If you’re not certain, or if the last analysis you ran was a quick perusal of a competitor’s website, you’re likely missing out on important intelligence that could help grow your brand and increase sales.
Every company can benefit from regular competitor analysis. By performing a competitor analysis, you’ll be able to:
- Identify gaps in the market
- Develop new products and services
- Uncover market trends
- Market and sell more effectively
How to Identify Your Competition
First, you’ll need to ascertain what companies you’re truly competing with so you can accurately compare the data. Do this by dividing your competitors into two categories: direct and indirect.
Direct competitors are companies that offer a product or service just like yours (or nearly), and operate in your same geographic area.
Indirect competitors are companies that provide products that are not the same but could satisfy the same customer need or solve the same problem.
A good example would be car sales. Direct competitors would be those companies that sell cars. Indirect competitors are those who sell RVs, buses, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles…you get the idea.
Your competitive analysis should only focus on your direct competitors. However, your indirect competitors should stay in your periphery since they could shift and become a direct competitor.
This is also one of the reasons why it’s good to perform an analysis regularly. Markets deviate, and if you’re not aware of these shifts you can miss out on huge opportunities.
So, what do you compare?
Once you accurately identify your competition, it’s good to compare at least three categories: products/services, sales, and marketing.
Analyze your competitor’s complete product line and the quality of the products or services they’re offering.
The sales comparison can be difficult as some of the needed information is hard to get. Persevere, because the data is important.
- sales processes
- sales channels
- distribution channels
- sales programs
- customer type
- sales volume
- purchasing incentives and pricing
- role of salespeople
Knowing this information will help you accurately position your company more competitively.
The quickest way to gauge their marketing efforts is to analyze your competitor’s website. Is it appealing? Informational? Easy to navigate? Is it too much?
If you come across a hearty content archive, they may be finding success from it, so take a deeper look and note the content because it may point (depending on quality) to lead generation strategy.
Chances are the better the website, the better they are converting customers so take note.
Then What’s Next?
When you have a solid understanding of your competitor’s business, sales, and marketing, it’s time to compare their data to yours. From there determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
This is a good place for Verde Martin to step in. By figuring your SWOT, you create the basis for improved marketing tactics and an avenue to accelerate your sales. Call Jill Slupe at (402) 305-6596, and tell her what you learned from your competitive analysis. You’ll be surprised at how many good ideas she’ll have at the start!