I recently leased a new car. And I switched brands, for the first time in 12 years.
After a month with the new wheels, I started getting the customer satisfaction surveys, one from the corporate brand and the other from a well-known compiler of auto sales information. While I don’t usually fill in these surveys, I had a momentary lapse and decided to forge forward.
What I did find very interesting was that this particular survey had a lot of questions about switching brands and why? They were really digging to find out why I switched, getting competitive information from ‘the inside’ so to speak.
This got me thinking, other than through surveys and market research, are marketers doing any competitive research. I have heard of one company that asks its employees to take note of competitive advertising and send it to one of the admins for compiling (no, really). I suspect that this is used for anecdotal insights only.
So, did a little research and found this on the Entrepreneur website in their Encyclopedia:
‘A competitive analysis is a critical part of your company marketing plan. With this evaluation, you can establish what makes your product or service unique–and therefore what attributes you play up in order to attract your target market.
Evaluate your competitors by placing them in strategic groups according to how directly they compete for a share of the customer’s dollar. For each competitor or strategic group, list their product or service, its profitability, growth pattern, marketing objectives and assumptions, current and past strategies, organizational and cost structure, strengths and weaknesses, and size (in sales) of the competitor’s business. Answer questions such as:
- Who are your competitors?
- What products or services do they sell?
- What is each competitor’s market share?
- What are their past strategies?
- What are their current strategies?
- What type of media are used to market their products or services?
- How many hours per week do they purchase to advertise through the media used in this market?
- What are each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What potential threats do your competitors pose?
- What potential opportunities do they make available for you?’
This, of course, is a lot of work, a lot of research, a lot of time and there are costs.
Are marketers actually doing the competitive review or are they relying on the anecdotal information to save time and money around decisions?
Would love to hear what everyone is doing to understand the market and the competition out there.