Use competitor analysis to avoid situations that involve head on competition

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Use competitor analysis to avoid situations that involve head on competition

What is missing is the context: The analysis may be an in-depth exploration of the top five competitors, or a larger number of competitors could be examined typically with less depth in the analysis.

In most cases, the client will have identified the target competitors for you. While this article focuses on competitive analysis in the for-profit arena, it is worth noting that non-profit organizations can benefit equally from this analysis which they might term a comparative analysis, if they viewed the other organizations as working toward a common goal with them.

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Understand the competition The primary benefits of any competitive analysis are a better understanding of what your competitors are doing, what they are offering to customers, and how to maintain your competitive advantage.

However, this is definitely not the only take-away from the process of analyzing competitors. Build domain knowledge Another benefit of competitive analysis involves expanding the knowledge base of those working on your website or web application.

The analysis offers information about content and functionality that they have probably not considered. This is especially true for newcomers to your industry and should be fairly common; not everyone will be a subject matter expert. Looking longer-term, this educational process benefits not only the current project, but also any future project in that same industry.

My own experience speaks strongly to this, as I have been both an Information Architect — IA for a web design firm and a Business Analyst BA for a large hospital system. In the IA role, I would be working on six projects with little domain knowledge in any of those areas; competitive analyses definitely assisted in getting to know those industries.

As a BA, learning about competitors in the medical field on one project would enhance my performance for the next project. Identify best practices Exploring competitor websites offers the opportunity to discover what is working well for them, as well as what is commonly being offered via the Web.

For example, if all the competitors are offering specific content and functionality, users will likely expect your site to offer similar content and functionality. If they are absent, users may go to the competitor site instead.

It is important to note that user expectations often go beyond just giving the information or offering the functionality, and move into questions of information design and interaction design. In other words, what is the quality of the user experience?

Poor implementations are unlikely to result in higher conversion rates. My goals here are simple: If I am working on a design or redesign of a massive informational website with hundreds of pages, I might focus the testing on how they labeled and organized their content. Alternately, for a website with lots of transactional processes, I would focus on how they approached those tasks.

Expand the dialogue and the possibilities The final benefit comes from expanded dialogue within the development team, and with other units in your company, about what competitive data means to your strategic direction.

Such dialogue can open up new options that would not otherwise have been considered. Competitors may be taking various approaches to reaching the customer base, so multiple possibilities exist.

In this situation, a completely novel approach might be best, since no standard is emerging. Each serves a valuable role in a competitive analysis. High-level inventories One of the first things I create for most competitive analyses is a high-level inventory of content and functionality.

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Broadly speaking, content refers to informational pages while functionality is what users can do while they are at the website. A question of granularity always arises with these inventories, since multiple levels of analysis are possible.

I would recommend against conducting a low-level content inventory of the competitor websites, in which you track all pages and record their URLs, names, metadata, evaluate them for being ROT redundant, outdated, or trivialetc.

Such analyses are extremely time-consuming, and your goal is not to redesign the competitor website.

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Instead, I recommend a high-level inventory in which you record names of pages or functionality and provide a brief description or summary of key information e. These high-level inventories produce charts that allow quick comparisons: Comparison of functionality across competitors Labeling and taxonomies For projects involving hundreds of pages, the focus would expand beyond the inventory to analyzing hierarchy and labeling.

If user testing is not conducted, a confirmatory card sort can be conducted to determine if users would place content in the same areas as the competitor websites, given the same labels and organizational structure.

Typically, I include screenshots of the home pages in the competitive analysis, noting information such as the appearance of horizontal scrollbars at certain resolutions as well as amount of vertical scrolling at common resolutions e. Additional screenshots, usually of notable both good and bad design practices, are also included as necessary.

Strengths and areas for improvement A useful starting point for identifying strengths and areas for improvement can be user experience heuristics.

While a competitive analysis is not intended to replace a heuristic evaluation, these heuristics can prove to be a helpful starting place and also offer a structure for presenting findings and recommendations.

Various lists of heuristics are available, including a list of usability heuristics by Jakob Nielsen as well as interaction design principles from Bruce Tognazzini. The heuristics that I typically use are:Competition Analysis Porter’s five forces model analyzes the competitive jockeying among rival sellers, the threat of potential entry, the power of substitutes, the power of suppliers, the power of.

The most important part of a SWOT analysis is how you use the information that comes out of it. Here are six sample scenarios (with potential decisions) to help you start thinking strategically. Scenario 1: Your lease is nearing the end of its term and you need to renegotiate.

In Your Own Words Explain How A Marketing Manager Might Use A Competitor Analysis To Avoid Situations That Involve Head On Competition What is Offensive Marketing? When more than one company offers the same kind of product, each company only receives a .

Market research involves collecting and analysing information about your market, including your customers and competitors.

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It is vital to research any new market you are moving into to avoid wasting time and money on failed projects. Full strategic case analysis for Apple incorporation including industry, competitor's and firm's self analysis. It covers all the strategic issues facing the industry and Apple inc.

Use competitor analysis to avoid situations that involve head on competition

as well as the recommended solutions for these issues on business and corporate levels. Before developing any marketing strategy, it is important to conduct a situation analysis.

A situational analysis is an essential part of any business or marketing plan and should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it is kept current.

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