The 2020 Competitor Analysis Checklist for B2B Marketing: How To Differentiate Your Company in a Saturated Market
“Competitor analysis” is thrown around like every other big digital marketing buzzword (SEO, Paid Ads, and Digital Expert just to name a few more). Although “competitor analysis” is a widely known term and practice, it is almost never broken down into actionable steps that align with a consistent process.
At OM, we onboard new clients with a streamlined process for Brand, Competitor, and Market Analysis that continually results in great success. First and foremost, we must UNDERSTAND our new client’s product or service and main value points. We will never be able to differentiate ourselves if we don’t understand what we are differentiating.
Once we are comfortable with the client’s offering, we then “take it to the streets,” – AKA the internet – and begin our competitor analysis. Why is a competitor/market analysis one of the first tasks we accomplish? Because we want to understand who our competition is, what their value points are, and what resonates with the target audience. This is the first step in deciding how you can truly differentiate yourself from the competition.
When you start your competitor analysis, these are the 8 steps you want to follow to understand the market and discover how your client will stand out from the competition!
- Identify Top 5 Direct Competitors: This information will be supplied by your client. Understanding who your direct competitors are is important as this will give you a reference for who you are competing against in the market.
- Identify Industry Leading Companies: Acknowledging who the industry leaders are allows us to have an example of what marketing is “winning” in the market.
- Competitors “Attacking” Your Brand: Always search your brand and identify if competitors are bidding on your brand terms. If they are, then this is a topic to discuss with your client as they may want to “attack” back, or put more budget into their brand terms to protect it and force the competitor to keep spending more money.
- Visit Each Competitor’s Website: Visit each competitors’ website to add yourself to that company’s funnel. Do not use an Incognito tab. You will then be remarketed by the company and will gain further insight into how their funnels are defined, what messaging they use, and the various channels they are on.
- Document Competitors Value Points & Messaging: As you visit each competitor, create a spreadsheet and document their 3 main value points, branding, product messaging, and lead flows.
- Communicate Similarities & Differences: Meet with your client and present how your client’s value points, messaging, and branding compare and differ with competitors. This will uncover how your client can truly differentiate themselves and win!
- Market the Winning Value Points: Create messaging that resonates with your audience while highlighting your main differentiators that are unlike what the competitor offers or is better, while also subtly pointing out the failures of your competitors.
- BONUS: Use Market Analysis Tools: There are various market analysis tools to understand digital marketing specific topics. We prefer SpyFu for researching competitors PPC Keywords, SimilarWeb for Audience Demographics, SEMrush for Organic Rankings, and Facebook Ads Library for paid social assets. You can also review Google Ad’s Auction Insights to see how your target keywords compete against your competitors’.
Once you complete this checklist, you will notice that you have a more complete understanding of the market, product, and target audience. The perfect recipe for a successful marketing campaign! Although we provide general recommendations for completing a competitor and market analysis, your marketing team should put great focus and concentration on this area.We truly believe that this can make or break a great marketing strategy!