Competitive Analysis How-To: 5 Must-Make Steps to Turn Marketing Inspiration into a Successful Strategy

Have you ever approached your competitor analysis from the perspective of using your industry colleagues as marketing inspiration? 

It’s an interesting creative and strategic exercise that can help you develop new perspectives and ideas for marketing your business in upcoming campaigns. And it can help you find new ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors by shining a light on your unique selling points.

In this blog, we share some tips for beginning to mine your competitors’ and colleagues’ marketing initiatives for inspiration. Rather than copying and pasting exactly what they are doing, you can examine their strategies and messaging – what works and what doesn’t work for your target market – and turn that inspiration into a winning strategy of your own!

Step 1: Define Your Competition

The first step in the process of competitor research is to get clear on who your true competitors are. Not everyone in your niche or industry is a competitor, at least not a direct competitor. If they don’t serve your specific customer, deliver your same or a similar service or product, or have a different selling model than you are using, there’s a chance they may not be your competitor. And defining your competition allows you to be sure you’re doing accurate research.

This becomes especially important when it comes to comparing your marketing strategies to those of potential competitors. As a simple example: If you have a brick-and-mortar location and compare yourself to a store that exists solely online, you may find that your strategies are wholly different. And with good reason. Following this example, the best and most effective competitor analysis involves comparing your business with other brick-and-mortar locations selling similar products to a similar target audience rather than that wholly online store.

Defining your competition from multiple perspectives allows you to recognize the common product, value proposition, pain points addressed, and solutions offered so that you can move forward with the rest of your analysis from that common ground.

Step 2: Let Inspiration Flow

Competitor analysis can be qualitative and quantitative. So, before you begin mining for quantitative data, exploring gaps in strategies, or even focusing on your own unique brand message and positioning, give yourself space to get inspired and creative.

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and see our colleagues as competitors in all aspects of business, it’s fun to take some time to flip the script and see them as potential muses and ask ourselves:

What are they doing in their marketing, branding, design, visuals, affiliate marketing, and strategy?

Could any of these things work for us? Why or why not?

If any of this could work for us, how could we put our own unique spin on it so it becomes our own?

And of course: What sets us apart from these competitors and colleagues in these areas where we find ourselves inspired?

This time to reflect and swim in opportunities is necessary for all that comes next and will allow us to appreciate those in our field for all they bring to the table.

Step 3: Use Data to Explore What’s Working 

Do you know where your competition gets their website traffic from? 

Do you know what content gets them the most engagement?

The answers to these questions might help you discover your own potential areas of strength as well as new ways to reach your own audience.

So, take some time to dive into the data and analysis process to mine for the answers to questions like these and develop strategies that can enhance your content marketing.

For example, you can use SEO research to see what keywords they’re pursuing and to see if such strategies align with your audience, products, services, and goals. Plus, you can explore content areas they may be overlooking and capitalize on those with your own content and SEO strategies as well.

Step 4: Mind (and Fill) Your Marketing Strategy Gaps

Reflecting on your competitors’ and industry colleagues’ businesses can also help you identify potential gaps in your own business marketing strategy. From there, you can decide what gaps make sense and which gaps you may want to address with additional strategies. For example, perhaps they’re on a particular platform that you’re not currently using.

You might decide that your specific target market isn’t present on that platform, so it’s not the right place for you. 

Or you might decide that it was an oversight on your part and create a messaging strategy that helps you break onto that platform so you can create a new audience to drive traffic to your products or services. 

Step 5: Capitalize on Your USP 

Finally, while it’s fantastic to garner inspiration from your colleagues and competitors, the most important move you can make to stay at the top of your game is to make the most of what sets you apart: 

Your unique selling proposition (USP) can take many forms: from key differentiating factors about your products to how you do things differently to how you provide superior customer service that delivers results – the list goes on… But at the core of this matter is what inspires you most: The path you’ve taken that’s uniquely your own.

Turn Your Competition into Inspiration… and Results

From mining for inspiration to launching your full-scale competitor analysis, there’s no need to entirely reinvent the wheel when it comes to your marketing strategy. 

But there’s absolutely a necessity to tailor whatever path you choose to best fit your strengths and goals.

And if you’d like help with all of that, you can contact our Revelation Creative team here.

We’re here to help you make your presence known.