To compete successfully you have to know who you are up against! Competitor Analysis is the in depth analysis on your major competitors, or new players entering your target markets – such as their structure, products/services, strategy, strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats – enables you to really focus on targeting resources where they will have the most impact.
Analysis of the competitive landscape will help you to:
- understand competitors’ objectives and strategy and develop your own accordingly
- develop realistic sales targets through understanding the scale of competitors’ operations and revenue
- identify relative market positions
- identify each competitor’s market share
- identify the split of competitors by product
- conduct a gap analysis on product features
- implement product or service improvements to counter strengths/weaknesses and innovations in their product portfolio
- position your products/services appropriately
- understand the distribution strategies of your competitors and optimize your own
- offer competitive pricing discounts and payment terms
- develop a marketing communications strategy with messages that resonate effectively with your target market and counteract your competitors’ messages
- strengthen your products/services and marketing strategy according to how your competitors and their products are perceived by customers
- identify new product development and competitive product road maps
- develop sales guides highlighting sales “kill points”, i.e. points designed to counter specific competitor offerings and communications
- understand competitor customer satisfaction levels
- conduct lost bid analysis
- define research and development investment.
Competitor analysis is a large, complex and specialist study; decide first what your needs are, and therefore which avenues you need to explore, and plan your research in detail ensuring you apply the appropriate technique or methodology to gain the best results. Approaching various sources will be necessary – competitors’ employees and customers, channel partners and maybe former employees – make sure you have the expertise available to conduct this research to maximize the information gathered and ensure you are aware of ethical and legal considerations.
Effectively completed, competitor analysis is technically challenging, complicated and resource-hungry work that is best left to experts that specialize in the competitor intelligence and analysis field.
In a fiercely competitive industry the ability to carve out a new market can be the key to success. But launching into a new market requires an understanding of the opportunities, risks, competitors, potential customers and other key players via market opportunity studies.
To make an informed decision about a new market, you need to quantify the potential demand for your product or service and find out how this need is currently being met; a Market Opportunity Study will determine which geographical or industry segments should be targeted for future investment.
Research into the potential of new markets can enable you to:
- better understand your current market
- identify other niches within this market
- identify a new market altogether
- understand characteristics/needs of prospects in the new market and plan a marketing strategy
- understand the threats you will face and plan to counter them accordingly
- ultimately – achieve the objective of increased revenue.
Learn all these things via market opportunity studies.
7. Buyer Persona Checklist and Common Mistake List
The full details are in the previous posts of this series but the following two tables conveniently summarize the Buyer Persona development process with a tabulated Buyer Persona Checklist and table of the most common mistakes users initially make when developing personas. They don’t replace the detail of this post series but are useful aide-memoirs to ensure you follow the process and avoid at least some of the potential mistakes. You can save and print the images.
That completes this 7 post series on Buyer Personas and we hope you find it useful. If all this guidance and advice is overwhelming please talk to us about some Consultancy to help you figure out your best Buyer Persona research approach.
Good luck creating and using your Buyer, or other, Personas and please see this AUTODESK® CASE STUDY on how they created and successfully used Buyer Personas (Autodesk® is a leading software supplier for the CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM, PDM and many other markets).
Why do Market Research in China? To understand and plan the growth of your business.
China is now the world’s second-largest economy by nominal GDP. Until this year (2015) China was the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with growth rates averaging 10% over 30 years. Continue reading Some thoughts on how to do B2B Market Research in China
The purpose of market segmentation is to allow your marketing plan to focus on the sub segments that are “most likely” to purchase your goods or services, thus delivering the highest return on your investment. It divides up a market to identify trends in it; the analysis is used to create a profile of the target market/s:
- industry segments and sub segments are identified using SIC codes, company size, employment codes, etc.
- which segments to address and how best to address them may be determined and could include recommendations on optimum offering for each area
- using advanced statistical analysis, profiles of customer clusters may be developed by grouping together individuals with similar needs/differences by geographical region, country or industry type.
An overview Continue reading Market Segmentation