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Utilising Competitor Analysis for Business Growth

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T

he success of a business does not always necessarily depend on offering a fantastic product or service and investing immensely in marketing and advertisements.

 Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors can provide insights that help businesses to formulate the best strategies. Juxtaposing clients with the competitors are a common practice that is followed across industries and is called ‘competitor analysis.’ The competitor analysis is instrumental in improving the offerings provided by the clients and would ultimately propel their business towards growth.

 Why is competitor analysis critical?

Competitor analysis is essential for formulating a robust marketing campaign. It provides a panoramic view to the clients about the areas it needs to work on to establish itself in the market.

Competitor analysis not only enable the clients to know the strengths and weaknesses of the rivals but also gives an idea on the advertising strategies that it should implement to gain an advantage over the competitors. It also suggests ways to avert potential competition from making inroads into the target market.

Steps for conducting competitor analysis:

1) Identify the Competition: The first step for doing a competitor analysis is to precisely identify the competition, finding out who are the current competitors and who could pose a threat in the future. We can do this in two ways:

a) Firstly, we should know who our target audience is and what their expectations are. Then we should try to identify the competitors who could reach out to this customer base and meet their expectations.

b)Secondly, we should try to learn about the methodologies that the competitors’ resort to for advertising their products or services how they leverage their strengths for promoting their offerings and how they try to hide their limitations.

2)    Collect Information about the Competition: Once we find out who our competitors are, the second step is to research them. Who are they, and how are they placed in this ecosystem? What are their achievements? Gather information through press releases about the company. What are the mediums through which they advertise? What are the prospects have they managed to create through these advertisements? What are the recent changes they have made in their marketing strategy? Do extensive research on the strengths and weaknesses of the rivals. What is their USP? What are their vulnerabilities?

 3)    Note your observations: When we have enough information about the competitor, the next step is to arrange these findings systematically. These will help in knowing about the areas which they have catered to and flourished and those they have not tapped so far, where the clients could make inroads.

 

Application of these findings:

Following the above steps will tell us how the competitor has disrupted the market. The next step is to utilise these insights and create a robust marketing strategy for the client.

 Though it is easy to emulate your competitors, hoping that the success that they have tasted in their endeavour will also have the same result for your clients. But you should help the client focus on areas that have not been explored by the competition yet and assist it in establishing itself in that niche segment.

 There are various ways you can go about it. Some of the examples include:

  • Trying to make the client featured in news publications and magazines which has not covered the company yet.
  • Try to highlight the uniqueness that separates the clients from the competition — leverage on the strengths that provides it with a competitive edge.
  • Try to integrate strategies that have not been incorporated by the rivals hitherto.

 

Doing a PEST analysis:

 A company is affected by various extrinsic factors. For a complete analysis of the competition, it is necessary to examine the political, economic, social, and technological influence on its functioning. Examples include:

 

  • Political: In what way political scenario of the country is impacting its growth. How the company is taking advantage of the present political situation for augmenting its development.
  • Economical: The impact of the economic slowdown on the competition’s growth. How can the client ward off such financial crisis? Are there any impending financial dangers that are lurking that it can avoid?
  • Social: Are there any social issues that the client may grapple with in the future? How can it be avoided?
  • Technological: With the rapid advancement in technology, will the client be able to keep pace with these innovations?

 

Conduct a social media analysis

 Many brands today are relying on social media platforms which gives marketers the opportunity to reach out to a plethora of customers with the help of a single click. Brands are creating eye-catching advertisements on social media like Facebook and Instagram for drawing the attention of the audience.

 Brands are also adopting other techniques for creating awareness about their brand and garnering sales. Some of these techniques are:

 a)    Influencer Marketing: Brands hire celebrities or individuals with substantial social media presence for promoting their products and services. This way, the brand can reach out to millions of people who follow these celebrities. Also having a star promoting the brand instils trust among the audience about the quality of the product or services.

b) User-Generated Content: Brands that do not want to invest in an influencer for promotion could rely on user-generated content. Such contents may not be able to amass followers like influencer promotion is capable. Still, knowing about the brand by someone who is not hired by the company, it increases the likelihood of people trusting it.

     You should find out whether the competition has flourished with the application of any of these digital marketing strategies — suggest new ideas to the clients which the competitors might have overlooked so far. The client could capitalise these fresh strategies for its promotion and growth.

Conclusion: Competitor analysis is done to find out the limitations of clients as compared to that of the competitors. It enables us to accurately assess where the company is standing at present and what are the strategies it needs to implement to stay ahead of its competition. Therefore, for getting a maximum output out of competitor analysis, the team members must conduct regular meetings and share ideas and input about ways in which the company can counter the competition and remain at the top of the niche segment.

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