Previously we’ve written about what a competitive audit or analysis should entail, why it’s important, and so forth. That was a while back, though, and as we’ve continued to perform CompThreat analysis reports for our clients, patterns have started to emerge.
The patterns have allowed us to confidently say that a CompThreat (or any properly executed competitive analysis) will provide you with these three things every single time:
Confirmation of “gut check” suspicions (“They’re winning because…”).
Discovery of where you can improve incrementally or monumentally.
Outline for a more comprehensive “what next?” plan.
Confirming Your Suspicions
I speak with business owners all the time who have a very strong understanding of their business and their market, but do not have the data to back up their hunches about how they’re being challenged by the competition. “We think” and “I’m pretty sure” are good starting points, but they’re not the kinds of sentiments you want to stake a year’s marketing efforts (and dollars) on, just to find out you were only partially right. A CompThreat will show how you compare, confirming your suspicions.
Discovering Where You Can Improve
More often than not, we begin an engagement with our clients because they have a felt need that their website has search engine optimization (SEO) issues. The understandable belief is that by fixing the SEO aspects of their websites, all online efforts will be better.
Part of why we insist on beginning any project—even the “we only need SEO” ones—with a CompThreat is because SEO is never the sole issue plaguing the client’s site. In fact, it’s usually not even the primary issue. So then we have the beginnings of a bigger picture...
Outlining a More Comprehensive “What Next?” Plan
… and with that bigger picture comes the ability to take a step back and say, “Of all this data and analysis, what can we do that will have the most impact the fastest for our client?” And we can then prioritize our actions accordingly. Voila…a strategy!
No one knows your business like you do, so as we discuss our findings, there is typically some back and forth as we retool our proposed strategy according to your timeline, needs, limitations, and budget.
At the end of the day, we’ve accomplished three incredibly important things by taking the whole market picture into consideration: we have verified your hunches, discovered new ideas, and prioritized the best ways to move forward.
Are you performing regular competitive analysis? If so, what does it look like for your company? If not, it’s our specialty and we’d love to chat with you about how we can build a customized CompThreat to prepare your business for the rest of 2015. We do it often, and the results amaze us 100% of the time.