Whether you want to conquer a new market, promote a young brand or rethink your marketing strategy, competitive analysis is necessary.
Here we will decipher the deployment of competitive intelligence focused on digital channels.
Discover five essential tips for carrying out a constructive digital analysis.
To Know Others Well, You Must First Understand Yourself
It may seem obvious, but exploring your competitive sphere requires, first of all, to analyze your offer.
It will be easier to position yourself if you sell products or offer services in a narrow market niche.
Conversely, having an extensive range of services and products expands your research spectrum even more.
To conduct a practical competitive analysis, you have to know what you are looking for. Create lists of potential competitors based on your activities or products.
Once you advance in your competitive analysis, you can update these lists and choose which player deserves more in-depth monitoring. On the other hand, there is sometimes a significant gap between what we believe and what we are.
Total objectivity is not a quickly adopted posture for a marketer or an entrepreneur! To know yourself well, it is essential to take a step back in your business to answer questions such as: “What is my brand story?”, “Why am I in business?”, “Do I want to obtain or maintain a leadership position?”, “What is the added value of what I offer?”.
Organize Your Analysis
This advice may seem obvious or academic, but a competitive analysis will only be successful if applicable to you.
Arm yourself with a spreadsheet, a white sheet, or a flipchart and build a precise protocol for your competitive exploration.
You must first determine what you want to know about your competitors: do you want to analyze their website traffic, seek information on their audience, or even know the keywords they use in their strategy? SEO?
Would you like to observe their brand tone in Search ads, social media presence, or referral link sources?
After determining this critical information, proceed with the point-by-point analysis noting the “+” and “-” of each competitor for each criterion.
Thanks to this rigor, you will have the best overview of your market and the most nuanced view of the strategic avenues to take.
Compartmentalize The Analysis By Channel
The competition is not the same depending on the ecosystem it operates. A common mistake is to focus your competitive intelligence on competitors you know from a global business point of view.
Indeed, each organization makes its own marketing choices. Maybe your primary competitor in physical sales has chosen little or little to deploy its sales efforts on the internet?
In the same vein, some so-called pure-player companies only sell online. As you can see, your competition is not (always) the same in the online and offline markets.
The distinction does not end there. The players and their strategies will differ depending on the channel or network observed within the digital system itself.
For example, some competitors may have a dominant position in SEA but be barely visible in SEO.
Still, others may seem very low on SEO, as they are putting all their efforts into social media or display.
As for any other research work, the organization is essential for competitive analysis. So think about classifying your research information according to digital channels.
Rely On Concrete Figures
In digital more than elsewhere, we benefit from a crazy chance that should not be neglected: the measurability of actions.
Indeed, tracking and analytical tools make it possible to measure many events and quantify them. Impressions, clicks, views, click-through rate, conversion rate, time spent on the page, visit of an URL, cart abandonment …
Of course, in the context of a competitive analysis, you will not have access to all the figures of the players in your sector, especially those related to turnover or margin.
However, you can access helpful information to learn more about your competition.
For example, Google Trends allows you to measure the level of interest in a particular topic throughout the year. You can compare the “curiosity rate” caused by each of your competitors or detect seasonality on one of their flagship products.
Similar Web’s solution goes further in the analysis since it reveals valuable tactical information on competitors’ marketing strategies.
You can observe many KPIs ( traffic volume, traffic share by channel, number of pages per visit, bounce rate, etc. ) and follow their evolution over time.
By examining the performance of your competitors, you will be able to understand their approach better, and you will also be able to anticipate the results of your marketing efforts.
Never Forget The Essential
There are several stages in building a digital marketing strategy, and competitive analysis is significant.
But the main thing ( and what is here both the last word and a voluntary putting into the perspective of the previous advice ) remains to never lose sight of the sine qua non condition for your company’s success: to satisfy the need of your target.
Indeed, any competitive benchmark must aim to move towards this objective and be the starting point for new or corrective actions.
So, are you ready for concrete and valuable competitive analysis?