A competitive intelligence report is one of the first items that we create for our new clients. Gaining a perspective about how an industry is doing online — and what competitors are up to — is invaluable.
Competitive intelligence will give us guidance on how to proceed — what items should take priority with our time and focus in an internet marketing campaign.
Once more, clients love (and when I say love, I mean they perk up during conference calls and pepper us with questions) to hear what their dread competitors are up to. Competitive intelligence will often produce little nuggets that can prompt wider changes in a client’s operations — such as product development, customer service and branding. Here are some scenarios that can occur when you present a competitive intelligence report to your bosses:
a) Your client, a travel agency is informed that its rival is spending a lot of time and energy in marketing African Safari packages. That sparks a discussion among the sales staff about investigating the demand for this service and how to create an alternative African safari package that is marketed online.
b) A competitive intelligence report shows that a rival countertop dealer is focusing its sales efforts on mobile home dealers and repair shops. In order to differentiate the client’s services from its rival, the client decides to focus its sales efforts on owners of new homes.
There are plenty of tools out there to use to gleam data for online competitive intelligence reports for our online marketing clients. I first head to the Google insights tool to give me some ideas. The initial search box allows you to target search trends by geography, time, search type and topic category. In this example, I wanted to see how different keywords that the ArcherSEM is optimized for (online marketing, digital marketing, internet marketing), and how search trends have changed over the last 18 months in the Phoenix area. The reason – ArcherSEM is a Phoenix online marketing agency, after all. Here’s the image of the dropdown box:
And then the results:
Hmmm. This shows us that the search term “internet marketing” has become the top term, over time. We will use that for our own internal optimization purposes. Sweet!