Businesses need to have clear-cut strategies in place when conducting research into their competitors or other rivals. Out-maneuvering the competition is key to success, but knowing what to look out for might not be so straightforward. With that said, an understanding of how to complete your own competitive intelligence research is necessary when designing and implementing an effective marketing strategy.
Competitive Intelligence (CI) refers to the active investigation of competitive practices by a business for the sake of creating its own strategies. Competitive intelligence research, in particular, involves the ongoing collection of relevant data associated with market competition, which can focus on anything from products and services offered by a direct competitor to the design of their website.
Most businesses perform competitive intelligence research to get an edge over their competition. However, the exact framework that shapes your approach to CI should be geared toward research that fits your organization’s long-term objectives.
With that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when developing your research strategy:
If you want to have a clear grasp of the market landscape, you need to be fully aware of the organizations that are both directly and indirectly competing with your organization.
You must be careful about monitoring your competitors, as no company is perfect. At the same time, though, flaws are exactly what you want to look for. The goal of your competitive intelligence research should be to uncover your peers’ key weaknesses and take advantage of them by strategically filling gaps they’ve left open.
Uncovering the strategies and tactics your competitors are using can easily put you and your business at an advantage, but you need to make sure you consider whether they’ll work well for your business.
Setting yourself apart from the competition can be difficult, but through effective competitive intelligence research, you’ll have a direct line to your competitors’ branding, affordability, and client base. Awareness of these defining brand features will give you an idea of how you can set yourself apart.
Not every business fully understands how to gather competitive intelligence data, but luckily, there are a few valuable sources of information that you can use to inform your research:
Gathering data from competitors’ websites will give you insight into their limited-time offers, price points, and other marketing strategies associated with content marketing and SEO.
If your competitors release their own press releases, you need to find out whether they’re getting picked up, along with the type of coverage they’re getting and which news outlets are interested in telling their stories.
Your competitors’ social media feeds can keep you up to date on their recent announcements, schedules, and product launches, giving you insight into their brands and clientele.
Job listings posted to Indeed, Linkedin, and directly to the company’s website are the perfect place to learn more about the competition, with information that includes their current business plans and any future moves they intend to make.
Consider subscribing to your competitors’ various marketing materials, such as email newsletters, social media accounts, and other paid advertisements, as a means of collecting as much information as possible about their ongoing marketing campaigns.
It’s easy to look at the earnings of publicly traded companies by simply checking reports, taking part in investor calls, or looking at their financial statements, which businesses are legally obligated to provide to the public.
There are quite a few things to keep in mind when gathering competitive intelligence. If you want to be able to anticipate the activities of your competitors, then it’s especially important to have tried research practices that you can rely on.
Direct competitors should be a priority when conducting competitive intelligence research, but you should also identify any other companies that might pose threats to your business continuity.
Looking at secondary competitors that offer similar products or services that aren’t directly related to your own offers or that of your tertiary competitors that target the same market segment will allow you to predict market trends and plan accordingly.
The type of data you collect will have a huge impact on the quality of intelligence that it provides to you. Before committing time and resources to a specific strategy, take the time to make sure it will add value to your long-term marketing strategy.
Once you’ve determined which data will be the best to collect, you’ll need to start gathering as much information as you can. Remember to stay organized to avoid becoming overwhelmed by large volumes of digital information.
You can’t do much with raw data, so you’ll have to process that information to take full advantage of it. If you’re not sure how to properly analyze your competitors' websites, pay close attention to how companies market their products and services so you can stay competitive.
After collecting and analyzing your competitors’ data, you must leverage any insights you’ve collected to improve upon your own marketing strategy. Lay out the most important points and create an inclusive plan, so you don’t miss anything.
Businesses looking to take full advantage of their competitive intelligence research strategy need a tool that will help them collect data more effectively. By leveraging the latest SEO monitoring tool, you’ll be able to create effective marketing campaigns that account for current market trends and competitive practices.
EnterVisualping, a website monitoring tool capable of sending you notifications as soon as a competitor webpage is updated. Visualping is a powerful solution for keeping up with the competition and their online activities, whether on their own sites or in areas such as their PR campaigns or social media pages.
Visualping is trusted by over 2 million users around the world as a reliable research tool, and getting started yourself is easy.
Simply copy the URL of the page you’re interested in monitoring, then paste it into the search bar on Visualping’s homepage. You’ll then be able to select the part of the page you want to monitor, giving you added control over how to track price changes and other important metrics, as well as how often you do so.
You’ll need a personal email for the account setup process, but once your account is properly verified and activated, you can receive notifications through SMS or another communication channel.
For most businesses, a solid competitive research strategy has become an essential aspect of their approach to digital marketing. The need to keep up with the competition has never been greater, and having a partner capable of providing timely assistance can go a long way in improving your positioning.
Rather than manually researching your competition, use a trusted system that simplifies and automates the process. Visualping is the last competitive intelligence research tool you’ll ever need.
See why more people trust Visualping for competitive intelligence gathering. Contact us to learn more.