Whether you have a small or medium-sized business, you should always know what your competitors are doing. Because that’s the only way you can be successful and stand out from the competition. In this blog post, you’ll learn what to look for when searching for the right competitive analysis vendor.
Why a competitive analysis?
A competitive analysis (also: competitor analysis) helps you to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Through analysis, you can find out what they do better than you and where you can improve. It is an essential part of strategic marketing and should therefore be carried out on a regular basis.
If you want to refresh your knowledge again, you can watch the following video:
Advantages of a competitive analysis
There are many benefits that come from conducting a competitive analysis. Some of these are:
1. a better understanding of your industry
A competitive analysis gives you a comprehensive overview of the different players in your industry and their respective strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge is valuable because it allows you to understand the trends in your industry and better predict how your business will evolve in the future.
2. identify new business opportunities
Competitive analysis can also help you identify new business opportunities. By studying the competition, you can find out which niches are still untapped and where you can be the first to gain a foothold with your business.
3. improve your business
The information you gain can also help you improve your own business. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and use these insights to optimize your own offering and differentiate yourself from the competition.
4. understand your customers better
Competitive analysis can also help you better understand your customers. By studying your competition, you can learn what your customers’ needs and wants are and how you can best satisfy them.
5. expand your market
A competitive analysis not only tells you about the competitors in your niche, but also about the players in other markets. These insights can help you open new markets for your business and thus increase your sales.
What goals should a competitive analysis fulfill?
Analyzing your competition should help you determine your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and how you can compete against them. To that end, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What products and services does my competitor offer?
- What prices does my competitor charge for its products and services?
- Which niches has my competitor occupied?
- Which sales channels does my competitor use?
- What are my competitor’s marketing strategies?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my competitor?
If you can answer these questions, you will have a good overview of your company’s situation on the market.
Approach to the competitive analysis
There are many different ways to analyze your competition. However, the right approach depends on the company’s goals and needs. The following should be considered during planning:
- First, it should be determined what type of competition should be studied. This may involve direct or indirect competition. Direct competition is, for example, between two supermarkets in close proximity, whereas indirect competition is between a supermarket and a discount store.
- It is then necessary to decide which criteria are relevant for the analysis. These can be, for example, price, quality, assortment or service.
- Now the task is to find out where the information about the competitors can be found. Among other things, search engines, business directories or the company’s own network can be used for this purpose.
- Last, the information collected must be evaluated and interpreted to make it useful to the business. This can be done, for example, in the form of a table or a diagram.
What kind of competitive analysis providers are there?
There are many different types of competitive analysis vendors. Some are general service providers offering a wide range of analytics, while others specialize in specific areas or industries. Here are some of the most common types of providers:
1. general service providers
These providers offer a wide range of analytics for companies in various industries. In addition to competitive analysis, the most common services include market research, customer analysis and strategic planning.
2. specialized providers
These providers focus on specific areas or industries and offer specialized analysis services for them. The most common industries in which specialized providers operate include the automotive industry, telecommunications, and the financial sector.
3. software provider
These vendors provide special software that companies can use to conduct their own competitive analyses. The software is usually offered either as a desktop application or as a web-based application. Many of these applications offer a number of advanced features, such as the ability to analyze multiple competitors simultaneously or to export the results of the analysis to various formats.
What should you look for when choosing a competitive analysis provider?
There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing a vendor for your competitive analysis.
First of all, you should consider what kind of information you want to get about the competition. Do you just want to get an overview of the general market situation, or do you need detailed information on specific companies?
After that, you should think about how much time and money you want to invest. With most providers, you have the option of either purchasing a one-time study or opting for a subscription where you will receive regular updates.
Of course, price also plays a role in choosing the right provider. Here, however, you should not only pay attention to the pure price, but also to which services are included in the price. Many providers now offer free trial periods so that you can test the services in advance at your leisure before deciding on a subscription.
Last but not least, you should also pay attention to whether the provider offers you the possibility to import the acquired data directly into your business software (e.g. CRM or ERP system). This can save you a lot of time and effort in implementing the strategies you have developed.
