n this cut-throat world, analysing competitors is essential to business operations. In this article, we ask How To Get Ahead Of The Competition In 5 Easy Steps. While finding information about competitors is somewhat easy with a simple Google search, you can also easily drown in the colossal amount of data. Especially in those dark and dangerous fabled data lakes and swamps.

To avoid it, you need a robust, effective, and systematic approach that helps you understand what your competitors are doing and what are their strategies.

Robust competitor analysis
Robust competitor analysis includes these steps:

Understand where should you focus your research
Figure out authentic data sources
Categorise the significant data
Use the analysis framework to understand the data
Offer the in-depth research insights to respective authorities
These steps are simple, repeatable, scalable, and most importantly, adaptable to any business niche.

Public announcements
Companies announce their business deals daily through press releases and many other ways, offering you enormous information about themselves and how they operate. These announcements through social media, official channels, or people are published in blogs, news, and articles. While most information is accessible to everyone, it is hard to make sense of it. So, how can you extract valuable information from the overwhelming amount of data available on the internet and in newspapers?

Create an overview of the rival company
First and foremost, start with the most basic information and create a skeleton of information for this competitor. From the trading name, main products, business location, and websites to their social media accounts, gather basic yet essential information about their market cap, company status, annual profit, primary services or products, and board members and their experience in the market.

In addition, you can include some details about their current market position based on internal sources from your company. Focus on gathering information about the competitor’s strength, reputation, main weakness, and brand positioning. This information helps you understand how one company fits in the global market. Moreover, it acts as a benchmark while understanding overall performance. This overview analysis gives you a clear idea about your competitor and whether it is your direct or indirect rival.

Collect relevant data
It is difficult to segregate relevant information from the available data. If you are interested in the competitor’s one product, you can fully ignore their other products and investments in other services. You must have a reliable source of data where you get relevant information about market conditions, revenue funding, and legal documentation. Also, keep an eye on their website and public announcements via their blog, newsletters, social media channels, and podcasts.

Compare your product with the competitor’s
Competitor analysis is not about beating your competitor. It’s about letting customers know more about you and letting them choose you instead of other offerings available in the market. Using the collected data, you can pinpoint target customers and how you can compete based on features, price, customer support, ease of use, warranty, and brand image. In this step, you need to work with the marketing team to understand what customers want.

Do SWOT analysis
You may have heard about SWOT analysis. If done correctly, it’s the most elegant way to know about your competitors. SWOT gets a bad name because it’s rarely done correctly. As a result, it’s seen as easy, boring, and the sum total of competitor analysis.

Moreover, it helps you understand where you can perform better than your competitors. You can actually turn a competitor’s weaknesses into your strength. Furthermore, the threats your competitors are facing are also warning signs for you. Thus, it helps you prepare for the worse situations.

Involve decision-makers in your final assessment
The endpoint of any competitor analysis is to present your findings to decision-makers and help them take informed action. Your final research should not contain raw data but have charts and visual guides to help them understand competitors quickly. Focus on actionable information.

Good competitor analysis is the best way to get ahead in the industry, and it’s a great way to plan every business strategy and make effective profitable investments.

How To Get Ahead Of The Competition In 5 Easy Steps
In conclusion, using Google to research your competitors is easy and can be very helpful in understanding their business. However, it’s important to have a systematic approach to avoid getting overwhelmed by the data. This includes having a clear goal for what you’re looking for and being able to analyse and synthesise the information you find. Thank you, Swamini Kulkarni, for your input on our article called how to get ahead of the competition in.

Author's Bio: 

Octopus Competitive Intelligence consulting agency | Your competitive advantage starts here #compintel #competitiveanalysis #marketintelligence