The analysis begins with a list of your company’s competitors. Most of the time, such a list is comprised of what your company considers to be its chief competitors. However, there may be other companies that indirectly compete with yours, ones that offer products or services that are aiming for the same customer capital.
The first part of your competitive analysis only requires basic research. You’ll just be looking up and making note of easy-to-find facts about your competitor’s business. For this part, you’ll need to have some idea about who your small business competitors are, where to find their website and social media pages, and perhaps have access to their offline marketing materials such as brochures, ads, and posters.
Competitor analysis is performed at the creation of a new company or during development of a new product. Social media is scanned daily, checking out what the competition is doing. This is NOT a good competitive analysis. Much will be assumed, more will be missed. Good competitor analysis provides valuable insights into how to run your business, and win!
Competitor analysis should be performed on a regular basis – and I don’t mean once a year. It should be an ongoing process, and with the abundance of martech tools, there’s no excuse. Including a competitive analysis in your marketing plan demonstrates to investors that you’re aware of the competition and that you have a clear picture of the marketplace, along with plans in place to compete at the same level as established brands.