Competitor Research – How to Get Your Company In The Competition
Competitor research is the process of assessing a firm’s current competitive environment and compares it with its competitors. Competitor profiling is a fundamental process used across all industries to strengthen a company’s competitive position and gain an edge over competitors. Competitor profiling is a process of identifying key competitive differences, defining core competencies, and comparing current operations with competitors and possible future opportunities. This research provides an overall strategic picture in competitive management and provides an offensive as well as defensive strategic context to define threats and opportunities.
Competitor profiling helps companies to understand their direct and indirect competitors and to determine whether their current marketing mix is appropriate. It also helps firms to define and measure their strengths relative to their direct and indirect competitors. Competitor profiling requires detailed information about each of the company’s major customers, key products, sales channels, distribution channels, financial strength, and other factors. Most companies use a combination of internal and external sources for customer and supplier data. Competitor research is based on the assumption that firms share certain characteristics, such as a strong competitive position, a diverse product portfolio, extensive experience in a particular industry, and the ability to execute and manage effectively.
Competitor profiling helps companies address several important issues related to their strategic environment. First, it determines the strength and weakness of each of their key competitive categories. The results are then divided between direct competitors and indirect competitors. Next, the strengths and weaknesses are compared with the market share, customer satisfaction, sales and profitability of each direct and indirect competitor.
Competitor profiling also involves the process of identifying the share of direct competitors in the market shares of specific target markets. The two categories selected to form a criterion for conducting competitor research are: general business activities and product portfolios. For example, if the targeted market segment is pharmaceuticals, the research should focus on the companies whose products perform strongly in this industry. General business activities refers to the market shares of businesses involved in the supply chain of consumer goods, such as retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors.
Competitor profiling involves the analysis of specific product characteristics, market shares, customer characteristics, and the extent of competitors’ market dominance. These are among the main components of Competitor Research. In addition, it entails the study of specific industries, including the quality, service, and price aspects. The dimensions used to analyze these characteristics are:
Competitor profiling can be conducted by companies through a variety of approaches. Some companies conduct competitor analysis by engaging in focus groups with local or small businesses from different industries. This approach allows companies to gain insights on the business practices of target audiences. A second way to conduct competitor research is through the creation of surveys or questionnaires. The results of these surveys can be used for the purpose of industry-wide competitor analysis.
A third way to conduct competitive research is through the use of secondary data and online market research. These days, many companies conduct secondary research, including market research. Secondary research typically involves a research company sending questionnaires to people who may have an interest in purchasing certain products. Examples of questions that may be asked include questions about the social media usage patterns of target market, their purchasing tendencies, where they look for information online, which web sites they frequent, and what they don’t know. Sometimes, companies may also need to learn about participants’ personal characteristics, such as gender, age, educational level, geographical location, and net income.
As well as gathering feedback on competitor research, a company also needs to understand how to implement the findings of such analysis in order to remain ahead in the competition. Many competitors, it seems, are also keen to stay ahead of competitors by adopting similar strategies. It is therefore important for a company to adopt strategies that are different, but at the same time, similar to theirs, so that they can attract and retain their target audience. For example, a competitor researching the purchase habits of a specific target audience may find out that a large percentage of them search for a product on Google. This may indicate that the company should make its website more visible to this target audience by designing relevant content for search engines and by using keywords in the website’s content.