Competitor analysis is the best way to discover a company's strengths and vulnerabilities. Analyzing competitors provides insight into their financial, personnel and marketplace decisions. Competitor analysis removes the “secret” from competitors’ success. This can level the playing field and illustrate where a rival’s advantages lie. There are many sectors or commerce that benefit from competitive analysis. Marketing isn’t the only one. Here are some illustrations of how this plays out on different fields.
Competitor Analysis in Finance
In finance, having real-time financial data is necessary for effective performance. Whether a company manages finances, provides investment opportunities for clients or directs mergers and acquisitions, competitor analysis can’t be ignored.
A competitor analysis platform will provide access to public records and open source info for:
- Earnings estimates
- Market quotes
- Live stock ticker feeds
This variety of financial data can be source material for charts, reports and presentations. Literally millions of data points are available in finance. These aggregate into observable trends and patterns that can inform best practice and future success.
Competitor Analysis in Business
Competition and business strategy are virtually synonymous. With linguistic roots in military practices, strategies in business are the vehicles for victory.
In the past, third-party firms provided competitive data which was analyzed quarterly. With the ease and access of the internet, the process has changed. Competitive data is readily available to any searcher. Competitors' moves are broadcast nearly in real time.
Instead of just pushing strategic initiatives that constituted the “next logical step,” businesses can now be proactive and operate with more vision and sophisticated tactics. Most of this is due to the availability of competitive analysis data.
There are endless ways to utilize competitor analysis in the business sector. Relevant, timely data points for competitor analysis in business include:
- Sales data
- Website traffic
- Social media presence
- Product information
- Market trends
- Leadership changes
- Mergers and acquisitions
This data will help teams analyze and adjust business strategies to increase revenue. Using competitor analysis in business is the key to rising to the top of an industry.
Writing Competitive Analysis Into a Business Plan
Once data has been gathered and analyzed, it can be implemented into a business action plan. Competitive analysis is easiest to write into a business plan based on completed SWOT analysis. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can be incorporated into a plan of action.
Careful analysis should identify short and long-term goals. Realistic checkpoints should track progress along the way. Using competitors as a benchmark is a great way to stay on track while following a business plan.
Competitor Analysis in Trade, Export and Import
Trade businesses have a timely and urgent need to see changes in commodity and share prices. Competitor analysis software provides automated updates related to commodity and exchange rate changes.
These analysis tools can offer many trade, export and import data points, including:
- Historical rates
- Commodity prices
- Agricultural trends
- Foreign entity behaviors
- Trade agreements
- Export/import news
- Port news
- International currencies and exchange data
Within such a quickly shifting industry, up-to-date information is required for predictable revenue. Competitor analysis can give companies crucial data that will ensure trading, exporting and importing decisions are well-informed.
Competitor Analysis in Medical Fields
Medicine is a vast field with immense profits. The medical field encompasses pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers and services related to medical facilities. Companies need strategic growth plans in an industry growing as rapidly as this.
Competitor analysis tools may include access to the following information:
- Clinical trials
- Scientific innovations
- Sales data
- Healthcare analytics
- IT healthcare data and trends
- Pharmaceutical research
- Public health data
With this information, healthcare companies can gain vital understanding of an enormous industry. The best competitor analysis platforms offer all of the data that medical companies need to inform marketing, advertising and consumer targeting strategies.
Competitor Analysis in HR
Human resources data names names, or gives the facts about who’s at the helm of a competitor’s ship. Competitive analysis collects other details such as job postings, job announcements and CEO changes. Stocks change immediately based on high-level personnel changes. Massive layoffs are a clear indicator that trouble is brewing.
All of this is important to know about a competitor. Track it with HR data points, which may include:
- Job postings
- Job availability
- Company reviews
- Employee emails
- News and bulletins
- Mergers or partnerships
Whether a team is headhunting, consolidating or projecting revenue, HR data is a goldmine of useful information to stay on pace in any industry.
It’s easy to see the overlap between the competitive analysis performed in each of these industries and the kind done for marketing. Marketing competitor analysis is present in all of these. It is a specialized function that informs best practice and yields high return. While software is the best way to deploy sophisticated analysis, traditional tools may provide an entry point for teams new to the process.