4 ways your organization can benefit from competitive market analysis and competitor insights

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4 ways your organization can benefit from competitive market analysis and competitor insights

Competitive market analysis provides valuable information that can help an organization refine strategies and create more effective solutions, leading to increased profitability.

Explore four compelling ways in which your organization can benefit from incorporating competitive market analysis and competitor insights into its strategic arsenal. Whether you are an upstart disruptor aiming to challenge established incumbents or a seasoned enterprise seeking to solidify its market position, these insights will offer actionable guidance for staying ahead in the competitive arena.

SUMMARY:

Competitive market analysis is an important tool for understanding the marketplace and staying ahead of the competition. It provides information on industry trends, competitors’ strategies and potential opportunities that can be used to optimize decision-making and strengthen your position in the market. Research into competitive dynamics enables you to anticipate changes in the landscape, develop new products/services tailored to customer needs and refine existing offerings for maximum efficiency—ultimately leading to increased profitability for your organization.

Competitive market analysis can provide valuable insight into a company’s competitors, their strategies and strengths, as well as potential threats. By carrying out research in the industry, companies can better determine which products are selling best and identify new trends or areas where they might have a competitive advantage. Advanced analysis can help organizations develop targeted marketing campaigns to reach their desired customer base more effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Conducting a competitor analysis is vital for organizational success.
  • Identify direct, indirect and substitute competitors. 
  • Analyze products, brand, marketing, technology and customer base to gain insight into how you can enhance your own strategies. 
  • Update the analysis at least once every quarter or year to stay ahead of the competition and industry trends.

The benefits of conducting competitive market analysis are numerous and can help organizations stay ahead of the competition, identify new opportunities, enhance customer loyalty, increase profits, and improve efficiency.

What is competitive marketing analysis?

Competitive analysis is a process of researching and evaluating the strategies of your competitors in order to better understand your own competitive position. This can help you identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for improvement, so that you can remain competitive in your industry.

Competitive analysis is an important tool in marketing that allows businesses (or any kind of organization) to identify, learn from, and get ahead of their competitors. 

It can help reveal gaps in a company’s strategies, trends in an industry, and new competitors that may have previously gone unnoticed. By understanding these elements of the market landscape, businesses can inform more effective strategy decisions that allow them to stay competitive for longer.

“Most people conducting a competitive market analysis are trying to understand how their business, product or brand is positioned,” said Sherry Smoak, assistant professor and director of the D.K. Hardin Center for Market Research at Elmhurst University.

A competitive analysis is a way to identify competitors, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for how to best compete in the market.

“They’re trying to understand: How do our product lines compare? How does our pricing compare? How does our distribution model compare? The answers to these questions can be found by completing a competitive analysis.”

Conducting a competitive analysis involves researching your competitors and understanding their positioning in order to build an effective strategy for your organization. It is important to determine who your competitors are before conducting the analysis in order to collect accurate information.

Effective competitive market analysis enables organizations to monitor industry trends closely. By studying how competitors respond to shifting customer preferences, technological advancements, regulatory changes, or global disruptions, organizations gain critical insight into emerging market opportunities. This ability allows them to proactively adjust their products, services, or go-to-market strategies to meet evolving customer demands.


Organizational benefits of competitive market analysis

A comprehensive competitive analysis is an important component of a market analysis and can help you assess your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

Studying competition is not solely about replicating others’ successes; it also prompts organizations to push the boundaries of innovation.

Let’s delve into the transformative benefits that await those who embrace the power of competitor analysis as a strategic cornerstone for success.

1. Gain Insight Into Your Competitors 

Competitive market analysis helps you understand who your competitors are and what strategies they’re using to succeed in the marketplace. This information allows you to better position yourself in comparison and compete more effectively by refining your own strategies or developing new ones. 

By researching your competitors, you can gain insight into the market and identify potential opportunities. This helps you to create a comprehensive picture of where the industry stands, who’s leading, what changes are happening and how your own business fits in. 

“Any way the customer is solving the problem now is competition…” explains Kit Needham, Carnegie Mellon University Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.

[Bonus Resource: Read Kit Needham’s lecture slides on this topic online here for free at CMU.edu]

Analyzing competitor strategies also provides valuable lessons on best practices, which can be used to improve existing offerings or develop new products/services tailored to customer needs. Additionally, understanding the competitive landscape allows you to anticipate changes in the marketplace and proactively position yourself for success.

