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The Beginner’s Guide to the Competitive Matrix [Template]

Conducting Market Research
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The Beginner's Guide to the Competitive Matrix Have you ever been playing a game and had to look around to check out the competition? Whether you currently own or you're looking to start your own business, you need to do the same thing. Luckily, there’s a methodical way to do that: by conducting a competitive analysis and creating a competitive matrix. A competitive matrix will help you identify your competitors and lay out their products, sales, and marketing strategies in a visual format. By doing this, you'll learn where you’re positioned in the market, how to differentiate yourself from your competition, and how to improve upon your processes so you can beat them in the marketplace. Below, you’ll learn what a competitive matrix is and review some templates and examples. Competitor Matrix Types Before you dive into the world of competitive matrices, it's important to understand that there are different types you can use to compare your company to your competitors: SWOT analysis Competitive Advantage Matrix Competitive Profile Matrix Sales Matrix Product Feature and Benefit Matrix Price Matrix SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis is a technique used to assess how your business compares to its competitors. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It analyzes internal and external factors that affect the current and future potential of your business. By identifying these elements, you create a space to capitalize on your strengths, improve your weaknesses,...

The Plain-English Guide to Conjoint Analysis

Conducting Market Research
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The Plain-English Guide to Conjoint Analysis Sometimes, commercials really get me. T-Mobile's Super Bowl commercial this year is a prime example — "What's for Dinner?" demonstrates the infuriating process of choosing what to do for dinner for a young couple, and it's gold. The reason T-Mobile's ad was so relatable is because of their market research. They looked at what their target audiences wanted — including their thought processes, what informs their decisions, and the trade-offs they're willing to make for their products. To accomplish all of these important factors in one go, many companies use conjoint analysis. Think about buying a new phone. Attributes you might consider are color, size, and model. The reason phone companies include these specs in their marketing is due to research such as conjoint analysis. Would consumers purchase this product or service if brought to market? That's the question conjoint analysis strives to answer. It's a quantitative measure in marketing research, meaning it measures numbers rather than open-ended questions. Questions on the phone company survey would include price points, color preference, and camera quality. Surveys intended for conjoint analysis are formatted to reflect the buyer's journey. For instance, notice in this example for televisions, the specs are the options and the consumer picks what best reflects their lifestyle: Image Source This direct method of giving consumers multiple profiles to then analyze is how conjoint analysis got its name. These answers are helpful when determining how to market a new product. If answers...

3 Types of Competitors to Watch (+ How to Find Them)

Conducting Market Research
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3 Types of Competitors to Watch (+ How to Find Them) According to a 2020 survey, most businesses have an average of 29 competitors. Do you know who yours are? All businesses have competition — and knowing yours is key for innovating your products, services, and marketing strategies. But identifying the competition isn't always obvious. Some are direct, while others may take more time to uncover. Here, we'll cover the three types of competitors to watch, and five ways to identify them. 3 Types of Competitors in Business 1. Direct competitors. A direct competitor probably comes to mind when you think of your competition. These are businesses offering similar (or identical) products or services in the same market. They also vye for the same customer base. Some famous examples of direct competitors include Apple versus Android, Pepsi versus Coca-Cola, and Netflix versus Hulu. But direct competition isn't exclusive to well-known national or international brands. Two shoe stores in a rural town are direct competitors. So are a handful of realtors servicing one area. Digital companies also see direct competition. For example, after the success of Twitter’s Periscope app, Facebook pivoted its focus to live video to keep up. Since direct competitors sell similar products in a similar manner, this type of competition is often a zero-sum game — meaning, a customer that buys a competitor's product won't buy yours. For example, if you buy a hamburger at McDonald's, it's not likely you'll swing by Burger King to buy another...

