Competitive Analysis Crash Course by@misan-etchie

Competitive Analysis Crash Course

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Competitive Analysis gives businesses the unique ability to understand the ins and outs of how their competition works. It provides them with opportunities and inefficiencies in the aspect of competition they can take advantage of. Staying on top of industry trends in order to make sure your products are leading the competition is important and with well-done competitive analyses, business owners and managers can more easily identify opportunities to innovate, market their companies, improve their products or services, and stand out, despite the competition. The goal of competitive intelligence is simple; gather and curate the information required to identify a line of attack and to create your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.

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Misan Etchie

Misan Etchie is an Experienced Digital Marketer, Content Writer and...

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No business booms in isolation, and neither does any fail. Every founder aiming to share with the world the amazing products they’ve built and solutions they provide must vie for customers with a dozen of other businesses and startups providing the same or similar products.

Competitive Analysis gives businesses the unique ability to understand the ins and outs of how their competition works– it provides them with opportunities and inefficiencies in the aspect of competition they can take advantage of.

Staying on top of industry trends in order to make sure your products are leading the competition is important and with well-done competitive analyses, business owners and managers can more easily identify opportunities to innovate, market their companies, improve their products or services, and stand out, despite the competition. 

Let’s face it, it has become harder for businesses to distinguish themselves and stand out from the crowd.

SaaS companies trying to solve one problem or another have increased rapidly in every industry, with features and functionalities of products offered by competing businesses overlapping.

Businesses providing new and innovative solutions may set themselves apart from their competitors, but with competition being able to innovate or even flat-out copy products, your competitive edge may only last a short while.

In an increasingly blurred and brutal business world, aiming only to provide the best products and features without taking into account your competitors’ failures, successes, and business strategies just won’t cut it, so it is not hard to see why, for many companies, a competitive analysis has become the main focus in operations management.

Keep Your Enemies Close, and Get to Know Them Even Closer

The goal of competitive intelligence is simple; gather and curate the information required to identify a line of attack and to create your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.

Comprehensive market and competitive analysis help businesses establish a solid foundation for effective sales and marketing capitalizing on newly learned information, which helps your company stand out from the crowd.

It is beyond a mere glance at a competitor’s website, products, or social media presence– an effective Competitive Analysis provides a well-rounded strategy that enables businesses to gain market share, fend off competitors and implement more effective business strategies. 

1. Identify Market Gaps

Gaps in markets that would otherwise have been ignored can be pointed out through competitive analysis; this is very important in more established markets where businesses are more likely to target the same demographic, perhaps ignoring a large number of underserved consumers.

By identifying market gaps and missed opportunities and working on them or shifting focus accordingly, businesses can move towards unsaturated markets and increase their market share. 

2. Assess Whether New Products and Services Are Viable

 Competitive analysis is paramount to improving your products and services, especially when done frequently.

Competitive Intelligence gives businesses the chance to have a glance at which of their competitor's products and services already on the market have failed or succeeded; thus, helping businesses determine whether or not their products are competitive in terms of price, capabilities, or quality.

By keeping up with the most recent information about products and services being developed by your competitors, you can assess the viability of a product idea or design a brand-new, cutting-edge product or service employing a different strategy by finding out what your competitors are creating or improving for upcoming product releases.

3. Rate the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Strategy

Analyzing competitors' product development endeavors can be beneficial, so can keeping up with their marketing strategies.

A thorough grasp of your ideal consumer, the market and your competitors, your product offering and price, and the channels you need to use to reach them are required for developing a successful Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.

Understanding market dynamics through competitive analysis enables you to choose the best strategy for connecting with your target audience. 

Finding out how your business and your product fit into the present climate also benefits from analyzing your market and your competitors.

One misconception about competitive analysis is that it is simply conducted for business decisions like duplicating a company’s products or finding out how your business and your product fit into the present climate.

However, implementing the full potential of competitive analysis helps businesses develop high-impact Go-to-Market (GTM) strategies.

A thorough grasp of your ideal consumer, the market and your competitors, your product offering and price, and the channels you need to use to reach them is required for developing a successful GTM strategy. 

Understanding market dynamics through competitive analysis enables you to choose the best strategy for connecting with your target audience. 

The Future of  Competitive Analysis

Manual competitive analysis consists of a series of daunting tasks that can sometimes be extremely difficult and time-consuming, and as competitive gets heightened in every industry, it's only going to get worse.

