This is a blog by Mark Verzijl, Consultant at Sciential.
As a marketer, personally I am a huge fan of believing in and relying on your own strengths. Being you makes you authentic and it is hard to copy a company's DNA. I also dedicated one of my daily posts to branding from the inside out versus from the outside in. Regardless of the strategy, it is useful to always keep an eye on your competitors. Below, I will discuss four points of analysis that I think are useful to dive into.
𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐥 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬
If you objectively want to see how popular you are in relation to your competitors, you should track brand name searches. Keyword tools can precisely tell you how often prospects are searching for your brand name in Google. And obviously, how often they search on your competitors' names. This can be benchmarked and tracked overtime to see how this active brand awareness develops.
𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠
Another popularity indicator is website traffic. There are several tools and Chrome extensions out there that give you a good estimate of the number of website visitors. When a competitor significantly increases in website visitors, they will probably also grow in the number of leads/sales (given that their conversion rates will be maintained). It can also give you insights into how well competitors are capitalizing on market opportunities or seasonality.
𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐔𝐒𝐏𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
A third tip is to monitor your competitors' communication. What do they say on their website? What USPs and propositions do they highlight in their ads? Analyzing all of this gives you a good indication of their positioning and whether they focus on points of parity or points of difference. Based on this, you could design your marketing offensively or defensively.
𝐒𝐞𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠
Another point of analysis should be your competitors' target audience. This provides you with a clear inside into whether you are fishing in the same pond and to what extent that audience has already been exposed to similar messages. Based on this information (and also the insights on their messaging) you can consider refining your messaging to distinguish yourself.