Competitor research is a primary tool in the competitive intelligence process. Competitive analysis in strategic management and marketing is a study of the strengths and shortcomings of prospective and current competitors. This analysis provides both a defensive and offensive strategic context to identify threats and opportunities. Competitive intelligence is used to gain an advantage over competitors through the use of both traditional and new strategic business models and operational procedures. The main objective of this process is to help businesses gain an edge over their rivals in specific markets or business areas, and remain ahead in the competition.
A good competitive research program should provide companies with four essential components. These are information about competitors, their activities, processes, and trends. Competitive information can provide insight into four different areas: marketing, product development, operations, and finance and accounting. Gathering competitive information is necessary for a number of reasons including product development, market development, pricing, advertising, and selling. Competition is a key driver of business activities and processes in the global marketplace today.
Market Research Competitor research must be conducted to acquire information about competitors’ marketing, market, and financial structures. For instance, a company must understand the nature of their target market, how their products and services differ from competitors, how customers find them desirable, what social media channels they tend to use to purchase their goods and services, and how competitors interact with customers on a regular basis. Social media research is also important in secondary research as it provides valuable insights into how people communicate with each other and what types of content bring on these interactions.
Product Development Competitor research is essential for understanding what customers want, how products and services satisfy these needs, and what competitors are offering that could serve as an alternative. Conducting competitor research allows companies to learn what their target market needs. It also allows companies to develop products and services based on the needs identified by competitors and to determine if similar offerings can be offered that could satisfy even more specific needs. Competitor research is also useful in determining whether a company has an edge over rivals when it comes to product development or marketing.
Market Strategy Competitor research can help companies develop new ideas and strategies for marketing. It also gives them a look at the current marketing mix and how well it’s working for competitors and what changes might be required if they want to take advantage of a particular marketing or advertising strategy. Competitor research is especially useful for businesses that rely heavily on one area for growth, such as technology companies or internet marketers. Such companies need to keep abreast of changing consumer preferences to remain relevant in the marketplace.
Customer Service Competitor research is important for providing customers with timely answers to questions they have about a company and its products and services. It enables companies to respond to customer questions, address concerns, and open lines of communication with customers. Such information helps customers develop trust in the brand, resulting in increased loyalty and repeat purchases. The results of Competitor Research provide valuable insight into customer service. This enables marketers to refine their methods, develop content review networks, and use analysis to determine which service sectors are under-performing compared to others.
Competitive intelligence allows companies to identify areas for improvement and suggests ways to strengthen their competitive position. A variety of tools are available to conduct competitor research, from competitor dashboards to specialized software. Competitor intelligence analysis can be used for many different kinds of marketing, including search engine optimization, digital advertising, e-mail marketing, mobile marketing, social media, video marketing, and more.
The insights gained from Competitor Research are useful in providing information that can help increase traffic, profitability, sales, brand awareness, and more. They can also help with strategic planning and help determine what actions will be taken to improve performance in any given market segment. For example, a digital marketing firm could ask a group of customers why they do not visit their store on a given day and perform an online price check survey to determine if there is a cost reduction strategy that would improve customer experience. Competitor research can be a valuable way to understand and anticipate problems and opportunities in markets, giving businesses a competitive advantage by improving their understanding of how competitors are working to gain an edge and increasing their own productivity.