Keeping an eye on your competitors’ moves can be both critical and helpful – when done right. In B2B marketing, where you and your competitors are targeting the same ICPs (Ideal Customer Profiles), knowing what they’re doing to attract potential customers away from you can inspire ideas for your own marketing strategy.
Hence, we present our built-for-marketing competitive analysis report template.
Note: This is not to be confused with a competitive strategy, which includes a lot more than just marketing.
The marketing competitive analysis report template
Our competitive analysis report template, created specifically for the most commonly used B2B marketing channels, is a comprehensive look at your own and your competitors’ marketing activities. By putting all the information in one place, you can both understand your competitors’ strategy and be inspired by good ideas. (Pro tip: What that doesn’t mean is that you should do everything your competitors are doing.)
For maximum value, follow our 5 tips below.
5 tips to maximize value when using our competitive analysis report template
1. Limit the list of competitors
It’s tempting, we know; depending on the industry, you could have 10, 20, even 30 companies that compete with you. However, the point of this template is to be manageable and easy-to-track. If the list gets too long, the report becomes difficult to manage – and hence, less useful.
We recommend that you keep the list around 3-5 competitors. To narrow down the list, focus on companies that are selling to an ICP closest to your own.
2. Find the right tempo for your industry
Not all industries run at the same pace. A sales or marketing automation tool will have a faster sales cycle than a medtech device or automotive solution. The pace at which this report is used needs to match the pace of your industry and organization.
For most industries, a monthly update interval will suffice. On the other hand, some industries may require a weekly or biweekly report to stay up-to-date with competitors’ fast-paced activities. For slower industries, with sales processes averaging 1 year+ and ACV in the 7 digits, it could make more sense to look at this report every quarter.
3. Determine your channels of importance
Similarly to the tempo, you’ll be interested in some channels more than others based on your industry. Especially because earlier we determined that you should analyze competitors who are selling to similar ICPs, it will be insightful to see which channels they’re using to reach similar audiences.
4. Rally the troops
Get help from partners, agencies, and team members to maximize visibility, efficiency, and collaboration. Some suggestions for where to receive help:
- Events: Field sales reps, events manager
- Awards / News / PR: PR agency, PR manager
- Google Advertising: PPC agency, paid ads manager, performance marketing manager
- SEO: SEO agency, digital marketing manager
- Product marketing: Product marketing manager, product manager
5. Focus on actionable insights
Actionable insights is where most of the value lies in a competitive analysis report like this one.
But what is “actionable”? Simple: When you read the statement, it needs to clearly convey an action you need to take next. There’s a difference between saying “A lot of competitors are attending niche events” and saying “We should begin to explore events in [insert your niche] that target [insert your ICP].” As the owner of the report, suggest an action that can serve as a starting point for an upgrade to your marketing strategy.
Tip: The executive summary tab is a good place to start.
The bottom line
With the right tools and mindset, knowing how competitors are marketing can become a source of inspiration and motivation to take your own marketing to the next level. Good luck!