Competitive Intelligence: Key insights to improve your market understanding
By Lee Roden
Solid competitive intelligence is often the key to getting an edge over your rivals, and with the right tools and know-how it is possible to unlock competitive insights that benefit everything from marketing, communications and PR, to informing mergers and acquisitions. In this blog Whispr Group outlines some consumer data based insights that should be staples of your competitive intelligence if you want to beat the competition ASAP.
Search, social media and open consumer data
We live in a faster-moving world than ever and even if you feel you already have a solid grasp of the latest marketing successes in your sector, data analysis may reveal plenty that isn’t up-to-date. Your marketing strategy will always benefit from a clear breakdown of the trends that are working for leaders in your industry, providing guidelines for best practice according to what is performing best for the competition, as well as what isn’t anymore and no longer resonates with target audiences.
Search, social media and open consumer data can all be processed and analysed to provide this information, with potential insights ranging from something as simple as which time of the day to publish social media posts for maximum potential, or as detailed as specific buzz topics to create content around.
As consumer needs change and develop over time, it’s also smart to carry out regular data analysis to pinpoint any audience needs that are not being fulfilled by competitor products and services where you could step in and plug the gap by adopting a specific angle in your product marketing.
Attitudes to marketing and products constantly change. It’s not static, change is one of the few constants there. You can’t live on the knowledge you gained before, what worked in the past, rather, fresh analysis is needed to avoid expensive mistakes and make sure you’re up-to-date.” – Whispr Group Senior Client Advisor Olof Gränström.
Benchmark accurately against competitors
Just as consumer habits and demands in your sector constantly evolve, so too does the competitive landscape itself, leaving your competitive intelligence outdated. Data analysis can help identify relevant competitors you’re not even aware of: that could for example be a company making a product that while not identical to yours, solves similar problems for consumers and should therefore be on your radar.
Effective number crunching should help you make sure you’re benchmarking vs the right companies in the first place too, and not ones with a disproportionate difference in resources or market share. Analysing search traffic development or social media mentions over the most recent 12 months vs your own can be a good starting point. After narrowing the list down to the most relevant and comparable competitors, you can then start digging deeper to understand what works for them and what hasn’t.
Find out what consumers really think of your competitors
With the right tools it is possible to learn what consumers really think about your competitors, both in how they discuss those brands and products on social media and other discussion forums, and also how they rate competitor products in reviews.
A sentiment analysis can help you quantify positivity and negativity around specific products, product features or even topics related to your competitors then compare this to your own. Pinpointing drivers of negativity about competitors provides a roadmap for how to use marketing activities to appeal to those same consumers with your own alternative.