It is important to study your competitors to plan for future growth, understand emerging trends, and what’s happening in the market environment. Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing can assist a business in planning for the future. Studying your competitors helps you to be responsive and proactive to your customers’ needs.

Some key questions to answer are:

  • What are your competitors doing in the market place?
  • What strategies are they using to increase their market share? Are they focusing on partnerships or mergers and acquisitions for growth?
  • How are they increasing brand awareness? Are they involved in the local community?
  • How are they positioning themselves? Are they thought leaders or experts in the field?

When gathering information, it is helpful to arrange the information in terms of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (a SWOT analysis). Compare each competitor to your own SWOT analysis. Ideally you will learn what you can do better, what value you bring to the marketplace, and how you can differentiate your company from your competitors.

Gathering the type of information needed to complete the analysis comes from many different areas: press releases, news articles, industry references, case studies, company websites, social media involvement, funding sources, and job announcements. For ideas on how to incorporate social media into your research be sure to review our blog posting on tracking social media for competitive purposes: “007 ways to digitally spy on your competition” by David Brim.

At Access/Information, we know the value of competitor intelligence and how it can lead to new opportunities. Contact us to provide an in-depth analysis of your competitors.