Today’s marketing world is evolving at a rate that’s difficult to keep up with. As marketing professionals it’s crucial that we stay up to date with our own products and services but also with our competitors and wider industry movements.
Taking the time to research and analyse this is very important for your brand health and can bring you closer to understanding how to sell to customers but also stand out from your competition.
This article will guide you on what you need to know about getting a competitive edge and help grow your business.
The best place to start to get an edge over your competitors is the most obvious – look at what your competitors are doing!
This process is key in figuring out how to position your brand, as it enables you to spot opportunities to define yourself against your competitors. Positioning is becoming increasingly important as more and more brands enter the marketplace. Your USP (unique selling position) can be as simple as a lower price or a specific product feature that makes it special.
As well as identifying your unique position, you’ll be able to see where you rank, identify market trends, benchmark your performance, discover the sentiment shared by your competitors and understand your market presence. You’ll also gain ideas for your marketing strategy, are your competitors on a channel you aren’t? Is there a particular piece of content that is working well for them that you can replicate?
There is also a real danger in only looking at your own brand metrics and performance. For example, a company may celebrate the fact that they have improved their engagement metrics on social media by 10%. This may seem like a positive improvement – but what if your competitors have increased by 20%? Clearly there is a need to view the performance of your competitors.
Following on from looking specifically at your competitors, having a strong pulse on your industry at large will help you figure out the best tactics for reaching your target audience and gaining a competitive advantage. There is a constant flow of new products, fresh brands and innovative tools that make it hard to stay on top of it all.
Through this process you’ll be able to hon in to your target audience and identify their attributes. Having a thorough understanding of this will influence everything from ad targeting to messaging and more.
When you are analysing your competitors and industry, ensure that you are constantly referring to the key purpose of this research so you don’t get lost in all the information - what are you offering, how does it compare to competitors, what sets you apart and what is your brand voice?
How to do it
Where should I start with all of this, I hear you ask? Well start in the most obvious place, Google!
A simple Google search will allow you to see who is ranking for keywords related to your industry, you can see who’s running ads related to your business and see which products and content are most popular.
Emails are another useful tool, sign up to your competitor emails and see what type of deals they are offering, the type of content they push and how often they are sending them. Emails are also helpful to gather feedback directly from your customers through a survey to figure out how you can improve your product and/or service.
The third place to look is at industry reports and blogs, keeping a finger on the pulse on new trends and technologies is always a smart move. Sites like Statista, eMarketer, AdNews and The Drum are all useful to keep up to date.
Zavy can also be used as an insightful resource, with our Conversation tab allowing users to deep dive into relevant industry topics and the sentiment that surrounds it.
Social media is another key part of this research process as it gives you invaluable insights into your target audience. You can see what your customers want in future products, which brands are nailing social media and ideas for your own social media strategy.
You can easily scroll Instagram and Facebook and stalk your competitors manually but Zavy can save you all the hard work and provide a single view of all your competition. Through our dashboard you will be able to see where you stand against your competitors and measure your performance across all key social media channels.
- Taking the time to research your competitors and industry is very important for your brand health
- Figuring out how to position your brand enables you to spot opportunities to define yourself against your competitors
- Having a strong pulse on your industry will help you figure out the best tactics for reaching your target audience
- Monitoring your competitors metrics will help you understand your performance not just at a brand level but at a market level
- Utilise Google, emails, industry reports & blogs as well as social media to gain a competitive advantage