So in your sales conversations with your prospects lately, there is a business that has started to pop up every now and then, let’s call them Commerce convert - a B2B Omnichannel fulfillment company helping retailers optimize their shipping and delivery needs. You don’t know much about them, only that they are trying to get in your lane by doing more deals with your target customers. You want to get to know them and this is where doing a competitor analysis will come in handy.
What is a competitive analysis exactly? A competitive or competitor analysis is a process of identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the marketplace. It helps you critically assess where your brand and product stands vis-a-vis your competitors and what actions you need to take in order to stay competitive. It is a vital piece of your business growth strategy that you cannot afford to ignore.
How to use competitive analysis in marketing
Whether you are developing a product, writing up a sales and marketing plan or developing a GTM strategy (yes they are different and not the same), a well conducted competitive analysis is crucial to understanding the market you will operate in and define your competitive advantage so you can outsmart other players effectively.
Let’s look at how it can help you sell and market more effectively -
Develop and launch your product confidently
Improve Sales Conversations
Spot trends and opportunities
Grow Your Business
1.Product Development and Launch - Looking to formulate a product strategy or a go-to-market plan, competitive analysis can help. Knowing your competitor’s product strengths and weaknesses can not only help improve your own but also help you craft effective messaging. By knowing what technology they are employing, capabilities, features and benefits they offer, you can use competitive intelligence to your advantage. You can develop unique value propositions to appeal to various target customer segments as well as create effective product positioning.
2.Improve Content - Modern buyers spend a lot of time researching technology solutions online before they buy. They like their buying decisions made easy by vendors. Buyer enablement content that you provide at various stages of the buyer’s journey can include vital competitive intelligence that you have identified and analyzed. You can use them in content pieces such as - competitor comparisons, ebooks, videos and social advertising to help them and move them along their purchase decision.
3.Improve Sales Conversations - Competitive insights gained can help improve your sales team have better conversations with your buyers. Whether at a trade show, during a product demo or at any other point of customer interaction, it can help field objections, navigate questions and let buyers know - Why are you better than your competition and why should your prospects consider buying from you. Buyers are looking for your support to help them gain confidence in their decision making and using right intel, you can deliver that.
4.Spot Trends and Opportunities - Observing your competitors moves in terms of their sales and marketing strategies can be extremely beneficial for you. You can know what they are doing well and what they are not. Where they are lagging becomes your opportunity to win. Perhaps it's a new sales or marketing tactic you could be employing today that they aren’t or it's a technology trend they are lagging behind that you could build upon. A detailed analysis can help you identify gaps and meet unmet needs of your customers.
5.Identify Threats - New competitors can come up fast, technology stacks can change quickly, current players can make strategy changes - uncovering threats allows you to adapt your sales, marketing and business plan accordingly. A regularly conducted competitive analysis can help you stay on top so you can continue growing.
6.Grow Your Business - Knowing your competition well can help you guage your brand perception, market share and growth. Taking the example of Commerce Convert from above, if you kept track of what customer’s are saying about their brand and product, hiring and staffing activities, social media activities, pricing strategies and promotions, over a year or a three year period, you can gain valuable insights that can help you with your business decisions.
Sometimes businesses think competitive analysis is a one time effort, but it should not be. Regularly collected competitive intelligence is necessary to become leaders in your industry.