Competitor analysis models help a company determine which businesses are most threatening. Identifying the key topics within your competitors’ mentions will give quick answers to these questions so you don’t have to dig through mentions by hand. Competitive analysis is an exercise of comparing your business, product, and service to companies and finding similarities and differences. Learn the strategies and tactics to take your social media marketing to new For some companies, you’ll be able to find estimates on Owler , but those will often be very rough. Do they do product demos? Assessing competitors’ pricing pages is another crucial step in your analysis (if pricing isn’t available on their website, try reaching out to their sales team). Done well, a competitive analysis can help you find ways to outplay the competition by better serving customers —  theirs and yours. Identify current and future competitors in the market. Company overview. How do your product features compare to the same features of your competitor? In marketing competitor analysis, you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals. As I wrote previously in my analysis of sales enablement and acceleration industry, it is almost impossible to distinguish direct and indirect competitors. It’s essential to understand these so you know what you’re up against and can position accordingly. Comparing your company or service with others will help your team to make a better strategy, deliver a more efficient plan business growth and have a clearer vision of … In other words, the SaaS world moves fast —  and the only way to keep up is to be one step ahead. Selling to large enterprises with a high ASP means competing against rivals with high-touch sales models. Press releases are helpful in understanding a company’s strategic focus. The table below summarizes how to evaluate companies for competitive analysis selection. From the SEO perspective, there are two most important things about competition you should focus on: the keywords they rank for and the backlinks they’ve got. If you are selling a high-priced, complex product then you should focus on competitors pursuing similar enterprise clients. For both tasks, you can use SEO PowerSuite (you can get the free version here ). 28 min read, 21 Feb 2017 – Tom Tunguz highlighted the three barriers that prevent competitive entrance: data network effect, network effects, and ecosystem creation (read more). While many tools target a particular niche, these tools analyze … Competitor Analysis Defined . How does each competitor acquire new customers? The subscription economy has made it easier to switch to competing products. What kind of technology are they using to build it? Larger organizations can throw more money at problems than a smaller, more agile company. But a good guess is all you need —  as long as you have a relative sense of where each competitor stands in the hierarchy. The SWOT model is one of the most common ways businesses compare themselves to the competition. Next, jump to Link Intersection – a module that shows you the domains that link to more than one of your competitors. It can help you identify where the “enemies” are and how they’re approaching the business. Will they refuse to hold a demo just because your company is “too small”? It can help you discover strategic areas where you can position yourself for a win. Competitor's objectives 2. Does he or she have a significant social media following? How do B2B SaaS markets evolve with 10+ competitors? Slack’s developer platform roadmap and its commitment to transparency for developers has helped the company build a strong ecosystem around its product. In his article Three SaaS Sales Models, Joel York describes the three most common SaaS sales models based on the relationship between price and product complexity. That said, I bet you won’t be able to find every competitor’s revenue figures this way. Slack, Trello, Dropbox, GitHub are all low-price, low-complexity products. However, it’s ultimately grounded in the same tech as Uber. Do your competitors focus on selling in specific verticals? New product categories are popping up every day and the lines between traditional categories and labels are starting to matter less and less to customers who just have a problem to solve. (Go with five if you’re operating in a crowded market.). Is their time zone convenient? To kick off a competitor analysis, start by collecting the basics and drilling down from there. If you’re serious about competitive analysis, it’s not enough to just evaluate the two Industry Leaders everyone’s talking about (that kind of analysis will likely get you depressed real quick). Companies often go into full messaging wars against each other because it gets so easily noticed. Competitive analysis helps you understand market dynamics so you can find an optimal way to reach your target customers. This should give you an estimate you can work with. Do they require filling out dozens of fields for you to talk to sales? After you understand your competitor’s customers and messaging, you can move to analyzing its product offering. Outside of direct competition, the most dangerous competitors are those that sell to the same target customer. How big is the community? In this article, I will share the competitive analysis framework my team and I have developed (through weeks of research and dozens of iterations), and give you some tips on where to look for data that isn’t publicly available. You can easily find a company’s “biographical” information on sites like Crunchbase, LinkedIn, Owler, and AngelList. Are they looking for a developer with a specific skill set? Start with a competitor overview. If an VCs’ name is missing from your competitors’ funding history, they might be a good candidate for you: they missed out on the chance to work with a successful competitor, but now they have the opportunity to invest into a promising startup in the industry (you!). I can’t resist mentioning Travis Kalanick, who, in my opinion, was always the strength and weakness of Uber. Switching costs are a significant barrier to switching to a new product, which makes it a key part of your competitive analysis. What are your competitor’s core product features? Do they advertise on Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or other social media platforms? Knowing a company’s founding year helps you put things in context in your overall analysis. Jason Lemkin of SaaStr offers a simple formula you can use to calculate a competitor’s revenue estimate, provided you know how many people work there. Mining product reviews helps you get valuable voice-of-customer data —  including pains and problems that you can use to develop your own strategy. The About section in a press release shows your competitor's strategic messaging. For example, a company may want to know which businesses dominate the widget market. 