Many business leaders understand the value that comes from delving into the details regarding your top industry competitors. The insights you can draw from a competitive analysis range from usability improvements to customer opinion. And yet, you might not know where to begin when utilizing competitive analytics in your marketing strategy.
Fortunately, this valuable process — enhanced by big data and artificial intelligence — makes for a simplified and more transparent campaign. You can employ competitive analytics in your own approach by integrating the following strategies into your marketing endeavors.
Here’s how to utilize competitive analytics for greater success.
1. Define clear goals and competitors
Before you can derive actionable insights from competitor data, you need a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, as well as which competitors you’ll be analyzing. This process starts by setting definitive business goals that should result from the analysis.
Business analytics is a toolbox of statistical processes that can be easy to get lost in without expertise and know-how. Many companies employ professional analysts who are trained in completing competitive research and communicating their recommendations from the analysis. Regardless of how you go about initializing a competitive analysis, you have to begin with definitive goals that you can track success.
Some examples of these goals include:
- Identify one area where you have or might have an advantage over competitors.
- Forecast and leverage industry trends to boost revenues by 2%.
- Develop a 3% lead over your top competitor in a fiscal year.
To complete any clear, measurable marketing goal, however, you need to have a point of reference. Your competitors serve as that point of reference in a competitive analysis. By tracking their progress, actions, and achievements, you can evaluate your success within a market segment. From here, you can better position marketing campaigns to leverage competitor gaps and flaws.
Identify your top competitors in your industry or local market. Then, thoroughly research their market share to better craft your approach to business. But what data should you focus on in a competitive analysis?
2. Investigate important data
To utilize competitive analytics, you’ll need access to important competitor data points. Luckily, you won’t have to do anything shady to gain this information. Instead, it’s pretty easy to track down industry metrics that reveal the performance of your top competitors without engaging in illicit stakeouts.
Conducting a competitive analysis requires accumulating some of the following information. Here’s what to look for and how to find it:
First, start with the content your competitors put out there to the public. Regardless of your industry, this will likely include a website. Use these public tools to assess competitor usability, ranking functionality, feel, and design. From here, you can get a better idea of improving your products and platforms.
Next, go through competitor platforms, products, and services, taking inventory of every point of value for their business. Value propositions include points of parity, difference, and irrelevance that compare your offerings with a competitor’s. Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Ads to measure value points like marketing attribution, then evaluate areas for improvement.
Finally, gauge customer opinion of competitors by hearing exactly what they have to say verbatim. This means interviews and surveys of competitor customers to learn the value they see in another brand. These insights will allow you to assess exactly what your competitors are offering customers that might lead them to choose your business. Fortunately, social media polling, outreach tools, and email marketing make gauging these opinions easier.
From competitor platform usability to their customer’s opinions, valuable data is out there for you to analyze. With insights from this data, you can produce actionable strategies for improving your marketing. All it takes is transforming that data into business intelligence that can be communicated and acted on across a venture.
3. Turn data into intelligence
This brings us to our final strategy for utilizing competitive analytics in marketing: turning data into intelligence. Intelligence informs everything a marketing department will do, their strategy and tactics, from the long-term business plan to the day-to-day actions taken to get there. By producing business intelligence, leaders can maximize the potential of marketing.
Fortunately, modern technology makes cultivating intelligence from raw data easier than ever. Cloud data services and more allow us unprecedented transparency. From here, information systems and AI assistants make applying competitor data into actionable insights more accessible.
For instance, you can use predictive analytics to evaluate competitor strategy. This is highly effective in everything from assessing the competitiveness of a keyword to predicting when web traffic might be at risk of decline due to other players in the market. Employed in marketing strategy, this is another way to cultivate value-boosting intelligence.
Then, communicate that intelligence through narratives, images, and graphics, that your marketing team can understand and act on. Data is only intelligence if you can communicate it.
Competitive analytics are valuable to any marketing strategy. Our modern economy is packed with companies looking for ways to get ahead, but data gives you the facts. Start by defining your goals, then investigate important data and transform that raw information into intelligence.
Your marketing strategy can be enhanced through the power of competitive analytics. However, it will take some expertise and efficiencies on your part. Follow these tips to better implement analytics in your marketing campaigns.
This guest blog article was written by Noah Rue, a freelance writer who is fascinated with the world of search engine optimization, marketing, and social media.