Competitor research is defined as a study of market performance by comparing similar products in similar markets. Competing strategies are then developed based on the identified strengths and weaknesses. Competitive analysis is often performed to improve overall organization performance, especially in a competitive environment. Competitor analysis in strategic planning and marketing is an evaluation of the key strengths and weaknesses of prospective and existing competitors. This analysis gives both a defensive and offensive strategic context to identify threats and opportunities. Strategic planning and marketing require an understanding of the various methods and materials used by competitors to influence market share.
A competitive landscape includes many variables and one of them is sentiment. The meaning of the word “secession” may have completely different meanings to different people. For some it might mean that a large number of customers have stopped buying auto insurance or homes, while for others it could mean a drop in sales due to economic issues. In this case, a tool for gauging consumer sentiment would be the Competitor Intelligence Tool (CIT).
Competitor Intelligence Tool (CIT) is a proprietary set of algorithms designed to allow analysts to quickly identify key words, phrases and key words combinations that appear repeatedly in competitor marketing. These keywords are then broken down into phrases that refer to specific products and services. The phrase “car insurance” can be searched using CIT technology and an analyst can get a complete overview of the keywords and their usage. They can also drill down using other keywords to find the specific product or service that someone is searching for. The above example is just one use of CIT. The tool can also be used to identify negative keywords and other data that can prove useful in the development of new strategies.
Competitor Analysis Tools provide another important insight into a competing company’s marketing strategy. It is common for competitors to vary their strategy depending on their situation. The above example is important in identifying that insurance companies may be changing their overall approach in terms of their advertisement. Some may be reaching out to more customers via word of mouth, while others may be focusing more on online advertising. By analyzing competitor research, an analyst can determine which of these strategies are working and develop a workable strategy.
Businesses often differ in terms of what areas of the industry they are involved in. This means that when conducting competitor research, it becomes important to not only know the target market but what other industries those particular businesses are involved in as well. For instance, a search engine optimization company may specialize in SEO of products or services while a bank may focus on mortgage refinancing. This information is valuable when developing a strategy since it allows a business to not only think about their own position in the market but what competitors are doing.
One of the keys to competency is knowing one’s own field. If you are a financial planner, your analysis of competitors should make clear that you are an expert in mortgages and cannot compete with a bank who handles primarily commercial loans. Similarly, a company that excels at providing SEO services should not be compared to another firm that focuses on content management or ecommerce solutions. In this case, conducting basic information research on your potential competitors is essential to establishing your position and increasing traffic analytics tool use. The basic information can include such things as: how many employees work in the competitor’s company? What are their customer service ratings?
Once you have the basic information associated with a specific company, the next step is to formulate an original strategy based on your analysis. Some business strategists will prefer to conduct both organic search results and competitor results to evaluate the strengths of each company. However, conducting both provides a business a more complete picture of their strategy, which helps them make any necessary changes to the strategy as the company grows. Whether or not to change a company’s strategy depends on the amount of traffic and business they receive.
In addition to conducting competition and organic search keyword tool analysis, other tools such as geo-targeting and ad buying may be used to determine strengths and weaknesses, as well as the impact that competitors are having on online performance. One extremely useful tool for this purpose is the keyword suggestion tool provided by the Overture engine. Keyword suggestion tools are very useful for companies that are not familiar with optimizing a website. Instead, using the tool provided by Overture allows a business owner to input the key terms in order to find companies that are specifically targeting their particular niche. The tool then produces a list of keywords that are specifically related to the products and services a company offers. If a business owner wants to use this type of tool, it is important to ensure that the company uses a popular keyword tool because popular keywords are likely to be found within search results.