Table of Contents
What is Competitive Analysis?
Competitive Analysis is the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the direct competitors of one’s businesses in the industry and it provides a complete overview of how useful and important the selected approaches are in attaining the company’s desired goals & objectives.
Benchmarking on the other hand is a periodic research method that studies and identifies the ideal processes and outcomes that could work upon as a guide for businesses to make internal improvements for higher efficiency and effectiveness.
Competitive benchmarking involves the comparison of one company’s performance against the performance of its competitors using a set of relevant metrics. The whole idea is to learn from their strengths and dig their weaknesses. Competitive benchmarking is dynamic and subjective to every business and its departments, being as broad or as granular as you like.
It not only provides you with a comprehensive overview of your company status but also ensures that informed business decisions are being taken from your end. This helps businesses to retain a strong position in an increasingly competitive landscape. Professional tools like Mention, Brandwatch, and Locobuzz help businesses gather insights that can help build their future strategies.
Process of Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking
- Goal Identification – Getting clarity on what is it that you want your business to achieve? How do you want to utilize competitive analysis and benchmarking for your company’s growth? What is to be done after comparing the overall performance or focusing on how your product search compares to a similar feature of your competitors’ websites?
- Decide on your key business objectives: The Key Objective of the Business should not be messed up, it should be clear. Understand how to generate leads for your products. Identify the key objectives of your brand. This could be sales, getting users to sign up for a newsletter, generating donations, and view ads or contact to arrange a service.
- Selecting Competitors – With competitive benchmarking, there are three competitor groups that can be beneficial to measure your businesses performance:
- Direct Competitors, these are the closest ones. With benchmarking, based on their strengths and weaknesses, studying their size and experience, brands and businesses can make effective decisions and identify immediate opportunities for the near-to-midterm future of your organization
- Biggest players in your industry i.e. the second group. While competitive analysis and benchmarking against these household names may seem unsettling, it can help you to evaluate where you want to be, and which process you’d follow to get there. It can identify all common approaches between you and your competitors, as well as highlight areas where you may be weaker for facilitating improvements.
- Smallest companies comprising the third group – These might not be in competition yet. However, these small companies can emerge quickly as they’ve been doing the right things. Using benchmarking you can study their behavior and avoid them from catching you up.
- Identifying Metrics
Suitable metrics are something that businesses need alongside Competitive benchmarking to identify potential competitors. The beauty of using competitive analysis for benchmarking is that there is nothing right or wrong in this. It’s flexible and subjective to your own business needs. It lets you select the metrics that would help you, and choose those that can generate the biggest outcomes.
Possible metrics to consider include:
- Audience sentiment Technology
- SERPs visibility and awareness
- Web traffic
- Marketing objectives and strategies
- Share of voice
- Social reach and engagement
Key techniques for Competitor analysis & benchmarking
A few of the related techniques that are crucial and recommended for effectively managing competitor analysis & benchmarking are:
- Consumer buying behavior
- Customer research & analysis
- Partner analysis
- Macro-environment analysis
- SWOT analysis
- Digital marketing laws
- Analyze results – Understand how well your product is performing against your competitors. Social Media listening tool will help gather the right data and provide KPIs. However, the bigger picture lies in understanding the trends across sites and the strengths in competing designs. Base your future design decisions on the results of the analysis and avoid the mistakes your competitors made with the designs.
How to measure your competitive benchmark metrics
Private data is difficult to get access to as businesses are cautious while releasing their data publicly. However, SEO metrics are publicly available, so it is easier to access these metrics.
Businesses are recommended to seek professional help such as data analysts or brand monitoring tools to ensure they have the right information needed to excel in performing competitive benchmarking and generate clear, actionable insights. Big Businesses and brands these days use complex techniques such as Social Listening to generate a comprehensive dataset. This can help them compare performances, determine where their competitors stand in the market, and create the necessary plan of action.
Locobuzz helps you derive detailed social insights for customers, businesses, brands, and competitors to strategize brand positioning, build engagement, and most importantly gather detailed analysis of the digital ecosystem and competitive landscape.
Traditional Method also involves doing your own research. You can carry out benchmarking surveys and can ask whatever you want for the people of your choice. Do it openly or privately – the choice is yours. The drawback of this method is – it costs businesses time and money.
How can it go wrong?
A few of the common pitfalls that one must be aware of are:
- Being unclear about your goal and why you are benchmarking
- Failing to not know the right tools and resources that can be utilized in probably the biggest block
- Remembering that benchmarking and competitive analysis isn’t a one-time thing.
- and should be an ongoing process.
- Thinking your online competitors are the same. Often you need to opt for “out-of-sector” benchmarking to be the best in class.
- Not taking immediate action. You need to prioritize actions using a SWOT and then cross-check or review if the actions worked or not
The important thing to remember about competitive intelligence is that it’s not just about your competitor’s performance but also, it’s about how you compare to them. It’s also about how you can turn your insights into actions to best serve your customers.
The key to successful competitive analysis is benchmarking yourself alongside your competitors and identify wherever the gap is and then showcase your solution and position yourself as a market leader.