Competitor research in strategic management and marketing is an analysis of both the strengths and weakness of prospective and existing competitors. This analysis gives both a defensive and offensive strategic context to identify threats and opportunities. Competitor profiling, which is a process that evaluates the performance and strengths of competitors and the factors that may affect competition, is a process that integrates both traditional and new approaches to competitor profiling. The main advantages of competitive profile analysis are:
Competitive intelligence helps in better understanding of competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and strategies. Competitive intelligence provides the essential information required for an organization to evolve its strategy to its maximum potential. This is achieved by producing competitive profiles which gives a clear picture of the key players, their current market positions, and the key issues influencing their strategic behavior. It enables businesses to develop relevant strategies against key threats and prepares them for future confrontations with their opponents.
Competitor profiling gives organizations the essential insights to understand their competitors, their strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and strategies. These insights provide essential information to manage competitors effectively and avoid their competitors to take advantage of their weaknesses. Competitor profiling also gives important clues for businesses to build and maintain an appropriate relationship with their customers and suppliers. These secrets can help businesses win more customers and reduce their total cost structure.
Competitor profiling identifies the key issues and areas of weakness of competitors. Competitor profiling enables organizations to better deal with these issues and improve their overall strategy. For example, a company could adopt several approaches to strengthen their position relative to their competitors. One might adopt a diversified approach by focusing on strengths in multiple areas, while others might concentrate on their weaknesses. Through this, companies become well-prepared for future confrontations with their competitors, and can craft suitable responses to upcoming challenges and situations.
Competitor profiling through social media provides additional advantages because it helps businesses become aware of their competitors’ strategies, activities, and targets, and adopt a flexible strategy accordingly. Social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, are excellent platforms for gathering competitive intelligence. These platforms help businesses detect, monitor, and adapt a flexible and proactive strategy, which is especially useful in a changing environment. Through this, the primary goal of Competitor Research is met: developing the ability to provide organizations with competitive intelligence.
Competitor Analysis is the process of identifying gaps in a company’s strategy, identify opportunities, and find inventive ways to overcome those gaps and make a strategy. Analyzing competitors is an indispensable part of the strategic planning process that should be undertaken at all stages of a company’s development. There are various methods and tools to analyze competition. In some cases, companies need to rely on historical information, such as competitor reviews and ranking reports. In other instances, organizations can analyze current or recent competitors via a combination of traditional and new analytical tools. These tools include data mining and keyword research, to name a few.
Social media analysis is another way to conduct Competitor Research. Through social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, businesses can analyze user experiences and behavior. This method enables businesses to discover what users do on a regular basis, which is important because these types of users are usually interested in products and services. Other factors to analyze on social media include competitor profiles, keywords used in content, the number of comments made about a particular product, the number of friends, and the demographics of the users who have connections to a specific product.
Competitor Research can also be performed by using backlinks from competitors’ websites. Backlinks serve to boost a website’s popularity and increase traffic by improving its position in search results. Backlinks can also lead to improved rankings in search results, which lead to more targeted traffic. With backlinks, the goal of Competitor Research is met: enhance a business’s visibility and generate more sales.