Criteria for the evaluation of providers for competitive analysis
If you decide to use an external provider for your competitive analysis, you should think carefully about what is important to you beforehand. Every business has different objectives and priorities, so the criteria you use to choose the right provider should fit your business and needs. Some of the criteria you should consider when evaluating different providers are:
- Price: Of course, price is an important factor when choosing a provider. Make sure you compare the price of the service you want to use so you know if you are getting the best possible price.
- Experience: Pay attention to how many years the provider has been in business. The more experience he has, the better he can help you. – References: Look at which companies the provider has already analyzed. This will give you a good idea of whether he really knows what he’s doing.
- Customer service: Make sure that the provider has good customer service. This way you can be sure that you will always get help in case of any problems.
The best providers for competition analysis at a glance
There are numerous providers of competitive analysis. But which one is right for you? Here are some of the most famous:
1. Simon-Kucher & Partners
Simon-Kucher & Partners is one of the leading companies in the field. The company provides comprehensive consulting services for companies of all sizes and in all industries. It supports its customers in developing strategies to improve their competitive position and helps them realize their full potential.
2. Bain & Company
Bain & Company is a leading global management consulting firm with extensive knowledge and experience in competitive analysis. The company helps its customers to find out where they stand in the competition and develops customized strategies to develop and position themselves successfully.
3. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has extensive experience in advising companies. BCG helps its clients to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors and develops strategic solutions to establish and maintain their position in the market.
4. mckinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is a leading global management consulting firm with extensive knowledge and experience in competitive analysis. The company works with its customers to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. Based on the analysis, the company develops individual strategies to be successful on the market.
5. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants is also one of the outstanding companies in the field of competitive analysis. The company offers its customers comprehensive consulting services aimed at improving their competitive position and realizing their full potential. It supports customers of all sizes and from all industries in developing appropriate strategies.
Competitive analysis tools overview
There are also many different tools that can help you with competitive analysis. Some are free of charge, others require a fee. Which tool best suits you and your business depends on many factors. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular tools:
1. Google AdWords
With the Google AdWords Keyword Planner you can find out which search terms are entered most often by users. This helps you learn what your customers’ needs and interests are and respond accordingly.
Alexa offers extensive statistics about website visitors. With this, you can determine where most visitors come from to your competitor pages and what exactly they do there.
BuzzSumo shows you which content is shared the most on social networks. This allows you to see at a glance which topics are particularly well received by your target group and to produce appropriate content.
SimilarWeb provides you with detailed statistics about website visitors, origin of visitors, time spent on the page, etc. This gives you valuable insights into the user behavior of your competitors. This gives you valuable insights into the user behavior of your competitors and allows you to draw appropriate conclusions.
5. google trends
Google Trends shows you how search queries for specific keywords evolve over time. This allows you to see at a glance whether a particular topic is particularly relevant at the moment or will gain in importance in the future.
What does a competitive analysis cost?
This is not a simple question, as there are many factors that influence the price. For example, the size and complexity of the company, the number of competitors, the type of analysis (industry-specific or general) and, of course, the experience and expertise of the provider. But as a rough guideline, you can say that a competitive analysis can cost between 1,000 and 10,000 euros. Of course, there are also cheaper or more expensive providers, but usually the prices are in this range.
Frequently asked questions & answers
What is a competitive analysis?
Digital marketing is an approach to promoting products or services using digital technologies.
What steps are included in the competitive analysis?
The future of digital marketing is promising as more people are online and more businesses adopt digital technologies.
Why is it important to find the right provider for a competitive analysis?
Some of the digital technologies used for digital marketing are social media, search engine optimization and mobile marketing.
- Figure out exactly what you want to analyze. What facts and figures are important to you?
- Find out about the different providers. What services do they offer?
- Compare the offers of the providers with each other. Pay attention to prices, quality of analysis and the amount of information.
- Choose the provider that best suits your needs.
Digital marketing is an incredibly fast-moving field and it’s difficult to predict what the future will bring. However, we can be sure that personalized content and experiences will become more and more important. Companies must therefore continue to work hard to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Due to constant changes, it is also important to be flexible and adapt quickly to new situations. That will be the challenge for digital marketing in the future.