What is a “competitor analysis”
A competitor analysis is an in depth look in to the competitors of a business to identify their strengths and weakness and any strategic opportunities.
Is a competitor analysis essential?
It should be a vital part of your company’s marketing plan. By undertaking a competitor analysis, you can benchmark your business, learn from your competitors’ strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses, establish the level of service your target audience expects, what they engage with the most and determine a niche to set your company apart.
It plays a key role in informing your overall strategy and setting out your business goals.
Investors and key stakeholders will be particularly interested in a competitor analysis; they want to know that you are both realistic about your positioning in the market and thinking strategically about what direction you need to be heading in to future proof your business.
How do you do it?
Firstly, you need to know who your competitors are; a minimum of three competitors should be identified at local level and at least one at national level.
You should then determine where each holds an online presence across the various social media platforms. On each platform, you should note the number of followers, the kind of content posted, the level of interaction and whether it’s positive or negative, the level of humanisation (Do they sign off with a name or initials, do they address followers personally?), what tone they use, how often do they talk about themselves etc.
Once you gather the data you should plot it into a matrix and give each factor a score reflecting their attainment. From this, you will be able to identify who are the leaders in each area, what your target audience responds to the most, what everyone does well (bare minimum requirement) and what nobody does well (strategic opportunity).
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By Erran Taylor, Digital Marketing Manager