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Synopsis

Competitive advantage gain is hard but competitive advantage retention is even harder. That is why extensive analysis and strategy are key to success. Our Competitive Landscape Analysis (Part 2) presentation allows you to evaluate your position in the market, understand how you compare against competitors and hone in on the most important objectives to create an effective roadmap.

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26 questions and answers
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A competitive landscape analysis can inform a business's marketing strategy by providing insights into the market position of the business compared to its competitors. It helps identify key objectives and create an effective roadmap for achieving them. It also aids in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, which can be leveraged to gain a competitive advantage.

Some ways to mitigate weaknesses identified in a competitive landscape analysis include: developing a strong understanding of your competitors and their strategies, focusing on your unique selling proposition, investing in research and development to innovate and stay ahead, improving your marketing and sales strategies, and strengthening your customer relationships.

A business can leverage its strengths identified in a competitive landscape analysis by using them to create a unique value proposition that sets it apart from competitors. This could involve focusing on areas where the business has a clear advantage, such as superior technology, better customer service, or a stronger brand. The business can also use its strengths to target specific market segments where these strengths are particularly valued. Additionally, the business can use its strengths to develop new products or services that build on these strengths.

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Slide highlights

Use this slide to list and discuss your top competitors. Make sure to include the vital information about them, such as what kind of competitor they are (direct or indirect), their positioning, pricing, strengths and weaknesses.

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With this slide, communicate the areas for competitive advantage improvement. These include corporate culture, under-serviced niches identification, unique value proposition establishment and your ideal customer DNA identification.

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25 questions and answers
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Some strategies to effectively identify under-serviced niches in the market include conducting market research to understand customer needs and gaps in the market, analyzing competitors to identify areas they are not serving, and using data analytics to identify trends and opportunities. It's also important to understand your own company's strengths and how they can be leveraged to serve these niches.

A company's ideal customer DNA can significantly affect its competitive position. By understanding the characteristics, needs, and behaviors of its ideal customers, a company can tailor its products, services, and marketing strategies to meet these needs effectively. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, market share. Additionally, it can help the company identify under-serviced niches and establish a unique value proposition, further strengthening its competitive position.

Some strategies to effectively establish a unique value proposition include understanding your target audience and their needs, identifying how your product or service meets those needs in a unique way, and communicating this effectively. It's also important to understand your competitors and how you differentiate from them. Lastly, focusing on areas for competitive advantage improvement such as corporate culture, under-serviced niches, and ideal customer DNA can also help establish a unique value proposition.

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Application

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) states: "Market research helps you find customers for your business. Competitive analysis helps you make your business unique." To find a competitive advantage for your business, SBA recommends combining the two.

Using market research to find customers – gather demographic information to discover opportunities and limitations for customer growth (examples: data on age, income, family and interests). Then answer these questions to get a good sense of your market: Is there a desire for your product or service? How many people would be interested in your offering? What are the income range and employment rate? Where do your customers live and where can your business reach? How many similar options are already available to consumers? What do potential customers pay for these alternatives? The methods you can use to do direct research are surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and in-depth interviews.

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25 questions and answers
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Market research data can be used in marketing and advertising strategies in several ways. Firstly, it can help identify potential customers by gathering demographic information such as age, income, family, and interests. This data can be used to discover opportunities and limitations for customer growth. Secondly, it can help understand the market better by answering questions like the desire for your product or service, the number of people interested in your offering, the income range and employment rate, the geographical reach of your business, the number of similar options available to consumers, and the price customers are willing to pay for these alternatives. The methods for direct research include surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

Market research can help in product development by providing valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. It can identify potential markets, determine the demand for a product, and understand the competition. This information can guide the development of a product that meets customer needs, is competitively priced, and is positioned effectively in the market.

Some ways to keep market research data up-to-date include regularly conducting new surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. It's also beneficial to keep an eye on industry trends and changes in demographics. Regularly updating your customer profiles and personas can also help. Using digital tools and software that track and analyze market trends in real time can also be very useful.

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Using competitive analysis to find a market advantage – assess the following characteristics of the competitive landscape: market share, strengths and weaknesses, your window of opportunity to enter the market, the importance of your target market to your competitors, limitations that may prevent you from entering the market and indirect competitors who may impact your success. Make sure to differentiate your competitive analysis by industry, taking into consideration the level of competition, the threat of new competitors or services, and the effect of suppliers and customers on price.

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25 questions and answers
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Some potential challenges a business may face when entering a new market include understanding the competitive landscape, assessing market share, identifying strengths and weaknesses, finding a window of opportunity to enter the market, understanding the importance of the target market to competitors, overcoming limitations that may prevent market entry, and dealing with indirect competitors who may impact success. Additionally, differentiating competitive analysis by industry, considering the level of competition, the threat of new competitors or services, and the effect of suppliers and customers on price can also be challenging.

A business can use competitive landscape analysis to identify its most important objectives by assessing the market share, strengths and weaknesses of competitors, the window of opportunity to enter the market, the importance of the target market to competitors, and any limitations that may prevent market entry. This analysis can also help identify indirect competitors that may impact success. It's important to differentiate this analysis by industry, considering the level of competition, the threat of new competitors or services, and the effect of suppliers and customers on price.

A business can use several strategies to mitigate the impact of indirect competitors. First, it can conduct a competitive analysis to understand the market share, strengths, and weaknesses of the competitors. This can help identify opportunities to enter the market and understand the importance of the target market to the competitors. Second, the business can differentiate its competitive analysis by industry, considering the level of competition, the threat of new competitors or services, and the effect of suppliers and customers on price. Lastly, understanding any limitations that may prevent the business from entering the market can also be beneficial.

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Expert advice

Gaining a competitive advantage is tough because the majority of sales and pitches are usually "killed by the silent but deadly alternative: Status Quo." But this, of course, in no way means that the situation is hopeless. There are ways to put up a good fight. "Accepting and acknowledging the competitor is the best place to start, and it goes a long way," a venture capitalist, Michael Smerklo, writes in his piece for Forbes. By doing so, Smerklo argues, you'll gain the following:

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1. Your product or service will be seen in an entirely new light – accepting the Status Quo pushes entrepreneurs and business managers to rethink all aspects of storytelling. "This acknowledgment alone," Smerklo says, "will spark a much different discussion than previously experienced (even with the same customer or investor), and will set you apart from all the other pitches."

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2. You will see your strategic position in an entirely new light – when you integrate the Status Quo into your narrative, it becomes clear that all parts of your business: fundraising, marketing, sales and strategy will need modification to address the alternative. In fact, this step may force you to rethink or alter your product or business model entirely. Smerklo says: "While this sounds daunting, it is a much easier and cost-efficient exercise to undertake as opposed to the alternative: the long, slow death of disinterest."

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3. Your go-to-market strategy will never be the same – when your messaging to address the Status Quo is altered, you will need a new strategy to overcome your prospective competition. Your value proposition will be stress tested and driven to be more specific and may end up being more exact "F/U/D" (fear/uncertainty/doubt), more detailed in ROI calculations or requiring extreme positive outcomes from buying/investing in your solution. "Whatever it is," Smerklo says, "some of the greyness will be forced out of the value proposition and it will make your pitch to prospects much more specific and sharp."

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