No amount of marketing intelligence is complete without competitor intelligence. You and your client need to know what their competitors are up to in order to stay one step ahead and, well, competitive. Here are a few ways to conduct and gather competitor research to help your client stay at least one step ahead.
How Using a Digital Audit Can Ramp Up Your Client’s Competitor Intelligence
Who Are Your Client’s Competitors?
Competitor intelligence starts with identifying the competition. You may scoff and think that you already know who the competitors are. But when was the last time you and your client took a look at the marketplace? New businesses are popping up all the time. Have you kept up-to-date on them to make sure they’re not a threat to your client’s business? You and your client have to know who the competition includes in order to study them all and figure out what they’re doing well.
HubSpot recommends keeping an up-to-date list on your client’s direct and indirect competitors:
- Direct competitors are the ones who offer similar products and/or services to your client
- Indirect competitors are brands that offer different products and services than your client, but still appeal to the same target audience
What Counts as Competitor Intelligence?
“CI work can include anything from tracking your competitors’ pricing model to monitoring their social media activity,” says HubSpot. The main thing to remember when collecting competitor intelligence is to make sure everything you’re doing is legal! Nothing tanks sales quite like bad press. No amount of competitor intelligence is worth that.
So, what should you be looking for? HubSpot and Mailchimp recommend:
- Press releases
- Job posting
- Ad campaigns
- Content/copy (white papers, ebooks, etc.)
- Customer reviews
- Rebranding announcements
- Website changes
- Earnings reports
- Social media
- SEO tools
When you and your client have a clear view on how the competition is handling their day-to-day business and promoting their products and services, you can study it and figure out where they’re lacking and how to take advantage of that. It’s also a good way to get ideas for how to improve your client’s own advertising efforts.
How to Track Down that Data Efficiently
All the bullet points above are A LOT of information to track down and sift through until you find what’s useful. It’s going to take time and manpower to do manually. Time and manpower that could be better spent actually planning a new ad campaign and putting it into action.
Performing a digital audit on your client’s competitors can save you both that time and effort. With the Digital Audit tool on AdMall by SalesFuel, you can get real-time competitor intelligence in seconds. The Digital Audit analyzes the account’s:
- Marketing Activity
- And more
With that information, you can easily see where the competition’s digital advertising efforts are excelling and where they fall short.
You should also run a digital audit on your client’s own company to get the same information. That way, you know what areas to focus on when searching for improvements.
Why Focus on Competitor Intelligence?
You may be wondering why you should even focus on competitor intelligence when you could be planning your client’s next campaign using research based on their own company. According to Mailchimp, “The value of competitive intelligence is earned by reducing the time spent deliberating about important decisions. For example, if a business notices a competitor doing something different on its website, the marketing team may decide to imitate the strategy with minimal pushback from stakeholders.”
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Just like in war, marketing is all about research. Sure, you can do what you’ve always done when it comes to marketing and hope it keeps working. But your client’s competitors probably already know your client’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s time to level the playing field (or turn things in your client’s favor with even better research tactics).
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