Competitive Monitoring & Intelligence Research

What Is Competitive Monitoring & Intelligence Research?

Knowledge of competitors is key for making effective strategic decisions. To that end, understanding the competitive landscape allows a business to anticipate market reactions and therefore plan and perform better.

Analyzing the competitive landscape can take a variety of forms. Wakefield Research’s Market Intelligence research examines the universe of companies in a market and can also include a deeper investigation of key players. Insights from this approach typically include competitors’ corporate activity, products, sales channels, positioning and customers. In addition to this spot-in-time analysis, research can incorporate market monitoring to stay updated on important competitor developments.

Competitive Market Intelligence Methodology

Information on competitors can be obtained from marketing collateral, financial filings, industry publications, social media, and many other sources. There are strict ethical standards around how competitive intelligence research should be conducted. Information accessible through publicly available sources, subscription databases or existing research is permitted.

Wakefield’s Competitive Monitoring Includes:

• Marketing mix evaluation
• News articles, press releases, job postings, social media, industry journals
• Product/service reviews from customers, suppliers and partners
• Patent activity
• Company filings and industry analyst reports
• Information from competitor websites

Competitor Benchmarking

Wakefield’s Market Intelligence information is often used for competitor benchmarking. This analysis provides insights into how companies compare against each other across key criteria. Depending on the market, factors typically include: cost, quality, product features and functionality, scope and product placement.

Competitive Monitoring Case Study

A manufacturing company planned to enter a new market. While they knew their product was similar to other offerings in the market, the company had little knowledge of how to compete effectively with existing players.
Six competitors were analyzed across four factors:

• Product: features, brand name, packaging, services, design and capabilities

• Price: list price, discounts, payment period and credit terms

• Promotion: marketing communication strategies and techniques used by competitors

• Place: how the product is provided to the customer (sales channels, distribution strategy and geographic areas)

Based on these criteria, marketing mix profiles for each competitor were built to inform and support specific recommendations for winning in this new market. Wakefield Research’s analysis identified:

• Market segments

• Branding strategies

• Product features necessary to compete in various segments

• A map of competitive pricing parameters

Whether the analysis is designed as a comparative matrix of competitors’ product and service offerings or as ongoing monitoring of the competitive landscape, the research provides a platform to identify areas for necessary improvements to develop an optimum offering.

Our Competitive Monitoring Research Process

A typical Competitive Monitoring project consists of the following steps:

Establish the need: This occurs at project kick-off and may sound straightforward, but actually, it is vital to define clearly why competitor information is needed and how it will be used. Is there a specific reason behind the research, such as a new product a competitor is launching? Or, is the goal to stay abreast of market developments? Based on the key drivers behind the research, outcomes are tailored to best fit needs.

Collect the raw information: This stage begins with pinpointing what type of information is required and where it is located. Constraints related to data, timeframe and other factors are clarified in advance. Optimal data sources are identified to provide insightful and reliable data.

Analysis: In this phase, the information collected is evaluated and analyzed. Wakefield’s researchers determine which data provides valuable insights versus what should be excluded from the deliverable.

Delivering the output: Rather than simply producing a “data dump” of noisy information, a cohesive narrative with refined findings is crafted by Wakefield to provide a customized deliverable.

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