The best performing companies have similar characteristics—they are more profitable, generate more leads, grow faster and of course stack up strongly against competition, and when marketing consulting services your firm should be no different.
More often, the secret to success in any industry is hugely dependent on how you beat your competitors. As a matter of fact, it could just be the sole reason why you will succeed; the more reason why you must know your enemies.
Well, competition is the driving force behind new innovations, high production, lower prices and better service. If you want to understand how your competitors are performing, you must take time to study them. That’s what we call a competitive analysis; a must for every smart business owner.
Where does your rivals’ traffic emanate from? How do they engage their audiences so successfully? You can only answer these questions if you’ve conducted a competitor analysis for your competition.
So, when was the last time your marketing department carried out a competitor analysis?
Competitor analyses should be performed more frequently for the business and market at large, and not just because new competition crops up. Like in any given market, competitors often modify their products and services as well as their positioning strategy.
Why is competitor analysis necessary when marketing consulting services, you may ask? Obviously, you can’t be changing your core business every time a competitor rolls out something new onto the market. Instead, you should focus on making your competitors a worried lot.
Firms looking to achieve great success in their marketplace require profound knowledge about their competitors. As such, the marketing department or consultants evaluating your competitors’ landscape must tailor an in-depth competitor analysis based on your unique needs.
Identifying both direct and indirect competitors, their positioning analysis, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses as well as your company’s products and services offers a sound baseline for optimizing your corporate strategy.
Understanding the competitors’ winning strategies and inspirations will allow you to predict future behaviors and tactically position yourself in a given market. This can be achieved using an effective digital strategy consisting of data-driven decisions powered by your competitor analysis.
Conducting regular competitor analyses enables you to stay ahead of your competition and create new ways to generate more sales. The most unfortunate thing about having a static product/service on the market is that your new or existing customers may switch to your competitors.
Take for instance Kodak vs digital cameras, or your local retailer and Amazon. The scenario is reflective of what happens in marketing consulting firms: when a competitor pumps more dollars in marketing their latest twist to its long-standing technique, or sources a team of influential executives from within the industry, then the firm is bound to attract attention.
Even if you are a market insider with first-hand information and imagine that your technique is superior and your team equally competent, some of your prospects will still be hearing about your competitors’ attributes for the first time, and if that information sounds more valuable, then it may form their basis when it comes to choosing a preferred company.
Research shows that team expertise is the number one reason why businesses choose a particular marketing consulting services provider.
The next reason why you should conduct a competitor analysis will surprise you—most companies have no idea who their competition is.
A new research indicates that 75% of competitors eyeing clients of marketing consulting firms were not considered as competition by the consultancy firms offering the services.
Many of your competitors out there could be winning more contracts. At least, they have positioned themselves in the minds of your potential customers, and sadly at the expense of your brand.
Changing this dynamic requires you to continuously get in front of your prospects and establish some healthy relationships. That would require a combination of marketing activities such as networking, social media campaigns, referral programs, personal visits as well as a good reputation to generate great results and strengthen your relationship with your clients which is vita when marketing consulting services.
How to conduct a competitive analysis:
Below we list 3 practical examples on how to do competitive analysis. Open a notepad also a new tab and to get started. Just remember to check our free marketing assessment at the bottom of this post.
#1 List Competitors
First thing to do is list your top three competitors. This is a great place to start your research, but you should take it one step further. There is a good chance there are competitors that your don’t know anything about. Also list another 3 competitors who you think pose no threat to your firm
#2. SEO Research.
When marketing consulting services, SEO is one of the biggest components. Start searching a few of the keywords in your industry by specific keywords and city. Let’s say your a law firm that specializes with Intellectual property law. You want to google something like “Intellectual property law companies ” See who comes up in the top ten results. If you see one or two companies showing up in multiple results, take note of them. These are companies you’re going to want to investigate further. Look at the recommended search terms by google to keep you going, also google 3-4 of your services and see who comes up. Visit Spyfu to conduct a SEO Competitive Analysis.
#3. Website Analysis
Visit their websites and look at the following aspects,
-Aesthetics (look and feel) of their website, did it take long to load? Use Website grader
-Look at the information on their home page.
-Next visit their services: pages, what have they listed as their services, how is it listed?
-Look at their Blog, what have they published, when was there last post published?
-Do they have any resources that visitors can download.
Remember those 3 competitors that pose no threat? Visit their websites and have look, presuming you haven’t already. Use these tools to see how the competitor ranks against you. See what keywords they’re optimizing for, what their most shared blog articles are about, and investigate who follows them on social media as well.
In conclusion, it’s worth noting that brand reputation takes just half the battle. Online presence and visibility are critical for your target audience to know about you, what you do and most importantly your skills.
Even your existing clients may not be aware of your solutions. Keep in mind that your world must always be bigger than your clientele. For example, your current staff and executives may leave for greener pastures, but even when it happens, your relationship with existing clients should remain unshakeable.
Did you know that your competitors also struggle with the same issues you face? From service delivery, prospecting, building reputation, closing deals to fierce competition. Periodic competitor analyses will point out their weaknesses, which you can capitalize on to create opportunities to highlight your strength in these same areas. With this, your when marketing consulting services you will stand out in the ocean of competitors in the industry.
Finally, don’t be too worried about your competitors, obviously it’s necessary, but not all your solutions will come from your competition. Actually, looking beyond the confines of your market can help you to generate new ideas and innovation—an amazing opportunity to ask yourself new questions. When all else fails, pick up the phone and talk to your existing customers and ask them, “How can we better serve you?” and hear what they say.