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How to Conduct a SWOT Competitive Analysis for Your Business
The first step in starting a business, doing a product launch, or launching any type of advertising, PR, social media or content marketing campaign is to preform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) competitive analysis.
In a similar manner to how a customer shops for products and services, this exercise allows a management team to begin identifying their competitors and making a list of the competition’s marketing and positioning strategies in order to analyze their own company’s relative strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments as necessary to move their company’s name to the top of the list.
A SWOT analysis is also a key document that companies really should try to develop prior to working with an advertising, public relations, social media or any other type of marketing firm because it is a critical document that can used to communicate the management team’s knowledge of both the client’s strengths and opportunities as well as their competition’s threats and weaknesses. Giving a PR or marketing firm good input and direction will greatly improve the results of the ensuing campaign. Good input always equals good output.
However, if your company does not have one of these documents, Front Page PR will be more than happy to help your company build one. Conducting this type of market research allows Front Page PR to ascertain what makes your products or services unique – and therefore what features and benefits we can utilize to create highly targeted marketing messages that will appeal to the correct target audience and lead to a quicker purchase decision.
Evaluate each of your competitors by placing them in strategic groups according to how directly they compete for a share of the customer’s purchasing dollars. 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.
At the same time, while doing marketing research via Google, the same information can be repurposed and use to begin building a Message Map for media interviews and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheets for customers and the media.
Common SWOT Analysis Questions:
- Who are your competitors?
- What products or services do they sell?
- Where are they currently selling their products?
- When are they selling to customers?
- How do your products compare on price?
- Why are they currently buying the competition’s products?
- How do your products compare on quality and reliability?
- What is each competitor’s market share?
- What are their past marketing strategies?
- What are their current marketing strategies?
- What type of media is being used to market their products or services?
- What size budget are they spending on their marketing campaigns?
- What are each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What potential threats do your competitors pose?
- What potential opportunities can be leveraged to increase sales?
Once we have identified and prioritized your SWOT results, Front Page PR can use this information to develop short-term and long-term advertising, PR, social media and marketing strategies for your business. After all, the true value of this exercise is in using the results to maximize the positive influences of your business and minimize the negative ones.
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