How Do You Run A Competitive Analysis in Marketing?

pieces of paper that say marketing, advertising, price, sales and other marketing related terms

All companies envision their organization as providing the best products and services.

Sure, you may offer good services, have a great brand strategy, and an ultra-trendy Instagram. But watch out, because just beneath the surface an even better company could be lurking, Jaws-style.

That’s where marketing competitive analysis comes in to keep you top of mind and thriving. 

This must-have tool provides businesses with all the best information they need to beat out rival companies or stay on the top. Ideal for organizations of any size, competitive analysis reviews a number of business features. 

Components often assessed in a marketing competitor analysis include: 

  • Websites
  • Service offerings
  • Pricing
  • Marketing strategies 
  • Social media

Keep on reading to learn the steps of a competitor analysis in all facets of marketing: content, social media, email, PPC, and more. 

Recommended Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Conducting a Competitor Analysis 

What is a Competitive Analysis in Marketing?

A competitive analysis in digital marketing is a strategic way to gain insight into how your rivals are displaying their content. 

A brand’s marketing strategy really is the basic foundation of its social presence.

  • What is their tone like?
  • How many marketing outlets do they use?
  • Do they use additional marketing tactics like audio and video components? 

Ask yourself these questions before you get into the actual marketing competitive analysis. When you have a few key factors identified, it’ll make the entire process easier for you and your team. 

Often, a marketing competitor audit will determine the inclusion of these following brand elements: 

  • Webinars
  • Whitepaper
  • Social ads
  • Emails
  • Blog content

All of these are forms of marketing content, and they all benefit companies hugely–if done well. 

A third-party team, like Drive Research, will carefully run an audit on these outreach methods. After review, you’ll receive an organized file with key findings to look over. Our company will write a marketing competitor analysis specially crafted to your needs. 

Often, this file will include a competitor's social media presence. This gives you even better insight into how your rivals are branding themselves. But hold your horses, we’ll have more on that later. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Competitive analysis in digital marketing focuses on gathering information on a rival brand’s informational content. This can span from blogs to social strategy to whitepapers. The insight you gain will let you know what areas you need to ramp up. 

How Can You Compare Your Content?

When you run a marketing competitive analysis, you’re taking in a rival company’s content. 

Content is huge

Able to truly make or break a company, content can be used in a number of ways. 

Recent research showed that company blogs can create a massive 434% indexed page increase, with a 97% boost for indexed links.

As we mentioned earlier, a company’s blog content can be pulled in an analysis to measure how well they’re promoting their mission, ideas, and more.

Company blogs are able to pull in major numbers when it comes to visitors and has the ability to teach the public about said company’s services or products. 

However, poorly written content (blogs or otherwise) will have a negative impact on a brand’s image. 

If you run a competitive analysis on a rival’s marketing outreach and it turns out their blog content is poorly written, you have an opportunity to hone in on your blogging game. 

On the flip side, say you run an analysis on a competitor and you discover they have an active blog with amazing content. 

Don’t get bummed out because they’re excelling–learn from them! 

Just because a rival has good blog content doesn’t mean you can’t. Take note about how often they publish, their tone, and the topics they write on. Certainly don’t go ahead and copy their content, rather, take note and see how you can put your own spin on it. 

Interested in learning more about research-driven content? Watch our video for tips and examples.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Content really is everything. A marketing competitive analysis will show you where your rivals are excelling (or flunking) in the content department. Either way, you can take this insight and apply it to your own marketing efforts.

Recommended Reading: 3 Data-Driven Tips for Choosing Blog Topics

How Can You Compare Your Social Media Strategy

Just as important as content, is a brand’s good ol’ social media. 

A recent statistic revealed that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram. Bottom line: if you’re a business and you don’t have an Instragam, make one!

But wait just a minute. Whether or not your brand already uses social media, see how analyzing your rivals’ social accounts can help you. 

The combination of written and visual elements of a social media page can, of course, benefit or seriously harm a company. When you run a marketing competitive analysis, you’ll be able to see how your own social content measures up. 

A couple of things to consider when reviewing your rival’s social media: 

  • Is their quality visual content? 
  • What do their captions say? 
  • Which social platforms do they use most? 

With competitive analysis in online marketing, you can see how rivals utilize these elements. 

Depending on what social platforms your competitors use, you need to take an in-depth look at their photo content.

Take a good look at the quality, message, and editing style. Again, think about the tone of their posts. How are their captions written? What audience are they catering to? Where are they directing viewers or followers?

When comparing your own brand’s social media strategy to a rival, ask yourself these questions. 

As is always the case with a marketing analysis, if your rivals are flunking or owning their social media presence, you gain strategy either way. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Social media is a critical aspect of a brand’s identity. By taking into account your rival’s social skills (or lack thereof) you can understand where you need to improve. 

Contact Our Competitive Assessment Company

Looking to take on those rivals? We know what to do. Drive Research is a market research company located in New York. Our team of skilled research pros knows exactly how to design a successful market research study for your company.  

Interested in learning about our market research services? Reach out to us! 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

subscribe to our blog


Other Market Research Services