SEO. PPC campaigns. Content marketing. Your website. Martech. These five elements can catapult you to the upper echelon of your industry or send you clattering back to earth with alarming speed. How will your fate be decided? It may well turn out that it all comes down to how you compare to those brands, and for that, you’re going to need a competitive analysis.
What Is a Competitive Analysis?
A competitive analysis is an ingenious way to see how you stack up (digitally, that is) against your competitors. We scrutinize their strategies and gauge their strengths and weaknesses, and by learning what they’re doing, you discover how to innovate and differentiate your brand so that you can stand out. Being proactive and getting a fresh perspective on the competitive landscape is an invaluable way to hone your entrepreneurial edge.
Why Do We Need It?
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” We’re not saying that your professional competition is necessarily the enemy, but you do have to understand their inner workings to meet them on an even playing field. A competitive analysis helps compare your company to your competition, outlining what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and how you can use that data to develop a plan of attack. Do all that and you leave behind your past as a follower and leapfrog to the head of the pack.
What Is the Value of a Competitive Analysis?
With so much at stake, it’s normal to ask what you’re getting out of a competitive analysis — and psychological rewards aren’t always enough. The good news is that a CA gives you the leverage you need to capture a massive chunk of the market and that almost always translates into increased revenue. As part of that process, you’re also:
- Solidifying your grasp of effective strategies
- Discovering what PPC ideas work without throwing money at faulty campaigns
- Getting inspired by good content and gathering insight into why some blogs, email drips and social posts fail
- Dodging apps and marketing platforms that aren’t suited to your brand’s needs
What Happens If We Don’t Do It?
Some C-level execs and business owners take a few moments to check out the competition’s catalog or stroll through its brick-and-mortar store, but that quick glance isn’t going to give you the information you need to get ahead. Disregard the power of competitive analysis and you’ll never get to meet the brand behind the curtain. And that means no chance to build your business’s foundation on the hard-won mistakes of others, no fast-tracking your success and no pinpointing key vulnerabilities and using those imperfections to spark your own evolution.
In short, when you neglect to get a competitive analysis, you’re doing your organization a major disservice. Don’t make that mistake. Learn how to fuel your strategy with a competitive analysis and convert the resulting information into a marketing plan that makes a lasting impression.