Skip links

Competitive intelligence: how to create a Data-Driven Strategy in 3 steps

To launch Social Media Marketing campaigns without having conducted analysis on competitors: this is one of the most common mistakes a brand can make. Here’s how to create a 3-step competitive intelligence strategy.

We have already talked about what competitive intelligence is: a series of tools that allow a brand to recognize, through the monitoring of competitors and the market, what is the quality standard, what is missing in the sector, what are the levers to bet on to distinguish oneself from others, such as the most felt themes and the most urgent needs of the market niche to which we are addressing.

Setting up a Social Media Marketing strategy, whether organic or paid, without first conducting an in-depth analysis of competition is one of the most common mistakes you can make: it means to go on by trial, almost blindly, without having some essential information because campaigns are effective.

After talking about how to think about the study of competition based on the tools that individual social networks make available, we will talk about how to create a data-driven strategy of social media benchmark, divided into several phases: we will see later as a tool Social Listening can not only greatly speed up the analysis of competition on social networks, but also aggregate a volume of data so large as to be unmanageable by a single human being. And, of course, by combining different types of data, return a much deeper and more effective analysis, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

If you are convinced that your competitive intelligence strategy is going well, do not continue reading this article and download our checklist to see if you really have everything under control:

download the checklist

Use it as a test or as a memorandum for your weekly activities. Share it with your department and build your Data-Driven Strategy day after day.

Competitive Analysis: the 3 basic steps to start the benchmark

To have a clear analysis of the scenario in which a business is to be inserted – or in which one wants to reposition – it is necessary to segment the context into a series of elements to be analyzed individually.

  • Competitor market analysis. In this phase the objective is to study the market of our competitors and, in particular, some metrics such as the volume of conversations with respect to products / services that competing brands offer; the positioning and visibility of individual competitors; their ability to generate engagement and the tools used to do so (social strategy, community penetration, more manned platforms, channels that generate greater return); the elements that identify competing brands such as tone of voice, value proposition, key messages, etc. There are tools that allow an interesting analysis, even if they are not aggregated data, even in their freemium version: one of these is Similarweb, which identifies sites similar to ours and returns information such as the most fruitful queries, the world ranking and Italian, an estimate of traffic, the presence of advertising, the type of audience. Another useful tool in free version is WebsiteGrader: created by Hubspot, it analyzes all the essential nodes of a site: SEO aspects, social aspects, lead generation, mobile. None of these is a definitive tool, but both still allow starting from a database to make preliminary considerations.
    Immagine che spiega come funziona la competitive analysis su SimilarWeb in versione freemium
  • Target and influencer. The second phase consists in the study of the target to which our competitors aim. Basically, the goal is to collect the most information on consumers of competing brands, select the relevant ones and then aggregate them into significant data sets. There are several metrics to keep an eye on: elements taken from biographies; information on values, consumption habits, spending capacity, geolocation; sentiment analysis and segmentation of the most relevant issues; critical issues and problems related to the products / services that our competitors offer. Moreover, in this phase it will be good to create influencer maps to identify the most “influential” influencers, the most active ambassadors of the sector and possibly analyze the influencer marketing strategy of our competitors.
  • Themes and values. Another fundamental step is the analysis of the most important themes proposed by the brands, but also those perceived as important by consumers. Analyzing average and volumes of reference topics, highlighting the temporal evolution of some topics compared to others by segmenting data based on sentiment, identifying needs expressed by the audience of our competitors, comparing the performances of brands in response to these requests and so on . This phase will reveal to us not only the possible gaps, the shortcomings, the “holes” of the market in which to insert ourselves, but it can also give us unexpected ideas and ideas for a future development of the product / service we have in mind to offer or reposition.

A deeper Competitive Intelligence Analysis

The methods and tools we have quoted allow a limited analysis of the context, both in qualitative and quantitative terms: later on there will be the need to aggregate these data in more complex and significant sets, to delineate patterns (demographic-quantitative and / or psycho-qualitative) not only on the market of our competitors, but also on their target and on the strategies implemented.

If you are an agency and you have just met a new client or you have just started working in the marketing department of any brand, the first thing to do is get information on the field of play on which you will play the game of your future performances. This will not allow you to possess the entire know-how of a specific sector, but using a data-driven approach and the tools of competitor analysis you will be able to quickly get a clear idea of the situation and lay the foundation for your strategy.

If you are convinced that your competitive intelligence strategy is going well, download our checklist to see if you really have everything under control:

download the checklist

Use it as a test or as a memorandum for your weekly activities. Share it with your department and build your Data-Driven Strategy day after day.

Become a Social Media Listening expert!

Join the KPI6 community and get fresh news and reports about the most important topic of our profession: Social Media Listening, Big Data Analysis, Influencer Marketing and much more.