You don’t need a business degree to know that your company needs a marketing plan.

Successful startups dedicate months to designing a strategy for conversions and online visibility. They run focus groups and conduct market research to guide their execution, but they don’t stop there.

Even niche businesses aren’t so scarce anymore. Everyone has someone to compete with, someone to lose customers to. So, it’s crucial for every company, big or small, to perform a competitive analysis of their business rivals.

It’s not enough to know the customers — you need to know the contenders. Without careful consideration of your rivals, you’re at risk of losing huge business opportunities.

Know Your Rivals, Know Yourself

First, what is competitive analysis?

Well, it’s not rocket science. As the term suggests, it’s merely a descriptive report of your business rivals.

The analysis includes information on the strategies, services, shortcomings, and accomplishments of a competing corporation. It may consist of more material, such as customer reviews, SEO rankings, and sales reports if you can get your hands on those details.

All these blurbs of information come together to help you reassess your own strategies and services. Everything in the report should help you improve your growth marketing.

A thorough, well-rounded competitive analysis will reveal opportunities and threats.

Regular market analysis with no emphasis on your rivals will only tell you about your industry’s current supply and demand chain. It won’t point out the differences between wholesalers or reasons customers choose one brand over another, but a competitive market analysis will.

Knowing your competitor’s brand, their success rate, and the way they advertise themselves will help you come up with aggressive tactics to win over the customer base.

How to Use a Competitive Analysis to Help Your Business

Competitor analysis helps you devise better promotions and marketing techniques than your challengers. It’s an excellent tool for predicting trends and avoiding customer dissatisfaction.

Think about it, having access to your rival’s business plan would allow you to compare services and prices, maybe even come up with a better way of doing things.

Had Blockbuster used a competitive market analysis to guide their business strategies, they might have recognized Netflix’s threat when it launched streaming services. These reports allow your company to examine trends and industry projections so that your brand can stay on top in an ever-progressing world.

Let’s say you run a frozen yogurt shop, but there’s an ice cream parlor just down the street. They are your top competitor, and your analysis indicates that they offer a punch-card promotion that gets customers a free scoop of ice cream at every tenth purchase. You could use this information to design your own special, one that’s way more enticing.

Your yogurt store could offer happy hour pricing every weekday to compete with the less-occurring promotion at the ice cream parlor.

Think ahead and allow data to direct your business decisions.

Creating a Competitive Market Report for Your Brand

Luckily, you can learn how to do a competitive analysis without being a marketing-wiz. As long as you understand your industry and your own company, you’ll be able to analyze the opposition in a way that benefits you, your profits, and your customers.

Knowing your competitors helps you beat them. There are various competitor analysis tools that can help you better understand your business rivals even if you aren’t formally educated in data analysis.

Word-of-mouth travels via virtual channels nowadays, so you can’t afford to ignore the internet. Odds are, every one of your competitors is online. While this increases your struggle to stand out, it also provides you access to information that will help you build your competitive market report.

First, you need to identify your rivals. They might be direct or indirect contestants, but consider both when conducting the report. Find their websites, their apps, anything that promotes their brand, and study it.

When researching your rivals, ask yourself what they do that works. What doesn’t work? Have they had any major PR incidents?

Are your competitors offering more than you? What are their customer reviews like?

The answers to these questions will help you level the playing field and eventually take advantage of your competitors.

Your employees must know how to do a competitor’s analysis in digital marketing and apply it to other departments. Depending on your company’s age, you might need to kick your strategies into top gear to compete in today’s market.

Conclusion? Competition Analysis is For Everyone.

No matter how well your business is doing, you can always learn something from your competitors. There’s still room for improvement.