Top 3 tips on competitor analysis
In this guest blog Mark Elkins from the strategic consultancy New View Market Services shares his tops tips on competitor analysis.
An effective competitor analysis can help suppliers develop informed strategies to achieve competitive advantage. With 2847 suppliers on G-Cloud alone its certainly worth exploring. Large Corporations can afford to pay for full time competitive analysts – smaller organisations are faced with two options: to outsource or in-source. In the case of the latter here’s what someone with 20 years of experience in intelligence and analysis would advise:
1) Know your company (or client from an external perspective)
Sounds obvious doesn’t it but studying your own company and its performance against the 9 elements (Service, Positioning, Delivery, Footprint, Financials, Resources, Strategy, Pricing, Product) sets the benchmark by which a comparison can be made with competitors, scoping out the project. An external source should automatically do this, but that baseline is often ignored when internally completed. Once created it can be updated as the company changes.
2) Treat online sources with some scepticism
A vast ocean of data and information awaits the Competitive researcher and reliance on a sole source for intelligence should be avoided. That source could be bias, one way or the other and needs to be corroborated or balanced by intelligence from another source. Take the big analyst companies forecasts –how often do they agree?
I have found using a range of different analyst forecast helps , so if one is quoting a market penetration of “x” and another of “y” then use both figures to provide a range for market size. two analysts may have calculated the market size differently in the first place to give the different penetration rates, hence any variation.
3) Validate and augment by talking
With the amount of information available online it is easy to overlook the value of traditional intelligence assets. People. The right human can fill in the gaps left online and add colour to the analysis, providing a different perspective. By way of example the company accounts may show a healthy balance sheet, year on year revenue growth, and appear financially strong, but if they are 11 months old the reality of NOW coud be very different. Talking with those in the industry often produces new angles, stories of internal board conflict, of falling orders, of disillusioned staff. Those figures for next year could soften, become a source of weakness which could be used to your advantage.
In instances where one competitor is considering buying another it is not unusual to place the company under surveillance, so a team is actually parked outside the factory watching activity and goods in/goods out activity. Sounds extreme but it happens!
The devil is in the detail, and that detail will be shared during the Advice Cloud client webinar at 10AM on 8th November 2017. An opportunity to discover how to execute on these 3 Top Tips, bringing “the how to implement the tips” to life.
A bit about Mark and New View Markets
Mark has brought sector intelligence to players in the ICT sector for 20 years now. New View Market Services supports ICT Vendors targeting Public Sector Organisations by providing the intelligence needed to develop and market offers, and effectively engage customers and prospects.
This webinar is for Advice Cloud clients only. If you are one of our wonderful clients you will be sent an invite. If you are not but would still like to benefit from this webinar drop us a line.