How to Perform Marketing Competitor Analysis – A Step by Step Guide

In the current climate, businesses need to be aware of their competitors – the best way to do so is by creating a competitor analysis report.

To do so, you need to understand where your competitors stand in relation to you, and how you can penetrate the market over and above them.

A competitor analysis report will also help you define your niche so you can reach a target segment that nobody else has yet engaged with.

Of course, creating a competitor analysis report isn’t something that can be done very easily.

You need to analyze your data and compile it into a spreadsheet or use a reports generator to create a detailed report. In this article, outline the essential steps to create the report.

Step 1 – Choose Your Closest Competitors

Competitor Analysis Chart Template
Competitor Analysis Chart Template – Venngage

You will generally have an idea of who your closest competitors are, but if you want to make a comprehensive report, you need to choose carefully.

There is no point in spending time and energy creating a report about competitors who will not actually have much of an impact on your business.

Start with an audit of your own products, services, and content. Look at competitors who are selling similar products as your business, and those who are targeting a similar audience profile.

Look at who your direct competitors are – the business that is practically interchangeable with
yours – as well as those that are reaching similar customers, and who are offering additional
services.

Make a list of about 10 of these competitors and then narrow it down further to about two or three. You are now equipped to form the basis of your competitor analysis report.

Step 2 – Define Your Customer Profiles

Persona Marketing Report Template
Develop A Marketing Strategy By Editing This Persona Marketing Report. – Venngage

With the competitors decided, you now need to look at the customer personas that your competitors and you are trying to reach.

To do this, you have to study your market. Ask a few of the below questions to find your customer personas:

Who is buying products, including yours and your competitors’?

What are they saying about the products?

What are people saying about the buying process?

How are they interacting with the user interface of your website?

What trends are you seeing in the marketplace for your product?

What trends are you likely to see in the future?

These questions will help you focus your research on the industry and the customers you and your competitors are targeting.

To collect this information, use online surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Reach out to your loyal customers for their thoughts on your business and collect their responses.

Understanding your consumer profiles as well as the buyer journey is essential when designing your marketing activities.

It can also help to diversify your product range to reach more customers and should be used to fuel a website design proposal to create a more optimized online experience.

Step 3 – Compare and Contrast Competitors

Once you have your competitors sorted out and have done some research into the market and customer segments, you need to look at how your products, or services, stack up against your competitors.

Look at the following areas when you are comparing and contrasting your business against your competitors:

  • Additional Services
  • Branding and Personality
  • Customer Support
  • Online Reputation
  • Price
  • Product Quality
  • Product Features
  • Product Range
  • Warranties

You can try to learn about your competitors by subscribing to them, checking online reviews of their products and services, as well as speaking to real customers.

Create a simple table that lists out these features and compare them to your competitors before moving on to the next stage of your report.

Step 4 – Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Dark Competitor SWOT Analysis Template
Compare Competitor’s SWOT And More By Editing This Dark Competitor SWOT Analysis Template – Venngage

With your comparison completed, it is time to see where your competitors are ahead or behind you in the kind of products, services, and digital loyalty programs that are being offered.

The best way to do this is by conducting a SWOT analysis, which stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Creating a SWOT analysis template is an exhaustive and precise exercise that requires you to be thorough and unyielding in your examination.

Look at the strengths of your products, your technology, your training programs, marketing campaigns, and your website, and compare it with the strengths of your competitors’.

Then study the weaknesses – what have you attempted but not completely succeeded at? What have your competitors done to get a slight edge over you?

When it comes to opportunities, examine where you are ahead as compared to your competitors. How can you capitalize on market gaps or niche interests?

And finally, threats are the areas that could completely derail your business. If you don’t address these areas, your competitors could take over the market entirely.

Doing a SWOT analysis honestly will help you realize how you stand in relation to your competitors and what you can do to improve your business.

Step 5 – Repeat the Exercise

The competitor analysis report is not a one-time deal – you need to repeat this exercise on a regular basis.

Though it does take time to do such a thorough report, you have to be aware that the market is constantly changing.

Your competitors may or may not be adapting to that market, so you need to be on top of trends and competitor movements if you want to grow your business.

Additionally, new competitors may crop up within the year, or a previously established business may find a way to enter your market.

Source data from social media platforms and web analytics tools for an overall picture of your competitors versus your company.

Then set time aside on a yearly basis to create competitor reports, to examine your company’s growth, and areas that require improvement, over the past year.

Summing Up

Creating a competitor analysis report is extremely important for any commercial business.

In the current environment, which is in flux, it is necessary to understand where you stand within the industry and against the competition.

Use a report maker to create detailed competitor analysis reports. Narrow down your closest competitors and define your customer profiles and the position you hold within the industry. Choose the areas where you need to compare and contrast your business against your competitors.

Then conduct a thorough and honest SWOT analysis to understand what you could be doing better.

Once your report is done, set time aside next year to do the exercise again.

Creating competitor analysis reports will help you improve your business, reach your target market, and grow your sales funnel, so it is worth making time for it.

Tips to perform marketing competitor analysis
Why and how to perform marketing competitor analysis.

Featured image source: Freepik

Published by Ronita Mohan

Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics with regards to digital marketing, visual content, and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about.

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