As a business owner or marketer, it is essential to understand your competitors within your industry. Conducting a competitive analysis provides a wealth of information to help you improve your marketing strategy, target audiences, and product development. By identifying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can establish your own competitive advantages and stay ahead of the curve. Here are five steps to effectively conduct a competitive analysis.
1. Identify your competitors
The first step in conducting a competitive analysis is to identify all your competitors. Start with a Google search of your industry and brand terms. Try to find direct competitors, as well as those that offer similar products or services. You can also use industry databases like Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, or Owler to generate a list of competitors with their contact details.
2. Analyze their products, services, and marketing
Once you have your list of competitors, analyze their products, services, and marketing. Look at their website, social media profiles, and advertising to understand their unique selling points, target audiences, offers, and messaging. Evaluate their product features, customer service, pricing, and promotions.
3. Identify their strengths and weaknesses
After analyzing your competitors’ products and marketing, identify their strengths and weaknesses. Try to understand what they are doing well and where they fall short. Assess their customer experience, brand reputation, market share, and sales strategies. Use the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to compare each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and your own.
4. Research their customer feedback and reviews
Customer feedback and reviews are an essential source of information for any competitive analysis. Check online reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Trustpilot. Analyze customer feedback on social media, forums, and blogs. Look for common themes and patterns in customer complaints, praises, and feedback.
5. Create an action plan
After conducting your competitive analysis, create an action plan. Identify your areas of opportunity and decide what steps you can take to improve your marketing, customer experience, and product development. Set achievable goals, such as increasing brand awareness, improving customer satisfaction, or launching a new product line. Use the information you gathered to create a unique selling point that differentiates you from your competitors.
In conclusion, conducting a competitive analysis is a vital step in developing a successful marketing strategy. By identifying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on improving your business and outsmarting your competition. Review your competition regularly to stay up-to-date with new trends, products, or services in your market, and to ensure your competitive edge.