You’ve probably guessed from our writing that we strongly believe that strategy should drive marketing. For us, strategy is derived from opportunities or challenges that exist in the marketplace, formed around a handful of key areas that matter to the consumer. It’s a brand’s reason for going to market. And frankly, a well-drafted strategy, for the most part, should not be built solely around one variable, like what the competition is up to, but several insights. Translation – do not conceive a strategy of zigging just because your competition is zagging.
With that said, competition could be one of those variables if insight deems it to be warranted and meaningful. And such insight around your competition is much more than scanning your competition’s social channels or glancing at their website. It’s diving deep to understand their products, sales and marketing strategies. With this data, you’re able to create a strategy that leaps ahead of those competitors, allowing you to learn from their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
At Morgan & Co., this is a key step in creating a marketing strategy that we don’t take lightly. It’s critical for us to understand our client’s competitors to identify opportunities within our proposed campaigns. We can identify how competitors approach a market, and what holes or solutions they are failing to address for consumers. We can evaluate how such efforts in the marketplace create opportunities for your brand and could generate leads. We can also better understand niche industry trends to keep our client’s brand relevant and outsell competitors with their unique selling proposition.
Our team has developed a custom workflow to complete a competitive analysis for our clients. Here is an overview of how we gather and interpret important data:
Start by identifying your current competitors. Ask yourself what other companies offer the same product or service that you do in the location that you conduct business in, and what customer needs are they overlooking to create a space for your brand. While there may be another brand offering the same products or services as you do, odds are they aren’t doing it well and have ignored a significant space in the community.
Analyze the competition’s products and services in terms of features, value, and targets. How do your competitor’s sell their wares? What is their price point, and do they offer sales or discounts? Why would a customer go for their services? How much market share do they have and what’s the market like now? Is it growing? Inevitably competitors might not be in tune with the marketplace, creating a unique opportunity for your strategy to thrive.
It’s time to dive into how a competitor markets their brand and products. Reviewing their website offers information such as if they have a blog, media kit, case studies, and an overview their current campaign and brand promise. You can also better understand their content strategy, such as how in-depth the information is, what kind of video and imagery they are using and what their calls-to-action are.
Since this analysis is to capitalize on their shortcoming for the benefit of your marketing strategy, we must look at how they’re promoting their marketing content. Using competitive research tools, we can review any ALT text tags, relevant keywords and ranking, PPC ad copies, assess page strength, backlinks, and more. As you learn what social channels they are focusing on, take note of their posting frequency, engagement and virality, and type of content being posted. These details will help understand how they interact with their prospective customers.
Conducting a competitive analysis is an essential step for every successful brand, and is critical information needed when creating a marketing strategy. Understanding and applying the insights gained from a competitive analysis will help you identify the opportunities or unaddressed customer needs that your brand’s strategy can take advantage of. If you’re ready to better understand your competitors, in an effort to strengthen your strategy, contact Morgan & Co. today. Our team has the experience and skills to read between the lines and translate data into applicable strategies.