Competitive analysis is often an overlooked marketing tool, but it’s one that every marketer should have in his or her arsenal. Being able to continuously review the information you’ve gained gives you an edge over the very competition you’re analyzing. Why? Because many companies are so strapped for time and resources that they spend it all on developing their own marketing strategies.
This is a huge mistake. While, yes, it’s important to brainstorm and build upon your own ideas – after all, you want to bring something uniquely you to consumers – avoiding the successes and failures of your competition sets you back. There’s a lot you can learn from other businesses in your niche.
In addition to helping you see what has worked and not worked for your competitors in terms of marketing, there are a few other (less obvious) ways competitive analysis benefits your business. Here are five surprising reasons to implement competitive analysis within your marketing strategy.
Discover What Successful Competitors Are NOT Doing
It’s easy during competitive analysis to focus solely on all the things other businesses in your field are doing to gain leads, but what about what the successful ones aren’t doing? Determine this, and you’ve unlocked a secret to their success.
Think about it this way. Successful companies have done their research concerning target personas, and have found what works. If they’re purposely avoiding one or more marketing platforms, there’s probably a good reason.
Maybe they sell kids toys and have learned through trial and error that parents of young children don’t participate in some of the newer, hipper social media sites. So, the business cuts those sites from their marketing strategy in order to streamline their efforts and save money.
Unlock Powerful Keywords
We all know that even the most amazing web content will never be found without the implementation of an effective SEO strategy. To accomplish this, you need to use the best keywords possible, ones that will significantly impact your search engine ranking.
With competitive analysis, you can easily find which keywords seem to be yielding the best results from your competition and then, well, we won’t say steal them…but, you get the idea.
Find Results-Driven Patterns in Content
We would never encourage you to copy another business’s content, but doing a competitive analysis helps you identify patterns in content that really drive results. These patterns – whether in format, style, tone, or graphic effects – give you ideas on how to incorporate similar patterns into your own content.
Do your most successful competitors write in a witty tone? Maybe that style resonates with their target audience, and consequently, with your target audience. Or perhaps the competition uses a lot of videos to portray their message. Say, one every other day? There’s a pattern you can replicate in your own messaging.
Uncover Industry Perception
Sure it’s important to understand how your business stacks up against your competitors — all the better to stand out from the pack right? — but it can be equally as important to understand the larger industry as a whole.
It may seem counterintuitive to lump yourself in with the companies you’re actually going against, but when you start to understand how consumers perceive your industry as a whole, you can start to formulate a marketing plan that highlights the positive aspects of that perception, while leaving the negative aspects behind.
Imagine, for example, that your business is a call center service. When consumers hear ‘call center,’ they think long wait times, brash customer service, and just general frustration. By understanding how customers feel about call centers in general, you can highlight the positive aspects of your own service — short wait times and excellent customer service — to position yourself ahead of your competitors.
Make it Happen!
Competitive analysis has several benefits to your business’s marketing efforts, some of which you probably never considered. Keep these key benefits in mind the next time you think about skipping competitive analysis:
- Knowing what not to do
- Finding powerful keywords
- Discovering patterns in content
- Opening a partnership opportunity
- Planting a merger or acquisition seed
The bottom line? Think outside the box when evaluating your competition’s strengths and weaknesses. You never know what you may find.