3. Do they offer Account Management for Enterprise customers? Do the posts get shared around social media a lot? In other words, the competitors you select determines how you will perceive your company and the final analysis. You are either an Uber or Lyft investor. 2. I know, a lot of the points above were actually customer acquisition techniques; but this section is reserved for the ones that weren’t outlined before. You can’t reasonably expect to analyze all of them. It pays to understand how satisfied are customers with a competitor product. Using tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Business Manager to read the data on your business is very important. Next, jump to Domain Comparison . Large companies invest millions of dollars to investigate market share but most SaaS companies don’t have such resources. Dig through your competitors’ websites to see if they offer something complimentary with their product. Whether looking at product, digital marketing tactics, or positioning, this is an important practice. What words and phrases does your competitor use to describe their company, product, and value? Research your competitor’s M&A history to get a sense of the direction it’s moving in. The company’s LinkedIn profile is often useful, particularly for employee counts. Porter’s Five Forces. Data analytics and enrichment product Are you doing as well as a current market leader back when it was an early-stage business? The Threat of Substitute Products: It is the fourth factor of Porter’s five forces model of competition … Sometimes you don’t even know who your enemies are. Send me email with comments and questions: myk[at]myxys.com. Datanyze is a great tool for finding out. By solution, I mean a similar technology or approach to the problem —  one that seems indistinguishable to the customer. To measure these, you’ll need a social listening tool like Awario or Mention. As of 2017, there are over 5,000 products in the martech sphere alone competing for business in complex and overlapping ways. That’s why it's useful to know how your competitors use social media channels and paid acquisition channels to reach their target audience. Are the readers engaged? What product features are unique to your competitors? By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively conduct a competitive analysis: Remember: The idea of a competitive analysis isn't to overly focus on the competition but to understand where your company stands in the marketplace and identify opportunities to further differentiate. The ultimate objective of competitor analysis is to know enough about a competitor to be able to think like that competitor so the firm's competitive strategy can be formulated to take into account the competitors' likely actions and responses. In your feed, make sure to group the mentions by Authors and sort them by Reach to see the most influential posts first (Reach is calculated based on the number of followers and engagements on social media, and based on the site’s estimated traffic for results from news, blogs, and the web). These details, combined with company info like founding year and employee counts, are important so you can use them as a benchmark against your own growth. To look for job openings, check your competitors’ websites and job search sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. You want to consider companies that aren’t currently in your category but could potentially leverage their product or technology in your space. These competitors hold a commanding position in their core market, allowing them to expand into different industries and verticals. Customers expect to see a demo, or even try the product. Does your competitor offer a free trial or freemium? Different Solution = same customer + same problem + different solution. Sometimes PRs show your competitors’ customer count. To help you dig deeper, I have two hacks to share that go beyond a simple Google search: Hack #1: Set up alerts for competitors’ interviews and conference presentations. Most SaaS companies fall under this category. This article features 13 tools you can use to analyze your competitors’ marketing channels. Software products often include many features and solve multiple problems. Try adjusting the date range in the report to see if there’s been any changes in languages/countries recently. Take note of authoritative platforms you come across and try reaching out to them to inquire about sponsored posts. Competitor analysis Competitor analysis. What is their core selling point? We’ve built a full stack of social media tools to help modern brands grow their awareness, engagement, and sales. It’s a good idea to divide the features into groups of related ones to keep things organized. Make note of each competitor’s unique strengths that are hard to emulate. Navigate to the tool’s Ranking Keywords module and type in a competitor’s URL. And for info on key people, offices, and founding date, CrunchBase is a great resource. Here's how to write the competitor analysis section of the business plan. The organization does a competitor analysis to measure / assess its standing amongst the competitors. Get a full competitive analysis framework that's been real-world tested, and learn the tips and tricks for capturing competitor data and conducting research. What is their sales process - what channels does it involve, how long does it take, how involved is the sales team? Research your competitors sales tactics and results. We can’t fully grasp the pains and challenges of a decision maker without looking into his/her organization —  and their stakeholders. Does the company publish amazing books that are also free? Competitive strategy involves positioning a business to maximize the value of the capabilities that distinguish it from its competitors. This framework will work well for entrepreneurs, business owners, startup founders, product managers, and marketers. How do customers perceive your competitor’s product design, quality, and price? Did their CEO leave because things aren’t going well at the company? Whether you’re facing a similar struggle or just aren’t sure where to start, I hope this article will help you navigate through every step of the process. For example, is their CEO or somebody else on the team an industry influencer? Marketing competitor analysis is done with relation to your competitors. Remember: An effective GTM strategy requires an understanding of these five elements: These are a sampling of the questions you’ll need to answer as you do your research: In B2B, the term target customer (or ideal customer profile) refers to both the company and decision maker profiles. Porter’s Five Forces is a framework that examines the competitive … The more