Competitive Analysis: the secret weapon of marketing
If you have a business and want to keep being in business, you definitely need to be ready to compete in a highly competitive market. This assumption entails “spying on” your direct competitors or companies related to your business, that is analyzing the marketing strategies they are implementing in order to meet their business and sales goals. In two words: competitive analysis.
Assessing the competition is a well-known tactic in business and it gets absolutely necessary when it comes to marketing a business or driving traffic to a site and even more so when thinking about strategies for the digital market.
In fact, as advertising mediums keep developing and upsizing, having a grasp of your competitors’ marketing strategies that are proving to be gainful for them is crucial. Imagine how this early-acquired knowledge would benefit the designing of a digital advertising and marketing plan by figuring out, in a preliminary stage, how similar online companies are acquiring traffic, what online sources are driving more visitors, or how competitors are monetizing those numbers.
Competitive analysis with Google platform
There are several analytics tools available on the market that offer valuable data insights to companies. And each of them differ in their offerings and the niche channel they specialize in. Starting from the basics, Google Analytics (GA) is definitely the most comprehensive analytical platform of all and it is a must to implement if you own a web property. It is able to offer insights into how visitors find and use your digital properties, being a site, social channels, or a mobile app. It analyzes visitors traffic and can draw the full customer picture across text or display ads, videos, tablets, social tools, smartphones and more. Google Analytics is also able to measure digital campaigns performance as well as sales records and conversions. This being said, by defining your audience and understanding what they are looking for, it will be easier to optimize your site content and tailor your marketing strategies for maximum impact.
All this is good. But when it comes to analyzing the competition, that is what strategies other companies related to yours are using, one of the biggest challenges with competitive research is figuring out what media networks they are using to buy display advertising, what ad language is associated with which audience and, most importantly, which banners ads performs better for them.
Here’s when competitive intelligence comes in. It is the secret weapon for being in charge of your online business strategy. The more you know about your competitors, the better. How much traffic do you generate against your competition? Where are your biggest competitors advertising online? Which of their ads are best performers? How much does your competitor spend on advertising? What offers are they running?
Competitive advantage is paramount
Having a competitive advantage in today’s digital age is paramount. Having access to competition’s insights means being able to craft more efficient and creative marketing strategies to create positive CTRs and ROI, and grow a brand more effectively.
As far as the online media buying is concerned, competitive analysis should be used as well to one’s own advantage by leveraging competitors’ experiences in marketing and monetizing products similar to ours, so that we can make more informed decisions, learn how to better anticipate market reactions, and ultimately be able to build rapid revenue growth. This is even more true for site owners knowing how expensive can get to drive traffic to one’s site. Just to mention keyword advertising spends, sponsored advertising on social media channels, and so on: all these actions need to be cost-effective, maintain a high CTR rate and result in net profit.
Display advertising tracking tools
Researching tools for tracking competition’s display advertising, I found several online tools to acquire data on competitors, such as WhatRunsWhere (able to track a list of competitive advertisers, alerting you when they launch new text or banner ads), AdGooroo (able to offer solid reporting including historical trending charts), and AdBeat (supports between 25 and 30 ad networks).
There are several more tools out there; however, the main problem for most companies is not knowing how to interpret and use the data these tools extract for them. In fact, there’s no magic wand: what makes the difference is not the tool itself, but what you do with it and how you can leverage data to maximize your marketing and media buying efforts.