Competitive analysis is a marketing best practice

By Sheila Kloefkorn, Forbes
Oct. 20, 2017

Companies depend on robust marketing programs to achieve their goals. However, the success of any marketing initiative depends on how well you plan. Implementing marketing best practices in your planning and budgeting processes can help you realize the full potential of your company’s marketing effort.

Most marketers begin the planning process by first developing a marketing plan, then developing a budget. A competitive analysis should be included in the planning phase.



Finding the side door to growth

By S|R Staff
Oct. 11, 2017

The ways businesses spur growth are as varied as the businesses themselves, but without a deep understanding of a company’s competitive environment, decisionmakers cannot chart the best --- and quickest -- growth path. This is true whether you are a 10-person company or you have 10,000 employees.

Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActive Corp. and creator of Fox Broadcasting and USA Broadcasting, highlights the importance of finding new ways to grow in the video content arena.

“Everybody and their mother is trying to do video, mostly defensively,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “There’s really two companies who are doing it offensively: Netflix and Amazon. Interestingly, with two different business models.”

He points out that Netflix, with 100 million subscribers, is unassailable in terms of competitors using traditional strategies against the company, noting: “It’s impossible at a mass communications scale to compete with them.” Netflix is looking to maintain its position and take market share from legacy players with an $8 billion investment in programming. In other words, their size has put them in a position to overcome the entrenched position of legacy video content creators and distributors. This is leaving most of the competition to play defense, with one notable exception: Amazon.

Amazon, a retail and fulfillment company, has been able to compete with Netflix by creating a new business model for video. “Amazon is not particularly in the business of saying we would like you to like our programming,” Diller says, pointing out that Amazon uses video as a perk of its broader Prime membership. Customers who are attracted to free shipping of retail products take advantage of the video content as an add-on. This is a model that has never been seen before in the industry.

“From the beginning of time incumbents never invent anything new,” Diller says. “They protect their ground.”

This is great news for SMBs. It shows that, even when one company has put itself in a very strong position, competitors and newcomers can find success by being creative and inventing something new.

Typically, companies that engage competitive intelligence services are confident in the quality of their product or service and feel they have a strong understanding of their market. Such businesses want to know why they are not growing faster or want to find the best growth opportunities. Often, their path to growth reveals itself through clear understanding of their competitive environment.

Each competitive situation is unique, and finding the right path, or even inventing a new one relies on having the right information at hand.