Marketing Strategy

4 Steps to a Marketing Competitive Analysis

Knowing how you stand in the competitive landscape can improve performance. Here’s how to analyze the competition.

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Understanding the competitive landscape is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. Marketing leaders must make an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors to keep customers they have—and get customers they want. They can then use that information to determine their marketing goals.

Here’s what to look for when conducting a competitive analysis in the marketing space.

Differentiators: What makes your organization better? What does your company or your product offer that competitors don’t? Likewise, what are your competitors’ top selling points? Highlighting each company’s strongest attributes can show you how things look from customers’ perspectives and understanding what makes a competitor attractive to potential customers is important when creating your own marketing strategies.

Weak points: When reviewing the competition, note how other companies find success with various aspects of their marketing efforts. Compare what you learn with your current strategies, and look for areas that could be improved, such as creating more of a certain type of content, pivoting your social media strategy, updating your search engine optimization (SEO) structure, or something else entirely. Use your list of areas as a road map for future development. In particular, developing counterstrikes to find weaknesses in your marketing strategy can have a significant payoff over the long term.

Emerging opportunities: Of course, your organization’s chances at success don’t rest solely on you and your competitors; trends, economic shifts, technology, and other factors also play a role. Use emerging trends to advance your marketing strategy and leverage your existing strengths to do so. Assess where your chief competitors are playing a strong game, and decide if you want to go head to head.

New threats: Similarly, environmental factors may create new challenges for your business. Determine what the troublemakers are and take these into account when conducting your analysis in terms of how future events will impact your business and your competitors’. It is necessary to keep ahead of emerging threats, even if they don’t look like traditional competitors, for a successful long-term strategy.

Your analysis of the competition will be complete after you consider these four components. Now, create a strategy to implement this knowledge in your organization.