How to Conduct a Market Opportunity Analysis

Conducting Market Research
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How to Conduct a Market Opportunity Analysis I have most of my best ideas at 3:00 AM or in the shower. But turning those shower ideas into a business opportunity requires further investigation. That’s where market opportunity analysis comes in. While you and your team may have many new business ideas you want to explore, you don’t have time to head down every path. Some of those paths may even end up being dead-ends. How do you choose which ideas to pursue, and which ones to let go of? Market opportunity analysis can help you narrow down your options to the ones with the greatest potential. Who should conduct a market opportunity analysis? That answer is, "everyone." All sizes of organizations will benefit from better understanding the industry in which they’re operating or approaching. Whether you work in B2B, B2C, government, or non-profit organizations, defining and analyzing the market will help you make better decisions. This kind of analysis can help you grow your existing business, pivot into new markets and opportunities, or expand into the periphery of your current market. There are many reasons to take the time and examine the full range of options before forging ahead. Here are five important benefits you’ll get from market analysis. 1. Make better long-term strategic decisions. Your business is impacted by many external factors. Without taking the time to examine the current market trends, you’ll be flying blind. A market opportunity analysis can provide the insight you need to see...

What Is Market Share & How Do You Calculate It?

Conducting Market Research
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What Is Market Share & How Do You Calculate It? Growing up, I used to play "grocery store" with my sister. We'd go into our pantry, take out all the food, and set up a grocery store in our living room. I would typically "buy" goldfish. You might be thinking, "What does this have to do with market share?" Well, let's say that I bought 10 bags of goldfish from various "companies" that my sister, mom, and dad owned. If three of those bags were my sister's goldfish, that would mean that she had a 30% market share of my goldfish. Put simply, that is market share. But how does that impact marketers? As marketers, it's important to understand market share so you know how your company ranks against competitors and can develop new marketing strategies to reach more potential customers. In this post, we’ll outline what market share is, how to calculate it, give real life examples, and explain how you can increase yours. What is market share? Market share is the percentage of an industry's sales that a particular company owns. Essentially, it is the share of total industry revenue that your business has generated from selling your products and services. Businesses with larger market shares are industry leaders and competition for smaller companies. You can think of it like this: if consumers buy 100 t-shirts and 70 of them are from company A, 25 from company B, and 5 are from company C, Company...

The Beginner’s Guide to Share of Voice

Conducting Market Research
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The Beginner's Guide to Share of Voice If you've ever been in charge of gathering reports for your marketing team, then you know there are a plethora of metrics you can measure. One metric that you might not think to use for several channels is share of voice. However, this is a versatile metric that you can use in a competitive analysis for social media, organic traffic, or even paid advertising. As a marketer, share of voice is important because it helps you understand how well your brand is performing against the competition. Below, let's review everything you need to know about share of voice. While share of voice isn't the same thing as market share (more on that below), share of voice tends to correlate with market share and revenue. For instance, the more you're dominating in the conversation online, the more market share you'll have and the more authority you'll have among users. This metric was mainly used as a way to measure success in paid advertising, however it's much more than that now. You can calculate share of voice for organic traffic and social media, in addition to paid advertising. By calculating your share of voice, you'll have a better understanding of many people know about your brand, and you can identify areas to work on. For example, if you have a high share of voice in social media, but not as much in organic traffic, then you know you need to improve your organic...

TAM SAM SOM: What Do They Mean & How Do You Calculate Them?

Conducting Market Research
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TAM SAM SOM: What Do They Mean & How Do You Calculate Them? With all the excitement that comes with starting a new company and gauging its industry’s profit potential or forecasting a revenue goal for your business, you must remember to root these figures in reality. If you don’t, you could enter a market that doesn’t have a large enough market size to convince investors to back you, or you could set an unrealistic revenue goal for your business and burn your employees out. To help you avoid these issues, we’ve put together a guide that’ll teach you exactly how to calculate your industry’s total addressable market, serviceable addressable market, and share of market.  TAM SAM SOM TAM, SAM, and SOM are acronyms for three metrics to describe the market your organization operates in. These metrics are key components of a business plan, particularly as you craft your marketing and sales strategy, set realistic revenue goals, and choose to enter the markets that are worth your time and resources. TAM (Total Addressable Market) Total addressable market or TAM refers to the total market demand for a product or service. It’s the maximum amount of revenue a business can possibly generate by selling their product or service in a specific market. Total addressable market is most useful for businesses to objectively estimate a specific market’s potential for growth. SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market) Due to the limitations of your business model (such as specialization or geographic limitations), you...