Here’s where Competitive Analysis Software comes in– Competitive intelligence software automates the entire process of competition analysis thus, allowing businesses to help get an edge over competitors with a lot more ease and in less time

1. Saves Time and Labor

Every company, whether big or small, has a digital footprint as well as a suite of public-facing information.

This ranges from company-created content; blogs, videos, and tweets hosted on its official website and social pages, to content that is relevant to the business’ structure, performance, and operations posted publicly, such as news mentions, user forums, staff evaluations, financials, etc.

Performing Competitive Analysis would mean wasted time engaging in the gruesome manual tasks of searching the latest news about your competitors, analyzing marketing materials, watching video after video, or reading each and every article published about your competitor.

By automating the intake of marketing material, having reliable CI software that serves as a competitor monitor can considerably reduce the effort needed.

2. Identifies Industry Trends that Would’ve Otherwise Been Missed

Apart from wasting time and labor that businesses could use to perform more important tasks, manual competitive analysis makes it virtually impossible, or at least difficult, to efficiently and properly centralize and organize any and all information collated.

With powerful CI software, businesses can better connect disparate data points, spot industry trends, and patterns over time, and formulate informed predictions.

Because of this, you and your operations team are far more likely to be caught off guard by significant occurrences like product launches, mergers, and acquisitions by your competition.

Your CI tool will help detect trends developing in real time and also greatly simplify the process of finding patterns by centralizing and organizing the information it collates automatically, reducing the possibility of surprises.

3. Better Results from Better Integration

Powerful Competitive Analysis tools give you the unique ability to integrate your insights and results into your peers’ existing workflows.

Rather than housing insights in Google Drive or a Word document, for example, most CI software has integration features with workflows such as Salesforce, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, which other colleagues are already using; these integrations are useful as they eliminate the impossible task of having to convince co-workers to adopt an entirely new workflow.

The right integrations to the right software tools already used by your team make much-needed competitive intelligence readily available amongst your colleagues, and adoption more seamless.

4. AI-Powered Intel

 With the use of automation and technology to make competitive analysis more effective, it’s not hard to see the next phase of Competitive Analysis; Artificial Intelligence.

Legacy methods of performing competitive analysis are a daunting set of processes, even when made easier by software. Here’s where AI comes in– Artificial intelligence is a game changer in Competitive Intelligence.

Intelligent algorithms, for instance, can be trained to spot patterns in data and forecast outcomes, or they might be configured to combine the data analysis of information from several sources.

AI can come into play in different ways;

1. Forecasting: This is described as the process of creating competitive intelligence forecasts and predictions, based on historical events by combining available data with machine learning algorithms.

2. Market profiling: The process of collating information on competitors and their products and services in order to get a competitive edge.

3. Pattern Recognition: Artificial Intelligence’s ability to sort through enormous amounts of data to discover competitive patterns and trends.

Despite the fact that some of the information used by Competitive Analysis systems might have been obtained using pre-existing content scraping methods, artificial intelligence technologies are able to comprehend the meaning and content of the data they collate, transforming them into useful insights.

With AI, we cannot only collate data from a variety of sources but also interpret what is written and convert the data into crucial insights.

Regular and proper competitive analysis is key as entire industries become more and more saturated and with each player and every player’s unique feature and competitive edge starting to look like basic features, as they are copied by competitors.

Business operations and strategies led by competitive intelligence have proven to be absolute game changers; therefore, regularly comparing your company with its competitors will help you identify chances that can enhance your products and services, better serve your target market, and boost your company’s profitability. 

Understanding one's competitors enable one to stand out from the pack, concentrate on underserved market opportunities, choose the services to provide, discover the best techniques to use, and separate the worst players and their strategies.

Businesses simply do not operate in isolation, so it’s important that you employ a competitive analysis in order to assess the current market and where you are in relation to your competitors.

With that information, you may make changes to reposition your business for long-term success.

When looking for good Competitive Intelligence software, businesses tend to implement those that address all business needs– What are they building? What are they saying? Who are they hiring? But often forget to add ease of use as well as time and labor saving to their checklists.

The benefits artificial intelligence brings to the table cannot be overemphasized.

AI presents another path and, with the right data, is able to do all tasks on your behalf;  identify opportunities and threats that exist in your industry with greater accuracy than humans.

Businesses currently use AI to help them make future predictions. 

Humans would typically overlook trends and patterns in data, but AI can find them. This enables businesses to base their judgments on information they didn't know existed.

Also, the fact that your competitors will have to spend a lot of time and money catching up to your AI-powered competitive intelligence activities if they don't use AI, makes it even better.

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