What is Competitive Benchmarking and Analysis?

10/03/2021

I’m sure you know your strategy through and through. But have you taken a look at what your competitors are doing?

The real secret to your success is combining two VERY IMPORTANT knowledge sources — your strategy and that of your competitors.  

This is a concept called competitive benchmarking, which is critical to competitive analysis success. 

You need to know how you compare to your competitors.

Where do you stand within the market? How do you stack up? Can you identify gaps and similarities? How should you adjust your strategy?

Keep reading to learn how to benchmark your idea against your competition for a successful competitive analysis.

What is Competitive Benchmarking?

First, let’s start with the basics. 

There’s likely transparency across your organization, so you have insight into what the Product team is working on, which campaigns Marketing is launching, and how your revenue is performing. 

As you conduct a competitive analysis, you’re gathering similar information on your competition — product information, revenue information, marketing campaign information, and more. 

So, how do you compare? Where do you stand within your competitive environment?

This is called competitive benchmarking — comparing your company performance against your competition to measure how you stack up. 

You can then identify gaps, similarities, and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Let’s now dive into how you can gather your competitive intelligence data and benchmark your own company or idea alongside your competition.

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Monitor Your Competitive Landscape

It’s great to know every move your competitors make, if possible, even before they make them. Right?

But, we’re not psychics. 

So, how are you going to know?

You should:

  • Pick up on smaller signals, or breadcrumbs — to gain insight into what their next major move might be
  • Look for relative changes in investment — companies usually ramp up strategies like content, social media, or campaigns when they have a big announcement coming up
  • Take a look at the patents they’ve filed — this is a fantastic insight into the technology they’re working on
  • Know where they are making investments — make predictions based on where they’re heading next
  • Find if there is anything noteworthy in the news?

Break Into Untapped Opportunities

Now that you’ve monitored your competitive landscape and gathered insights, you need to insert your own idea or company into the analysis. 

Measure yourself in the same way you measure your competition. This way, you can see where you crush your competitors and identify where there is room for you to break into untapped opportunities. 

If they’re excelling in a specific area, it may be harder to knock them out of their top spot right away. 

However, filling the gaps in the market will help you gain the competitive edge you’re looking for. That’s where the real secret to your success lies. 

The great part about this is that you can identify gaps in the market. If you can find the gaps, you can break into that space and serve an unmet need. 

It’s a great way to grab the leads and opportunities that your competitors are missing out on. You can offer your target audience something of value that they’re unable to get from your competitors, giving you a unique competitive advantage

Make Sure Your Competitive Analysis is Actionable

Conducting competitive intelligence research is time-consuming, especially when you’re also putting together an analysis. 

To get the most out of your efforts, you want to ensure that you’re turning insights into action. 

The important thing to remember about competitive intelligence is that it’s not only about what your competitors are doing; it’s about how you compare to them, and how you can turn your insights into action to best serve your market. 

The key to successful competitive analysis is benchmarking yourself alongside your competitors and identify the gaps in your market to showcase your solution and position yourself as a market leader.

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