2. Identify New Opportunities 

A competitive assessment also provides insight into industry trends so that you can target unmet needs or anticipate future developments before they become mainstream within the industry. Knowing what others are doing (and not doing) gives you an advantage when it comes to identifying potential opportunities that could result in increased revenue for your organization.  

By recognizing trends and consumer needs earlier than your competitors, you can develop strategies to capitalize on them before others catch up. This helps you stay ahead of the competition and remain profitable in a rapidly changing market. 

Identifying new opportunities also allows you to explore other business models and markets that may offer more potential for growth.

3. Increase Efficiency & Optimize Decision Making 

By understanding where other organizations and teams have met with success (or failure), it enables a more informed decision making process, thereby reducing waste and increasing efficiency as well as long-term sustainability of operations for the organization overall.

Competitive market analysis helps you identify areas of inefficiency and prioritize tasks for maximum efficiency. The data collected through research can be used to refine processes and optimize decision-making.

It also provides insight into what works (and doesn’t work), allowing you to adjust your strategies accordingly. This in turn reduces the risk associated with launching new initiatives, as well as the cost associated with testing different approaches before finding the right solution.

In turn, competitive market analysis helps you strengthen your competitive edge while minimizing the resources required to do so.

4. Strengthen Your Position

Going beyond understanding your competitors, competitive market analysis can be used to gain a better understanding of the industry and its dynamics. This allows you to make well-informed decisions that strengthen your position in the marketplace and ultimately increase revenue.

By recognizing where there is room for improvement and focusing resources accordingly, you are able to create added value for customers while establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. Additionally, gaining knowledge about key players in the market gives you an advantage when it comes to acquiring new talent or striking strategic partnerships with other organizations or inter-organizational departments. 

Overall, competitive market analysis provides valuable information that can help you refine strategies and create more effective solutions within the marketplace—ultimately leading to increased profitability for your organization.

A competitive assessment helps you understand where your organization stands in relation to its competitors and where it’s weaknesses and strengths lie. This information can be used to reassess strategies, marketing plans, product features or services in an effort to stay ahead of the competition and strengthen your position within the industry.

Competitor analysis deliver results for many organizations

From uncovering untapped market opportunities to benchmarking against industry leaders and spotting emerging trends early on—getting started with competitor analysis equips you with the knowledge necessary to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

Getting started with competitor analysis in your organization

Whether you are launching a new product, entering a new market segment, or simply looking to gain a competitive edge within your industry, conducting thorough competitor analysis provides you with invaluable insights about your rivals’ strategies and positions in the marketplace.

Competitor analysis empowers organizational leaders with key information about their competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, market share, and customer perceptions. It goes beyond mere conjecture or assumption, offering concrete data-driven intelligence. Armed with these insights, leaders can capitalize on market opportunities, fine-tune their own offerings, and stay one step ahead of their rivals.

In this comprehensive guide to getting started with competitor analysis, we will walk you through the essential steps and best practices to unlock competitive insights. Whether you are a seasoned executive seeking to refine your competitive strategy or a startup founder venturing into uncharted territory, this article serves as a roadmap to navigate the complexities of competitor analysis.

To excel in the ever-evolving business landscape, it is not enough just to analyze competitors; organizations must also leverage these discoveries strategically. Therefore, we will discuss how to transform these insights into smart decision-making by aligning them with your organization’s goals and adapting them within broader strategic planning processes.

Let’s dive into the first step of competitor analysis: identifying key competitors within your industry…

Identifying key competitors

To begin your competitor analysis journey, it is essential to identify the key players within your industry. These are the organizations that pose direct or indirect competition to your business and impact your market position.

But where do you start? In this section, we will guide you through the process of identifying your primary competitors – those organizations that directly challenge your market share or target similar customer segments. Additionally, we will explore indirect or secondary competitors, whose offerings may not be identical to yours but can still impact your customers’ choices.

“Gaining clarity about who your competition truly is allows you to assess their strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and tactics” offers award-winning digital marketing consultant Matt Blalock at a recent BIG event in late-2023. “This knowledge provides a roadmap for positioning yourself effectively in relation to them and discovering opportunities for differentiation.”

Direct Competitors

Direct competitors are organizations that offer similar products or services to the same target market as your business. They directly compete for the same customers and often operate within the same industry or market segment.

