More than just a competitive analysis
You may have heard about companies that believe if they do a thorough competitive analysis, their marketing work is done. Sadly, that’s not the case.
Sure, a competitive analysis can help you find out what the competition is doing. It’s also a great way to find what your competitors aren’t doing so that you can take advantage of that.
But this alone can’t serve as a marketing strategy.
In fact, creating a solid foundational marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. Designing and building a stable foundation for your sales and marketing ecosystem will create the base you need to tell the world who you are and why they need your products or services.
Consistent branding, messaging and communication through a single cohesive ecosystem is critical to building brand awareness, attracting the right personas, converting quality leads, and creating highly engaged fans of your products or services.
When to do a foundational marketing strategy
Yes, a competitive analysis is definitely part of a marketing strategy. It’s not where you want to start, though.
To create an effective marketing strategy, you need to go through a process that allows a business or an organization to concentrate its resources on the greatest opportunities. Another goal of a marketing strategy is to use it to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. The focus should be on YOUR company, not your competitors to start.
A marketing strategy can help you determine:
- What you want to achieve.
- Activities or tactics needed to achieve those goals.
- What tools to use.
Now comes that final piece of the journey–creating the systems and developing the tools you will need to carry out the sales and marketing activities to growth.
When to use a competitive analysis
And this is where the competitive analysis fits in. A competitive analysis is part of your branding efforts that are completed after you have created your marketing roadmap.Those brand identity efforts should include a look at your brand promise, internal and external branding and, of course, a competitive analysis.
In a nutshell, a competitive analysis is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. It’s used to identify the opportunities and threats that your business might currently have. And, of course, the focus is on the competitors–not your own company
A competitive analysis can help you determine:
- Who are your direct and indirect competitors?
- What can you learn from them?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How does their product or service differ from yours?
In order to better understand how your products and services compare with similar businesses and how to best position yourself, you’ll want to complete a competitive analysis.
But the first step in your marketing journey should begin with a bigger-picture assessment of where you have been and where you need to go.
In essence, the competitive analysis is really just a piece of the puzzle in your overall marketing strategy. It’s a tactic and is great information to have, but it doesn’t provide you with a plan to follow to meet your goals and objectives.
Contact us if you’d like to find out more about how to create your own foundational marketing roadmap.