We all want to know what our rivals are up to–the good news is that investing in competitive assessment can do just that.
Roughly 53% of CEOs are uneasy about rival businesses, according to recent research.
But investing in a competitive analysis gives you valuable insight that can propel your company forward–and way ahead of your rivals.
In this post, we’ll be covering:
- A quick overview of rival assessments
- Reasons to conduct assessments
- How often you should run assessments
- Best fields to conduct in
- The process of working with a third-party team
For a more in-depth recap, I recommend reading our Ultimate Guide to Conducting a Competitor Analysis.
What Is Competitor Assessment Analysis?
A competitive assessment is an analysis of your organization’s brand, products, services, and strategy in comparison to similar businesses in your industry.
It evaluates competitors' strengths and weaknesses and how they compare to your own.
This can include how you perform against other brands, and what customers know about your organization versus what they know about your rivals. Additionally, you’ll be able to get a handle on the market size from this research.
Plus, by investing in competitive assessments, you can benchmark yourself as an organization against others. You're trying to understand where you are in the market, in comparison to other brands.
By using competitive benchmarking, you can use this insight to plan for something you're going to do in the future–expansion, product or service development, you name it.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Investing in competitive assessment equates to investing in the future of your company. In order to thrive as a brand, you need to gauge how and why rivals are performing against you.
Why Should You Run Competitive Assessments?
There are many benefits to conducting competitor market research. In this section, we discuss advantages such as keeping the pulse on the market and setting yourself up for future success.
For a quick synopsis though, I recommend watching the video below.
Keeping a pulse on the market
For one thing, you want to constantly keep a pulse on the market that you're in.
By running an assessment, you’ll gain fresh ideas for expansion. Using rival analysis in marketing plans is a great way to broaden your horizons.
Additionally, it’s just one example of how market research can fuel strategic planning.
On top of that, you may find that an idea you were going to propose may have already been used by a competitor.
If you’ve come up with a new strategy and customers are getting it elsewhere, then they’ll likely stick with that competitor.
Holding fast to an internal view can have negative impacts on a brand. We hate to break it to you, but if you think you’ve got your rivals all figured out, you probably don’t!
This is not to say that having an internal perspective of rivals is bad–it’s not. However, if that’s all you’re relying on for an advantage, important information can be overlooked.
Preparing for success
As we mentioned earlier, investing in competitor assessment sets you up for future success.
With roughly 61% of businesses agreeing that rival analysis is a useful tool, there’s a reason why you need to be investing in it.
Again, this is to keep a pulse on what's going on in the market, and who the various players are. There may be a rival out there now that you're brushing off.
By running an assessment, you may learn to not brush them off anymore!
Lastly, investing in competitive assessment consistently will help you monitor rival progress. You can use it as a strategic planning tool over the course of annual budgets and timeframes.
Not only will you see the growth of competitors in the market, but you’ll likely see other products or services change over time. This will help you identify both traditional and innovative rivals. Who’s replaceable? Who isn’t?
These questions can be answered within a competitor analysis framework.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Competitor analysis lets you keep tabs on who’s thriving (and who’s not) in the market. Keeping regular tabs on rivals allows you to create your own business plan going forward.
How Often Should You Be Investing in Competitive Assessment?
The short answer? It depends.
Depending on your organization, this could be done yearly or every five years.
It’s a good idea to have a plan in place when choosing how many of these assessments you want to run. This will allow you to keep a scheduled pulse on rivals, making their developments easy to track.
Aside from this form of incremental assessment, periodic competitive assessments are also useful. Periodic assessments refer to conducting rival analyses based on observation.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Competitor assessment analysis can be conducted incrementally and/or periodically. Both have their own unique set of benefits, allowing you to understand the competition’s idea.
Is Rival Analysis For Every Industry?
Monitoring competitors will work in all fields. While a competitive analysis in marketing and related fields is essential, it’s ideal for any line of work.
As we’ve discussed so far, it’s always important to keep a pulse on rival businesses in order to get ahead. Whether you work at a hospital or a tech company, you’re going to have rivals somewhere.
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of said rivals via competitive assessments will allow you to fill in their gaps and see where your own brand can improve.
💡 The Key Takeaway: Investing in competitive assessment has no limits. No matter the industry, there’s always a competing brand that you need to keep an eye on.
What to Expect When Working With a Third Party
There are many benefits of using a third-party market research firm.
Teaming up with a third-party market research team for a competitive assessment analysis will help you prioritize your goals, all while providing necessary insights.
A third-party will reveal who your competitors are in the market, often running an audit to explore them further. If you’re unsure who your competitors are, we’ll reach out directly.
Additionally, customers will be contacted to find out where they’re shopping within the market, who else they're considering, and who they’re interested in.
You can also run a general study of customers that shop in your specific category and include the client organization in that study.
An outside team will also help you set up objectives for what you want to know about your rivals. Again, this can be anything from gaining insight into innovative techniques to service attributes.
If you've got a concept that you're trying to develop, we're going to identify what it is that you want to compare, track or measure against. Then, we'll design a study highlighting those specific objectives.
💡 The Key Takeaway: It’s essential you hire an experienced third-party market research team to help you with your analysis. They’ll use unique competitor assessment tools to deliver the answers you need.
George Kuhn, President and Owner of Drive Research
Don’t fall behind your competition, get ahead of them! Investing in competitive assessments will open your brand up to a wide array of future opportunities.
It’s a great idea to work with a third-party firm to run this analysis, like Drive Research. That way you can leave the hard stuff to us, and focus on your main objectives for the project. An outsourced team will also help you decide the types of competitive assessments to invest in.
Want to know more about our market research services? Talk to us through any of the ways listed below.
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Zach is the Vice President of Strategy at Drive Research. He leverages his background to advise clients on topics including customer insight, competitive intelligence, branding, positioning, messaging, creative strategy, and organizational leadership.
Learn more about Zach, here.