Being aware of your position within your respective market can be an invaluable asset for any business. A professional competitor analysis is the means by which organizations can gather information and insight into their competitors, and become more educated with respect to their strengths and weaknesses. It can provide awareness of crucial factors, such as customer ranking, social media utilization, product placement, and more.
Yet a surprising number of businesses only perform a formal competitor analysis in the early days and months of their conception. Or too often companies will replace a professional competitor analysis with a casual version, something along the lines of perusing a competitor’s social media feed a few times per week, or checking a competitor’s landing page every once in a while for updates on products and services.
This lax approach can hinder businesses in myriad ways, particularly when it is incumbent upon organizations to have a clear vision of exactly where they stand in several key areas. Without frequent professional competitor analysis, businesses cannot plan appropriate strategies that will better serve and impact their decisions, and secure their market sustainability.
A competitor analysis should be performed routinely, and a quarterly review is ideal to stay on track with respect to market fluctuations, new marketing campaigns, and customer rankings. A quarterly competitor analysis is the mechanism by which your business can stay one step ahead.
Key Advantages and Insights that a Quarterly Competitor Analysis can Provide
Businesses must have a means to develop effective competitive strategies in their target market. Possessing clarity about a competitor’s market activities can help companies to execute strategies quickly and decisively based on up to date information.
A competitor analysis is able to track such a large quantity and variety of data that it enables businesses to formulate a strategy quickly before their product or service loses momentum. But this is only applicable if the analysis is conducted in a timely manner, and with regularity. Given the rapid pace of an accelerating market, and the fluidity of social media and customer preferences, it’s best to consider a quarterly approach.
In addition to identifying a competitor’s strengths and weakness, a quarterly competitor analysis can help businesses with the following:
- It can illuminate how much of your business strategies overlap, and in which areas.
- It can assist you in the development and modification of your products and services.
- You can learn how your competitor is selling their products or services, and what exactly they’re offering to customers.
- Likewise, it can keep you up to date with any changes in their products and services by tracking their website, sales, and social media posts.
- It can identify exactly where a competitor’s SEO content is classified on various search engines, and which keywords they are targeting.
- It can reveal where your competitor’s current position is within the market.
- It can help businesses narrow down areas for improvement based on what their competitors are doing successfully.
- It can examine their social media integration, determining which platforms are most responsive and successful.
- You can learn about a competitor’s objectives. For example, your direct competitor might be looking to build a premium clientele base, or expand their marketing reach with more assertive marketing campaigns.
- It can provide information about an entire sector of the market, or pinpoint an individual, close competitor.
- It can help you discover where your competitor’s are located, and which of these geographical locations contribute the most towards their market grip.
- It reveals customer sentiments about your competitor’s brand, services, and products.
Questions that a Quarterly Competitor Analysis can Answer
Based on the results of your competitor analysis, your business can begin to formulate questions that are helpful in gaining answers to both short and long term strategies. A solid business plan requires an in-depth self-evaluation, and the ability to answer questions about all the aspects of your position against competitors in your specific industry.
With a quarterly timeframe, these questions can be examined in the context of current news events, wavering market conditions, industry variations, and any new competition that arises. Organizations are more prepared to adapt any marketing plans, business strategies, and customer responses if they are aware of current happenings with competitors in their market.
The following questions are useful to ponder when partaking of a professional quarterly competitor analysis:
- Which of your business’s competitors are direct competition, and which are indirect?
- How will you go about designing a plan to differentiate your organization from your competitors?
- What sector of the market is your competition targeting?
- Is your direct competition growing their product or service range, or are they cutting back on all operations?
- How will your company adapt if your competitor drops out of the market? Conversely, how will you change your tactics if new competition enters the market?
- How can you raise the stakes in your marketing strategy if your competitor is winning over a shared customer base?
- Which products or services is your organization willing to modify based upon the successes and failures of a competitor’s sales figures of similar products and services?
Quarterly Competitor Analysis for Strategic Operations
Staying relevant in your current market is the cornerstone for all successful business models. Improving your business’s operations, product or service range, customer service, marketing reach, or social media game helps you stay one step ahead of your competition. Understanding exactly which of these elements is working for your competitors, and which are not, is vital to refining your own business strategies for the enhancement and advancement of your organization.
– Research Optimus