Identifying these key players is crucial as their strategies and actions have a direct impact on your business’s market share and competitive positioning.

Remember that direct competitors may vary based on different products or regions you operate in; therefore, it is crucial to conduct thorough research across relevant markets.

Indirect Competitors

Sometimes called Secondary Competitors, your Indirect Competitors are organizations that might not offer the exact same products or services as yours but still cater to the same target market or satisfy similar customer needs.

These players operate in parallel industries or provide alternative solutions that may compete for your customers’ attention and resources. Overlooking indirect competitors can be a missed opportunity, as their offerings might substitute for your products or act as viable alternatives.

Identifying indirect competitors expands your competitive landscape and provides valuable insights into the broader market dynamics. Understanding their strategies, differentiators, and customer appeal allows you to anticipate shifting consumer preferences and stay ahead of potential disruptions.

While analyzing indirect competitors may require more nuanced research and thinking, it is an essential step in constructing a comprehensive competitor analysis framework.

Techniques to identify competitors for analysis

Now that we understand the importance of identifying both direct and indirect competitors, let’s explore various techniques to effectively uncover and evaluate them. It is essential to employ a systematic approach that combines traditional research methods with cutting-edge tools and technology.

So, how can you identify competitors for analysis? In this section, we will share proven techniques that will empower you to discover both visible and hidden competitors within your industry. From traditional market research methods to leveraging digital intelligence platforms, we have curated a range of effective approaches to suit your organization’s unique needs.

Market Research Reports and other Industry Reports

A tried-and-true method for identifying competitors is through comprehensive market research and industry reports. Numerous sources exist to provide your organization with the insight that you need. In most industries, there are providers keeping their ear to the ground and reporting back to your leadership. These sources provide valuable insights into the players operating within your industry, their market shares, growth rates, and overall industry trends.

Start by exploring reputable market research firms specializing in your field or industry. Purchase or access relevant reports that cover market segmentation, competitive analysis, and future projections. These reports often provide a detailed overview of key players, their strategies, financial performance, and customer perception.

Consider conducting primary research through surveys or interviews with target customers to identify the brands or companies they perceive as competitors in your space. This can supplement and validate the information obtained from secondary sources.

Social Media Listening

Chances are, for your organization, social media platforms offer an abundance of competitor intelligence waiting to be tapped into.

Monitoring social media conversations related to your industry allows you to identify not only well-known competitors, but also up-and-coming disruptors, and other niche players that may pose a threat later. The technology to monitor for your brand, ideas, concepts, or anything, is now possible.

Engage in active social listening by monitoring hashtags associated with your industry verticals; follow relevant influencers who may feature competing products; keep track of product mentions and customer reviews; and participate in relevant online communities or groups where industry discussions are taking place.

Social media platforms also often provide valuable data on competitor follower counts, engagement rates, and overall sentiment.

Patent and Trademark Databases

Exploring patent and trademark databases can help you identify innovative organizations within your industry that may pose a unique competitive threat.

Search for patents or trademarks related to your field of expertise, including not just product-focused keywords but also new technologies, methodologies, or business models. Pay attention to both existing grants as well as applications that indicate upcoming innovations.

Analyzing these filings can not only uncover potential competitors but also shed light on their future strategies, focus areas, and areas of technological advancement.

Final word on competitive market analysis

Competitive analysis is an essential part of marketing and can help organizations identify gaps in their strategies, uncover industry trends, and stay ahead of the competition. It also allows them to learn from their competitors’ successes and failures.

By taking a deep dive into your competitors’ plans, product offerings, target markets, mission statements, and more, you’ll gain valuable insights that will inform your own decisions.

Explore our website and learn more about the Competitor Insight solutions we offer and how organizations and leaders are using these tools to make more informed decisions faster than ever. If you feel your organization could benefit from a deep-dive into your competitors, reach out to us, we’d love to connect with anyone tackling these challenges in their organization.

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About the Author

Picture of Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina Pfitzner

Katrina is a developer, designer, author, and thought leader on topics including Business Intelligence. For more from Katrina, find her on twitter and follow her on medium.

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Picture of Matt Blalock

Matt Blalock

Matt Blalock is an accomplished Creative Director and Marketing Consultant, known for pioneering BIG vision and brand direction for leading organizations.

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