Ever wonder how your company and competition engage with customers and prospects at different phases of the complex manufacturing buying cycle? This exercise will show you, and it also gets the competitive juices flowing in your organization to align marketing and sales efforts, meaning increased efficiencies and faster ROI.
1. Identify Gaps In The Market
You can protect your own competitive advantages in areas of strength, and that is never a bad message to communicate to your key leaders and staff. Think of it like a Venn diagram: you are identifying the intersection with your competitor with a goal of growing your portion at the expense of theirs.
Identify opportunities to seize that no one in your competitive set is exploiting. The pandemic and subsequent global supply chain disruptions have created many gaps and opportunities, and agile companies are taking advantage of the strengths to grow their business.
2. Get Clues To The Direction Of The Industry
Many manufacturers are head-down, focused on their operation and particular niche. There is a risk that your feedback loop is like a focus group of one entity, and that is limiting.
By gazing into your competitors’ public personas and media tactics, it will help you conceptualize how the market is responding to them. But a competitive analysis also should yield some market research, whether it’s current trends or the future of your market.
3. Win More Clients Through Your Industry Knowledge
If you can articulate what differentiates your company from competitors and show how you vary in your approach to engaging customers and prospects at various stages of the complex manufacturing buying cycle, your potential clients will see you as a true industry expert. It builds trust and credibility.
Understanding how your competition is addressing the market will also help your team frame your pitch to potential clients. Knowledge is power, not only in terms of knowledge about the industry, but also in terms of how others are going about it differently than your company.
4. Recognize Areas Of Weakness
It’s hard to concede that a tactic or approach is not working as well as it should be. It’s even harder to recognize this in a vacuum when your only measuring stick is metrics from within your company. By identifying competitor strengths for companies in direct competition, it will inspire your team to enhance your marketing and sales.
And arming them with industry and competitor insights and actionable goals will tap into their motivations and competitive juices. People love rallying around an area to take it from a weakness to a strength.
Have you considered a paid media campaign or do you only rely on organic?
Identifying how much your competition may be paying in advertising to reach the marketplace will help guide a strategic paid marketing campaign. You can decide to take them on more directly or utilize other channels.
When you see a bigger picture with more data to evaluate, recommendations carry more meaning and it’s easier to allocate your spend to align with your competitive goals. If you prioritize defending your strengths you will allocate differently than if you are venturing into adjacent markets or see a vulnerable competitor.
Also, don’t underestimate how martech tools might have progressed since you last vetted them. This could be an opportunity to upgrade your techstack with real goals in mind.
Gain the Competitive Edge
Get insights about your organization, your competitors and the environment of your marketplace – all with the goal of positioning yourself better in the marketplace to strategically win more business. Review product, sales, and marketing strategies for you and your competitors by asking these questions:
- Where do my competitors show up?
- How do they get visibility/traffic?
- Where are they that I am not?
- Where am I where they are not?
- How does their content address the marketplace?
Taking the time to answer the questions about your own company shows you where you are strong in the market. Once you factor in your competition, you can adjust your marketing and sales initiatives.
A competitive analysis is a useful tool for evaluating your marketing budget allocations and weighing new opportunities for achieving your goals. Want to try out a new social platform or go to a different trade show or conference? What might you stop doing?
The analysis can focus on almost any aspect of your products or sales and marketing. It can be wide or narrow, shallow or deep.
Competitive Analysis is a Worthy Investment in Resources
Many manufacturers struggle with committing time to work “on” the business, whether it’s for market research, sales enablement, scouting for opportunities with product enhancements or supply chain management. A competitive analysis can be a great opportunity to focus the company on a key aspect of the business. In many ways, it is similar to a continuous improvement or lean mindset for operations. It’s a worthy investment of resources and effort.
If you’re ready to conduct a competitive analysis, contact us today to help you get started.
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