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Competitive Monitoring: Assert Your Place Above the Competition

Andrius Ziuznys

Andrius Ziuznys

December 20, 2021

a person monitoring competition

What is competitive monitoring?

Competitive monitoring is an analytical approach and the process of evaluating the most important aspects in the performance of your competition. It includes analyzing your competitors’ marketing strategies, products, pricing, expansion, and more.

Many successful businesses use competitive monitoring to generate insights into how other companies perform. It allows you to execute a sophisticated competitive analysis and adjust your commercial strategies accordingly.

One simple example is following your competitors' social media accounts which allows you to see a pattern of their social media strategy: how they proceed towards certain goals, what marketing campaigns they use, and the overall business responsiveness to changes in the industry.

In general, competitive monitoring provides you with detailed insights into your business landscape.

The aim of competitive monitoring

The ultimate goal in competitive monitoring and business, in general, is to be the industry leader. Identifying and tracking the competition is the key aspect to achieving that.

It's an extensive process of constant monitoring. One-and-done scenarios simply do not work here. Keep in mind that you are not the only business that's evolving thanks to competitive monitoring. Other businesses do that as well. They are also constantly evolving, or at least trying to.

As a result, continuously keeping track of the competition is arguably the most important facet of the process.

business meeting, competitive monitoring

Benefits of competitive monitoring

As mentioned above, competitive analysis is extremely important in terms of improving your business. Here is a list of a few benefits that competitive monitoring offers:

  • Gaining actionable insights
  • Enhanced business decisions
  • Identification of a significant rivalry

Each of them will be discussed in greater detail to help you better understand how the quality of your business processes improves by implementing competitive monitoring.

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Gaining actionable insights

Tracking competitors requires better knowledge for comprehensive analysis.

That's where competitive monitoring steps in.

You can find relevant information about your current competitors and note the emergence of new competitors.

There are multiple tools that can help you track their successes or failures. A couple of them are brand monitoring and SEO tools. 

For instance, with brand monitoring tools you can enter particular keywords to track the online presence of specific products or businesses and determine how well the other company performs and whether the new location is ready for a certain product. You can identify potential expansion locations and compete with the local companies.

On the other hand, with SEO tools you can track keyword rankings and the overall SEO health of a company. You can find content that ranked high and performed very well and make necessary adjustments to your own content.

There are different target keywords for different industries, so selecting them properly also takes some time and effort. The keywords might appear in web content, press releases, and search engine return results.

Enhanced business decisions

Having the data about your competitors allows you to make more informed, data-backed decisions. It's especially important for small businesses wanting to pave their way to success.

If you have more data about your competition, you can analyze it to come up with enhanced business decisions. Maybe their marketing campaigns are worth your attention and you could use the information to improve your own strategy? What if their product is perceived by the public better than yours, if so, why? You need to know those things if you want to be a valid competitor.

In this area, every decision can make or break a company; therefore, enhancing those decisions based on fresh and accurate data is a valuable solution.

Identification of a significant rivalry

Competitive monitoring allows you to identify a significant rival business that goes toe-to-toe with you. Tracking their strategies gives you knowledge of potential threats that the competitors might face along the way or threats that could be coming your way.

When a constant battle for new customers is in place, refusing to monitor your competition will be detrimental to your overall business health.

Types of competitors

In this article, two types of competitors will be explored: direct competitors and indirect competitors.

Direct competitors refer to the businesses that offer the same products or solutions that satisfy your common customer base. Those types of competitors you go toe-to-toe with. You have the same product and in order to beat the competitors, your marketing strategies must be impeccable. You always have to stay at the top of your game and not lose focus. Even when new competitors arise, the larger portion of your attention should stay at trying to overtake or, at least, stay in line with the most prominent direct competitors.

Indirect competitors, on the other hand, refer to the businesses that have similar, but slightly different products and solutions. However, they still target the same customer base and try to satisfy the same needs. In this case, your product may be superior or inferior from a technical perspective. Perhaps you offer a product with specific features that the other business is lacking. Or vice versa.

At this point, you're competing more with the product than the company. However, a good product with slight inferiority can still be perceived better by the audience if the marketing strategy is approaching perfection.

How to monitor your competition?

You should establish detailed research to see what could be improved. You can track the keywords that your competitors are targeting, analyze their rankings, research their most valuable content, be aware of new content, and monitor their social media activity to name a few. 

As far as keywords are concerned, you can see what keywords, if any, your competitors are missing and double-down on those keywords to pave your way into the search engine results. Also, you can choose to compete for the top spot by targeting the same keyword and try to push them down. However, most likely the competition will try to reclaim that top spot; therefore, you need to constantly keep one eye open and track any changes. There are multiple SEO tools to help you track the rankings and keyword usage.

Monitoring the social media activity allows you to see what the competition is sharing and how they communicate with their customers. You might gain some useful information or insights to improve your own strategies. There are multiple social listening tools that allow you to focus on certain profiles.

You can even resort to industry bloggers to gather useful information about competitors' products. They usually have a handful of articles that will help you define the quality and use cases of their product.

monitoring business performance

Data for competitive monitoring

It's clear now that relevant data is crucial to establishing a decent competitive analysis. But which data should you use? 

For instance, raw data gives you the most in-depth view of your competitive landscape, but in order to use raw data, you need to have an in-house data engineering team. On the other hand, ready-made solutions require no additional technical expertise from data scientists.

Let's see what types of data provide certain benefits.

Firmographic data

By using firmographics, you can identify competition. After all, it's the first step towards beating them. As one example, Coresignal’s firmographic data allows you to retrieve and group specific companies by filters.

Data points such as company name, industry, size, location, and more, allow you to conveniently narrow down the list of competitors.

Once you know what you're fighting, you can analyze their strategy and come up with a better one.

Job posting data

Job postings allow you to see where your competition intends to expand. Perhaps it's a good idea for you to do the same? You can research the location of the expansion to see whether that audience is ready for such a product.

Data points such as job title, location, description, and more, provide you with insights into details of the potential expansion.

Also, you can see where the job posting was published, allowing you to analyze the effectiveness of certain hiring platforms.

Company employee review data

With company employee review data, you can see into the internal structure of your competitors. Employee sentiment is crucial to business prosperity. You can see what employees say about the working conditions and gather insights into what can be improved in your house.

Keeping your employees happy and motivated is key to ensuring the longevity of your company.

If you note problems in competitors' internal climate, that might be a good place for you to overtake the competitor while they focus more of their attention towards employee satisfaction.

Product review data

Last, but not least, crawling websites that have product review information is as good as it gets in terms of customer satisfaction.

You get first-hand information about what people think about certain products. Maybe there is something that could be improved? Maybe people don't use a specific feature as much?

Such intelligence provides you with an exceptional edge that you can use to improve your product to better fit your target audience. And better product leads to better results.

In conclusion

Competitive monitoring is crucial to business success. Having a product and trying to sell it is not enough. There are many other competing businesses that offer the same or similar solutions and you need to be the first to know about any advancements from your competitors.

Without tracking your competition you cannot even ensure stagnation. Your competitors will continuously keep overtaking you and you might end up at the very bottom.

No business is good at the bottom.

To avoid that, you must constantly monitor your competitors and come up with solutions to keep you as far up as possible.

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