Competitive Market Analysis - Do You Know Your Online Competition?

By Joshua B Taylor Icon

Compiling a Competitive Market Analysis allows you to analyze and gain insight about your competitors and can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and essentially increase your company's bottom line.

A Competitive Market Analysis provides the opportunity to benefit from reviewing the businesses of one or more companies that compete both directly and indirectly with your business. Competitor companies' information and marketing materials are far easier to access online than in the offline world, allowing greater opportunities to benefit from the data in a Competitive Market Analysis.

The primary benefit of conducting a Competitive Market Analysis is to know who you are competing against and knowing how much of a threat they present to your company within your select market.

A Competitive Market Analysis will also allow you to identify your own company's weaknesses, and to understand what you may be doing wrong and how you can best serve your customers. You will also identify your strengths, by discovering what sets you apart from your competitors, and these can be emphasised in your marketing.

A Competitive Market Analysis will also enable you to identify your unique value proposition, or UVP. This is what sets you apart from your competitors, the unique service or product that only you provide and will allow you to determine what drives success in your market.

It is recommended that you make use of a multitude of resources to identify your competitors, such as which sites come up as natural search results for your terms and business registries and the most effective Competitive Market Analysis will compare at least three to five of the top companies in your market and identify the strengths of each company, including your own.

No business can exist in a vacuum online and ignoring the competition will prevent you from gaining insight into their success secrets. An effective Competitive Market Analysis gives you the information required to see your company as your customers and competitors do. It will also permit you to see what your competitors are offering that is unique in the industry, and where they have excelled.

The more information you have about your competitors, the easier it is to make smart and informed decisions to build and expand your business. A Competitive Market Analysis provides your business with both an offensive and defensive strategic context through which you can successfully identify opportunities and threats and is essential to provide you with a competitive advantage.

Some important factors to consider when compiling a Competitive Market Analysis are:

  1. the business services your competitors offer, such as whether your competitors offer extensive distribution;
  2. what is their customer focus; and
  3. if they are leaders in product innovation.

Their online position and marketing strategies can also be analyzed to see where they have an advantage in your business market. This inside information into your competitors will allow you to formulate a strategy to ensure that your business gains or maintains it's position at the top of the market by knowing what the competitor is planning or what you can provide that they do not, clearly creating an exclusivity for your company.

And now I'd like to break the competitive market analysis process down a little further.

Josh Taylor is the President of and partners with small business owners to increase their profits by strengthening their online presence.

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