Consider how different the online world would be if Mark Zuckerberg had ignored the mistakes that the MySpace guys were making or if the Twitter originators had given up on making SMS for the internet.
So much of internet marketing success depends on competitive marketing analysis. The information it provides has become more crucial for online success than ever.
Rivalries and competition are rapidly becoming a part of the fundamentals for success in the fast-evolving marketing and technology industry. The tenets for success have changed significantly in the recent past, especially when the achievements of titans like Google Facebook and Twitter are considered.
Modern marketing practices for the internet have changed and the older strategies for competitive analysis are not guaranteed to be effective today as they were in the past.
Is Competitive Analysis Essential for Professional Success?
Competition causes you to place a greater emphasis on being perfect within your niche. Success requires strong and robust competition, which is why understanding your competitors is essential for contemporary marketing. In addition, it is difficult to know whether your marketing strategies are producing returns or wasting your marketing budget if you do not have a way to compare and analyze.
Active monitoring of rivals allows you to accomplish two tasks simultaneously in that you improve your understanding of the competition’s tactics while gaining a better understanding of your own weaknesses. Most would agree that it is important to learn where you stand.
Do you need more reasons to employ competitive analysis in your marketing efforts? Consider the following benefits:
- It allows you to learn ways in which you can meet the needs of new and prospective customers.
- It helps you to figure out the size of the market and discern gaps in service and ways to improve that rivals are presently using to their advantage.
- It enables you to find established ways of meeting the market’s needs.
- You get the ability to determine and disseminate your unique value proposition.
- You can find out if your marketing strategies have any value.
- Determining your standing at any point is vital and competitive analysis helps you here as well.
Learn the Secrets to the Competition’s Success
1. How are they filling service gaps?
Predict success or failure via indicators of customer engagement. Figure out the tone of their campaign. A peppy tone signals confidence whereas a serious one suggests practicality. Orthodox styles imply a fear of new things. Look for patterns in behavior such as frequent campaign changes which may indicate failure. If they rarely restructure, the campaign is working as planned.
2. Figure out their approach to acquiring customers
Consider their engagement in social media. How often do they respond with clients? How competent are their social media representatives? Consider less obvious signs of customer acquisition success like discounts offered in celebration of new customers.
3. Are they active on social media? What are their goals?
Find the common purpose behind their efforts on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
4. Identify their unique selling point
Figure out how the competition operates so that you can be more successful than they are. Their unique selling point will provide insight into the client’s customer base.
5. What do you need to know about your rivals?
Your approaches to online vs. local competition should be different. Look for areas where you have an advantage and try to increase it.
Effective Competition Analysis
You can perform competitive analysis from your desk. Consider the following tools:
- Use SEMrush or Ubersuggest to find out which keywords rivals are targeting so that you can beat them at their own game.
- Use SERPs and Positionly to look closely at their rankings.
- Use MajesticSEO or Moz SEO toolbar to keep an eye on their search engine visibility and online reputation.
The checklist below has been extrapolated from Avinash Kaushik’s piece on web data analysis. These are the steps to follow when analyzing your rivals:
1. Go to their website
Note the best and the worst content.
2. Is their customer acquisition strategy any good?
Look closely at direct, traffic and referral sources to find out areas of success or failure.
3. Where are the issues?
Look for problems such as landing pages that perform poorly and bounce rates.
4. Is their content marketing getting results?
Look closely at their content strategy. Pay attention to the content that gets shared socially and what does not.
5. Their marketing budget
You can use AdWords and Facebook PPC or to guess your competitors’ campaign budgets. Additionally, you can compare their campaigns with yours to gain insight.
6. Unknown factors preventing success
Investigate to find what rivals are doing well. Gaps in service, neglected audiences or anything that is helping your competition. Find out what these things are and figure out how to use them.
The Value in Taking Stock of Yourself
As crucial as it is to assess your peers’ performance, it is even more important to look closely at your own. You should remember that the competition will be studying your business and using your ideas so you need to do the same.
It will be very difficult to survive serious competition without competitive market analysis. You can learn a lot even when your competition is going after a different niche. Learn who your fiercest rivals will be or who you or your brand can learn from, and focus on them.