A 7-step process to do competitive research for your clients
A competitive analysis is a process for identifying the competitors in your client’s market and researching their business structures and strategies. It can help your clients pinpoint any current gaps in their own strategy as well as learn how and why their products or services stand out from the competition. This type of in-depth evaluation is an important aspect of any client’s marketing strategy. It allows them to highlight certain features of their offerings that will capture the attention of different audience segments, stay on top of industry trends, and ultimately stand out from their competition.
To conduct a thorough competitive analysis, place your client’s main industry competitors in different groups based on how closely their products or services align with your client’s. List each competitor’s current and previous offerings, any recent or past growth, marketing goals, current and previous ad campaigns, profits, strengths and weaknesses, size, structure, and more.
The benefits of a competitive marketing analysis
Performing a competitive marketing analysis offers many benefits, such as:
- Identifying what your client’s competitors have done in the past (ad campaigns, social media campaigns, etc.), as well as what’s worked and what hasn’t worked, offering a baseline for future strategies.
- Helping your agency create a data-driven and proven framework for your client’s advertising and marketing campaigns.
- Empowering agencies to make better marketing decisions based on their research findings.
- Pinpointing what truly sets a client’s products or services apart from their competitors’ products or services.
- Providing additional data that your agency can use in order to measure your client’s growth.
By conducting a thorough competitive marketing analysis and, just as importantly, analyzing your results to make decisions based on your research findings, you can set your agency up to be a truly strategic partner to your clients.
A 7-step process to begin your competitive analysis research
In order to complete a comprehensive competitive analysis, your agency will benefit from following a detailed process. Let’s look at our seven-step research process that includes detailed example questions you can utilize with your clients today.
Step 1: Identify your client’s top competitors
- What businesses are directly competing with your client for market share?
- How long have they been in the industry?
- What makes their products or services unique?
- What marketing channels are they currently using?
- How do most customers find your client’s competitors?
Step 2: Identify any competitors your client may not know about
- Check out local listings for similar businesses using Google Maps and Google Business.
- Identify any of your client’s competitors who may appear in top search results when using specific target keywords.
- Use Google or Bing ads to identify which companies are bidding on keywords related to your client’s products or services.
Step 3: Analyze each competitor’s marketing strategy
- Assess each competitor’s website, brand messaging, blog content, social media channels, customer reviews, awards, and more.
- Determine what makes each competitor’s marketing strategy unique. How effective are their ad campaigns? What have they done well in the past?
- If your client is targeting the same audience personas as their competitors, are they addressing and solving the same pain points? Do they provide a frictionless shopping and buying experience?
- Does your client offer different services or features than their competitors?
Step 4: Analyze and test the websites of your client's competitors
- Browse the products and services offered by your client’s competitors.
- Read through the descriptions of each offering — how can you highlight the qualities that make your client’s products or services unique?
- Fill out forms requesting more information on competitors’ websites, test their live chat features, and request a free demo or complementary consultation.
Step 5: Use other tools to improve your agency’s competitive marketing analysis strategy
- Technology provided by companies like Terminus can help agencies dig deeper into their client’s competition.
- Use a tool like CallRail to gather valuable data and explore consumer intent to help clients target specific audiences.
- Compare your client’s campaigns to similar competitors’ campaigns, measuring for effectiveness.
Step 6: Subscribe to the social media networks of your client’s competitors
- Opt in to receive updates and notifications when competitors post any new blogs, photos, podcasts, videos, status updates, and more.
- Make sure to follow any competitors on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.
- Sign up for competitor newsletters, and make sure to watch any webinars they produce. This can give your agency valuable insight into your client’s industry and market share.
Step 7: Present competitive research findings to your client
- Once you’ve conducted all your research, it’s time to present the competitive marketing analysis to your client.
- Describe any similarities and differences.
- Highlight any valuable insights gained from your competitive analysis research.
- Prioritize any changes or improvements your client could make based on your findings using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This helps identify any potential issues, find an effective solution, and eliminate the issue in the future.
Implement the right tools to elevate your next competitive marketing analysis
Conducting a thorough competitive analysis for your clients can help you develop long-term marketing strategies that are both effective and unique. If you’re able to show your in-depth data, explain the analysis process, and present a smart strategy to your clients, you’re sure to build a strong relationship with them based on strategic partnership.
Gaining a full view of your client’s data — as well as the competitive data that you’ve gathered — can sometimes be a difficult task. Take a look at the CallRail platform to get an insightful solution that easily connects with the tools you already have in place and will set you apart from other agencies. You can start your free trial with CallRail today.
Can you confidently report on the true ROI of your marketing efforts? Download our latest guide on proving ROI to your clients and let CallRail take the guesswork out of what is working from your agency.