Competitive Intelligence: Ask Why?

Competitive intelligence is the key to making smart and educated decisions for your business strategy – and understanding why a competitor’s business strategy works is the key to integrating that information into your own business model.

Big Fish Results founder Tony Guarnaccia presented at NIM’s April 15 networking-learning event, and emphasized the importance of competitive intelligence and of asking “Why?” Drawing upon 15+ years of experience, Guarnaccia gave an animated and detailed lecture to help Rhode Island’s local businesses, bigger brands, and agencies improve their strategic planning.

5 Big Questions to Ask

When conducting a competitive analysis, Big Fish Results uses a top-down process to answer five questions:

  1. How much traffic do you generate versus your competitors?
  2. Where is this traffic coming from?
  3. How much does your competitor spend on advertising?
  4. What are the specific search terms they use to create SEO?
  5. WHY? What’s triggering certain types of data and data points?

Tools to Use to Aquire Competitive Intelligence

You can use online tools to acquire data on your competitors and work toward answering these questions. But Guarnaccia reminded everyone, “The tools aren’t the secret. It’s what you do with them that makes a difference.”

Here are just a few examples:

  • SEMrush – Online software that offers keyword research and other data on competitors.
  • Google Trends – Offers data on keywords and shows trends in topics online.
  • Google Keyword Planner – Find data and conduct tests on keywords before you use them.
  • SimilarWeb – Allows you to compare your traffic data to that of your competitors.
  • Simply Measured – Provides data on audiences, competitors, and conversations to help develop a targeted strategy.

Competitive Intelligence

Once you’ve acquired information on your competitors, learn how to use it. This is what Big Fish Results would do:

• Segment your data – Keep your outreach relevant to each target audience by personalizing information.
• Look at trends – Find out what your target audience cares about and what your competitors are doing well.
• Benchmark – Have measures to compare your results to your competitors’ and set goals.
• Filter – Only use the strategies that apply to your brand and your audience so you don’t confuse or turn away people who you want to reach.
• Exclude Brand Keywords – Use keywords that your potential clients will be searching for.
• CREATE ACTION! – Use calls to action that inspire your audience.

About Tony Guarnaccia

Now the “captain” of Big Fish Results, Guarnaccia formerly ran digital advertising for ADP, where he worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, such as Ford Motor Company, Lithia, General Motors and BMW. Guarnaccia uses his experience with these big-name brands to make Rhode Island’s local businesses, bigger brands and agencies compete with huge names and become Big Fish in their market.

big-fish-results-logo

Here’s what some of the Newport Interactive Marketers were saying on Twitter about NIM’s event, “Secrets of Your Competition”:

Mia Lupo: For traffic trends, compare long-term performance; identify surprising peaks and dips then WHY this happens #NIMRI #trends

David Englund: Getting “schooled” from Big Fish Results is like drinking from the fire hydrant at #nimri

Ryan Belmore: So much great information was shared last night at #NIMRI! Nice to see everyone and thank you Midtown Oyster Bar and @sue_DesigEditor!

Newport Restoration: Archive.org- a good way to see how far a company’s come & what they can do to improve. #NIMRI

Join the Conversation on Twitter using #NIMRI. Or sign up for NIM event announcements using the box at the top right of this page.

Check out the next NIM event here. Make sure you preregister to get a spot before it fills up!

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