Competitive Intelligence: Outperforming Your Competitors

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    What is a Competitor Analysis? Competitive Intelligence?

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    What is a Competitor Analysis? Competitive Intelligence?

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

    A competitor analysis answers the following questions for each of your products and services:

    Who are your competitors?

    • What customer needs and preferences are you competing to meet?
    • What are the similarities and differences between their products/services and yours?
    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of their products and services?
    • How do their prices compare to yours?
    • How are they doing overall?

    How do you plan to compete?

    • Offer better quality services?
    • Lower prices?
    • More support?
    • Easier access to services?
    • How are you uniquely suited to compete with them?

    The answers to those questions usually come from market research.

    The results of the research is often referred to as competitive intelligence.

    What’s a Direct Competitor? Indirect Competitor?

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

    Most of us are used to thinking of direct competitors – organizations that have products and services similar to ours and provided to the same target markets. However, there are also indirect competitors and they can have a strong adverse affect on your marketing plans.

    Indirect competitors are organizations that, while providing a somewhat different products and services, can affect your target market in such as way that it might not have a need for your products and services. For example, if you sell an educational product that aims to help high-school drop-outs obtain a high-school diploma, then an indirect competitor might be a nonprofit that provides services to reduce the overall high-school drop-out rate.

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