What’s informing your business strategy? With the massive amount of data available at our fingertips today, it’s easier than ever to access information about your target audience, business environment, and, most importantly, your competitors. Data helps inform not only your buying strategy but your overall business strategy as well.
More specifically, competitive intelligence data provides you with the insights you need to make well-informed business decisions and repositioning. Recently our Director of Marketing, Jenny Duong, was interviewed by ReachForce to provide insights on how to develop a business strategy using competitive intelligence. Below you can find a summary of her perspective on how to effectively use competitive intelligence to develop a strong business strategy in the digital world.
For those who have never heard the term, can you briefly describe what competitive intelligence is?
Jenny: Simply put, competitive intelligence allows you to make better and smarter decisions by learning from your competitors and surrounding business environment through data collection and analysis. Competitive intelligence helps businesses identify trends or untapped gaps in the market and forecast their competitor’s next move.
As a marketer, I’m always keeping tabs on my competition. I track my competitor’s online ad campaigns so that I’m always aware of exactly what kind of ads they’re running, where they’re running them and how successful they were on specific publishers. It’s a big help if I’m able to review the ad copy they’re using (or avoiding), their best CTAs and not to mention the different landing page designs they’re split-testing. All of this informs how I build out my next campaigns to stay ahead of my competitors.
With the amount of data available in today’s digital world, you can leverage the efforts of others and build upon their success. Ultimately, this saves you time and resources since you’re also able to avoid making the mistakes they’ve already made.
What are some methods a business can use to identify who their main competitors are in their industry?
Jenny: There are numerous ways a business can identify their main competitors beyond the obvious Google search. But to identify almost all of your major competitors in any industry in this way can be time-consuming and cumbersome. You can’t get all the data that you need on Google alone. Using competitive intelligence tools simplifies this process because you can focus on results that are specific to your niche, saving you endless hours.
With competitive intelligence data, businesses can clearly identify new leads and business opportunities not yet tapped by competitors. Knowing the ad strategies, including which ads worked best for your competitors’ long term and short term campaigns, can help you benchmark for future success by leveraging their failures.
Competitive intelligence analysis can provide insights into opportunities in a market. What are some signals to watch out for, and how can they be translated into reliable marketing insights?
Jenny: Competitive intelligence tools can seem overwhelming because of the extensive data they provide. The key is to be aware of what to look for so that you know not only when changes happen, but also how they affect the ad landscape. To do this successfully, you need a tool that tracks trends and changes.
One of the key signals I would recommend watching out for is changes in geographic markets. Keeping an eye on the locations of where your competitors are advertising, for example, can help you:
- Target untapped markets that your competitors may have missed
- Reach new audiences that you previously overlooked, or
- Pull out of markets that don’t seem to be working well for your competitor.
Being proactive in looking for changes will allow businesses to capitalize on opportunities in real time. You can save your A/B testing times and budget, make smarter decisions and boost your ROI.
What are some useful predictive metrics, and how can a business model its strategies based on this data?
Jenny: One of the major benefits of competitive intelligence is being able to use the data to identify trends and patterns among competitors and the industry overall. For example, you can track your competition’s ad strategy over time to monitor their campaign patterns and cycles to learn what is and isn’t working.
You may also be able to identify and track their sale cycles, changes in promotions, and/or upgrades in their products and services. Keeping tabs on these historical changes over time, can help you predict when your competitor’s next sale is going to occur or perhaps, what new promotion they may run. This way you will always know how to match their promotional trail.
You can access the full interview by clicking here.