A Plain-English Guide to Market Research

Conducting Market Research
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A Plain-English Guide to Market Research In some circles, market research is a catch-all term for asking the industry what it wants. "Do we know what the demand is for this product? Who's even looking for our services? Let me do some market research to find out," someone might say. But what does that actually mean? Here's a simple definition of market research that encompasses all the possible goals of this practice, in fewer than 100 words: Market Research Definition Market research is the process of examining an industry's buyers, the product these buyers want, and where they're currently getting it. By engaging the right people and data, a business can use this research to position itself in the market and predict where the market will go in the future. Market research can answer various questions about the state of an industry, but it's hardly a crystal ball that marketers can rely on for insights on their customers. Market researchers investigate several areas of the market, and it can take weeks or even months to paint an accurate picture of the business landscape. However, researching just one of those areas can make you more intuitive to who your buyers are and how to deliver value that no other business is offering them right now. Certainly you can make sound judgment calls based on your experience in the industry and your existing customers. However, keep in mind that market research offers benefits beyond those strategies....

What’s a Competitive Analysis & How Do You Conduct One?

Conducting Market Research
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What's a Competitive Analysis & How Do You Conduct One? When was the last time you ran a competitive analysis for your brand? And most importantly, do you know how to do one efficiently? If you're not sure, or if the last "analysis" you ran was a quick perusal of a competitor's website and social media presence, you're likely missing out on important intelligence that could help your brand grow. A competitive analysis can help you learn the ins and outs of how your competition works, and identify potential opportunities where you can out-perform them. It also enables you to stay atop of industry trends and ensure your product is consistently meeting — and exceeding — industry standards. Let's dive into a few more benefits of conducting competitive analyses: Helps you identify your product's unique value proposition and what makes your product different from competitors', which can inform future marketing efforts. Enables you to identify what your competitor is doing right. This information is critical for staying relevant and ensuring both your product and your marketing campaigns are outperforming industry standards. Tells you where your competitors are falling short — which helps you identify areas of opportunities in the marketplace, and test out new, unique marketing strategies they haven't taken advantage of. Learn through customer reviews what's missing in a competitor's product, and consider how you might add features to your own product to meet those needs. Provides you with a benchmark against which you can...

Total Addressable Market (TAM): What It Is & How You Can Calculate It

Conducting Market Research
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Total Addressable Market (TAM): What It Is & How You Can Calculate It In college, I interned at a MarTech company that sold email marketing optimization software. With their software, brands could finally gain visibility into their email program’s deliverability rate or inbox placement, which most email service providers, like Constant Contact or MailChimp, can’t do. The business’ largest revenue stream was a channel partner program that enabled email service providers to sell my old company’s software to their own customers. And one day, at an all-hands meeting, our CEO showed us a slide that listed every single email service provider we partnered with and the amount of customers they all had. He told us this was our total addressable market. Then, he showed us a slide of how much of the market we had captured — it was a single digit percentage. Even though we generated $100 million in revenue per year, we were shocked at how little of the market we had secured. But it also helped us realize that we still had plenty of room to grow, which motivated us to win as much of the market as possible. Whether you want to start a new company and gauge its industry’s profit potential or forecast a realistic revenue growth goal for your business, measuring your total addressable market is a crucial first step you must take. To help you do this, we’ve put together a guide that’ll teach you exactly what total addressable market is...