 min. read
Updated October 29, 2023
Competitive analysis has become an essential part of business marketing activity and has made it possible to perform qualitative strategic planning. While analyzing your competitors, you should know what you are looking for and how it can help your business.
It is not about stealing your competitor’s ideas; it’s about revealing their strengths and weaknesses, and finding your own company’s competitive advantages. Only unique brand positioning will eventually bring your company customer loyalty and business success.
If you’ve wondered what your competitors are up to, that shows you’re thinking strategically and want to have confidence in your own company’s approach. There are plenty of ways to check on your competition that are totally above-board.
A great way to learn about who your competitors are and what they offer is by attending professional conferences and trade shows. You need to go to these types of conventions and visit your competitor’s booths and see how they interact with customers, have a look at their product quality offerings, and how customers pick up literature and information from them.
Companies that are publicly held will need to file reports with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission or the equivalent in your country. It is also a good idea to have a look at Environmental Protection Agency files, the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as local planning commissions. These industry files will be able to tell you quite a bit of information about your competitors like their new products and building expansions.
You are able to reveal hidden pages by doing a simple Google search through a “file type: doc site; company name.” You are able to find data presentations by changing the file type and you will be surprised at how much information you will be able to find.
You should also visit your competitor’s actual website, but you can take this a step further through tools that are supplied by Google or relate to Google and AdWords campaigns.
You can use:
SEO is one of the easiest areas of competitive marketing analysis as you are able to use many tools to examine your website and where it falls with others.
You will need to look at in terms of your site and your competitors:
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Nowadays, it is a company’s ability to track, monitor, and engage on various social media platforms which will help determine success. You need to use both measurable and written marketing analysis to be informed about key areas of your competition.
The value that your company provides through content marketing can be its differentiator if you do it well. It can be difficult to accurately measure the value of content marketing, but by taking into account a few factors you can glean some insight into how well your content and that of your competitors is performing:
Sign up on your competitor’s website for their newsletter or email list, so that you are able to receive communications from them. You can inspect their emails with these factors in mind:
If you want to gain a comprehensive report of the players in your industry, then conduct a survey. You can hire someone to email the competitor’s customers, suppliers, employers, or partners with questions about their services. You will then be able to find out how you can differentiate your service from the competition.
You could hire employees from competing firms and team up with competitor’s partners. You are then able to find out how these companies operate and what they will be doing next.
You can learn a lot by looking at the type of jobs openings your competitors have and the requirements they are looking for. This will probably tell you a lot about their company structure, and its projects.
It sounds like a long shot, but once you have done all the research, you can actually just call your competitors and ask your questions. You’d be surprised at how many companies will tell you at least some of what you want to know.