Start With a Competitive Edge: The Competitive Audit
Sound marketing strategies start with actionable information; and the best way to get that is with a competitive audit. Competitive audits are investments that takes time and effort, but their findings are invaluable as you refine and develop your marketing strategies. Whether it’s for a new product launch or a full rebranding, here’s what you need to put one together:
1. Define your competitors and their products.
This step should be easy — probably because your main competitors are already on your mind. Collect the names of those competing brands and their products, and buckle in. For each of them, you’ll want to gather each of the following sets of information. And don’t forget to include your own brand and product in the final report.
2. Break down their brand snapshots.
All this research must ultimately answer two questions: 1. Who are your competitors, and 2. What are they doing in your market? Identify the ways that each of your competitors positions themselves, along with any research you can find about their taglines and buyer personas. Look at both commonalities and differentiators on both the brand level and the product level.
3. Collect their marketing tactics.
Review the marketing tactics your competitors have employed, as well as any specific materials you can find. This means everything from sales collateral and content marketing to product landing pages and tradeshow displays. Try to dissect their overall approaches — both in messaging and how they move customers along the marketing funnel — and any unique details from individual tactics. In short, collect everything you need to reverse engineer their strategic outlines.
4. Summarize their messaging.
Break down any messaging you find into its key points. As before, identify any differentiators, product claims and keywords. Keep in mind that a thorough investigation may turn up more insight into sales personas and overarching strategies. The keyword research in particular will come in handy as you assess your own messaging and digital platforms.
5. Analyze and strategize.
Work with your brand solutions provider (ahem, that’s us) to unpack your findings and turn your actionable research into a real strategy. Even better, let us handle the research and release you of the immense amount of time and commitment this undertaking will consume.