How to Complete a Competitor Analysis Report (Part IV)
The following is the fourth article of a 6-part series aimed at guiding you through conducting a complete competitor analysis report. In this article you’ll learn how to evaluate your competitors’ marketing and messaging strategy and how you can use the data to target new demographics. You may follow along by downloading the complimentary competitor analysis template.
In the next part of your competitive analysis, you’ll analyze your competition’s marketing and messaging. First, take a look at their key demographics and how they speak to them by including the messaging and taglines directly from their website. If you observe a change in messaging or marketing strategy since the last time you’ve analyzed them, note what they’ve changed and look for reasons why they’ve made these updates.
Next, analyze the place element of their marketing mix. Who are their customers? To determine who your competition’s customers are, you can perform a social media analysis of your competitors.
Review the list of your competitors’ followers, as well as page comments. In addition, watch out for Facebook ads they are running. These ads are identified as “sponsored” posts. You can determine who they are targeting with the ad by selecting “Why am I seeing this?” Selecting this option will reveal the demographics your competitor has chosen to target. More specifically, you can learn who they’re targeting by location, age, gender, and interests. Identifying who they target in their ads can also help you understand your competitors’ marketing strategy. You’ll be able to take action and adjust your plan to better reach your consumer base.
You may wish to use these insights to expand your target market. Keep in mind, it’s important to research and fully understand any new demographics you target. When trying to include new demographics in your marketing plans, take note of the typical occupation and income of your prospects to adjust your product and pricing strategy. Another strategy is to offer a new or innovative product to this market. Make sure to address the specific benefit they value – perhaps these new prospects are busier, and therefore they require a different value proposition than your current target market. Speak their language, all the while being careful not to alienate your key demographic.
Next, you need to identify whether your competition is B2B or B2C. Once again, you can turn to your competitor social media analysis or read product reviews to answer this. How are they selling their products? Do they have direct sales, resellers, or a multi-level channel? Notice what their sales structure looks like and how many members are in their sales team.
LinkedIn can help you discover how big your competition’s sales team is and new positions they are hiring for – just go to their company page and select “See Jobs” or “See all employees on LinkedIn.” You may even be able to find the information listed on their corporate website. Companies often also include authorized resellers or partner locators. While you’re reviewing this, take a look at the distribution of your competition’s sales channel. Are they focusing on specific markets or hiring in new countries/regions? Keep this in mind as you craft your competitive insights.
Lastly, observe the promotional aspect of their marketing mix. Take a look at each element from advertising to digital content and sales promotions. Check their social media, website, blog posts, and online advertising elements including print and PPC. Notice how they are speaking to their customers – does their brand present a distinct personality? Note the type of interactions they have with customers. Are they mostly positive or are they graciously receiving feedback? Review press releases or announcements to discover any promotions or partnership they have.
Lastly, summarize your key insights regarding your competitors’ marketing strategy, as well as opportunities to enhance your own marketing strategy.
In step 4 of your competitor analysis report, you’ll analyze Competitor Strengths & Weaknesses and create Sales Battle Cards
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