comprehensive your view of the competitive landscape, the more effectively you can identify potential opportunities for your company. How much revenue was it generating? This illusion helps illustrate how important it is to consider your relative position against your competitors. Put yourself in the shoes of your competitors and understand their customers: Here are a few places to look for this information. Here’s what my list of competitors may look like broken down by categories: Now that you have a comprehensive list of your competitors, it’s time to start the actual analysis. For an entrepreneur/ business person to penetrate whichever market successfully, he or she should always identify their competitors. SaaS products and services have proliferated. Analyzing your market and competition also helps you determine how your company and your product fits in the current environment. Here’s an example from the book: a Strategy Canvas for Southwest, one of the first low-cost airlines in the US, compared to the 2 categories that could be considered its competitors: air travel at the time and car travel. You’ve likely heard the saying “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer.” When it comes to conducting a SaaS competitive analysis, that’s not the whole story. How long does it take them to reply? You’ll usually find bits of this information on competitors’ websites. Depending on the kind of competitors you’ve analyzed, you’ll likely see that most of them follow one or two distinct patterns: those will be the major categories you’re competing with (though they may not be as different as cars and airplanes). Let’s say, 40% of your mentions are positive, 20% are negative, and the rest are neutral. Your competitors’ job openings can also be found on their websites, LinkedIn, and job search sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. I can sense you rolling your eyes at me, but hear me out. Analyzing your competitors’ customer service will help you improve your own. heights. Combined with what you know about your industry, your competition’s job openings will tell you a lot about where they are going with their business. Another option is to interview your customers and prospects to learn how they view your product and competitor's product. Such a switch usually results in business interruption and the need to retrain staff, among other unwelcome effects. What do they like the most about your competitor? This way, you’ll be able to see spikes in their volume of mentions, track what their customers are saying, and see how their (and your own) Share of Voice evolves over time. What do your customers focus on when they mention your competitors’ products? Does your competitor support multiple environments (e.g., web, iOS, Android)? How many packages have they got? Depending on the stage you’re at with your business, you can also add in a column for your own product to quickly see how it compares to competitors. These components can be depicted as shown in the following diagram: Adapted from Michael E. Porter, Com… Problem (WHAT) A strong report shows exactly what a company must out-compete … If that’s true in your case, make sure to highlight the quality of your customer service on your website. The SWOT framework helps you evaluate the internal (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external factors... 2. Read more about alternatives. Are there data-heavy options available for agencies and big brands, with Enterprise features like an API or white-label options. But alas, it’s nearly impossible. Chances are you’ll also find a bunch of blogs and media platforms that generate substantial traffic to their sites. The battlecard helps sales understand the strengths and weaknesses of WordPress and how to win customers when going up against them. Are your competitors expanding or scaling down? How do prospects/customers respond to your competitors’ content - do they share it, comment on it, like it? This is a commonly accepted view in the Valley. Knowing who they are hiring and which teams they are expanding will give you an idea of what steps they’re about to take, both product- and marketing-wise. It covers business metrics, a product analysis, and a marketing assessment, with the marketing bit being a little more in-depth. General competitor analysis tools. Sample Battlecard: PublishNOW vs WordPress For example, UberEats sells to the same customers but solves a different problem: food delivery instead of transportation. What do the like the least about your competitor (top complaints)? Therefore, opening a new office can be a trigger for searching for a solution that helps companies assist in this process. Discounts for students or non-profits? How does your competitor position its product? It’s time to plot your own product on the canvas and see how it compares to the competitors. I’ll go into depth about each section below, and again feel free to grab this competitor analysis template to follow along. Do they offer monthly or annual plans? This is the third article in a series of articles on why every company is a media company today and what that means for organizations. Competitor analysis is a driver of an organization’s strategy and effects on how firms act or react in their sectors. Customer reviews are also a great place to find so-called “trigger events” that lead customers to look for a new product or service solution. At this point, we’re interested in exploring the partnerships your competitors have that help spread the word about their products. Do they sponsor or exhibit at industry conferences? You can find these topic clouds in a social listening dashboard. A successful LinkedIn strategy combines the power of company pages with employees’ personal profiles. The best way to get this information is from review platforms. Remember: the idea of a competitive analysis isn’t to steal what they’re doing, it is to understand where your business falls in the market and find new opportunities to make your product stand out. While digital channels are key in today’s marketplace, you also need to pay attention to offline channels like events, meetups, conferences, and direct mail. This is where the face-to-face interactions occur that are often the key to establishing connections and sealing deals. Treat your competitive analysis as an ancillary activity. Are you growing faster than a company of your size and age? Some competitors solve the same problem with the same technology but focus on a different customer. What topics are covered on the company blog, and in their whitepapers, research, videos, podcasts and other resources? What is your competitor’s market share? 5 Competitive Analysis Frameworks Explained with Visuals 1. How did they manage to get $10M in funding? 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