Using competitive media intelligence to understand your competitive landscape is almost as important as managing your own brand. As we witnessed first-hand with the Equifax data breach, the entire industry was dragged into brand crisis mode. While you may not have a line of sight into a crisis this extreme, having a good grasp on the key players in your industry helps you manage your own brand better.

For instance, today, many companies are proactively taking stances on key social issues and making pushes to improve on diversity and inclusion, lessen their footprint on the environment and much more. And for publicly traded companies, the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) movement has become an important pillar of investing. Competitive media intelligence is key here to understand the position your peers are taking or not taking on these issues. You also need to know how your key audiences are reacting to your messages for these key issues.

Regardless of what industry you are in, you need specifics to really understand your position in the market and find where you stand vis-à-vis your competitors. The insights you will glean from competitive media intelligence will help you build or revise your strategy and take advantage of weaknesses in your competitor’s positioning and messaging.

So how do you get started? Here are 4 steps to help you glean intelligence about your competitors:

Define your competitors

List out your competitors and define what insight you want to learn about them. It is very important that you perform your comparison analysis on key data points that you also gather for your own brand. For example, if you analyze your own coverage for topics that include Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Workplace Environment, you would gather the same data about your competitors.

Measure to set your baselines

You’ll want to answer questions like these: Are there topics where you are dominating the conversation? What is the sentiment used when discussing your brand versus competing brands? Are there authors writing about your competition but not you?  And are there differences in the quality of outlets covering companies or issues, the amount of social sharing of content, or the syndication and reach of the coverage?

Implement a data-driven strategy

Now that you are collecting the right information, it’s time to assess your weaknesses and opportunities on a regular basis. Are your competitors getting more influencer pick up for their CSR initiatives? Are they growing positive SOV for their customer service? Use data to direct resources toward strategies that will bolster under-performing brand drivers. Alternatively, continue to boost categories that are doing well if you still want to make gains in your SOV.

Use insights to drive decisions

Over time you can become more predicative about your messaging. You will be able to see trends in your coverage and that of your competitors. This will help you quickly identify anomalies. You can then dig deeper into the data to see the underlying causes that might help you take advantage of competitor weakness.

For more guidance on tracking your competitors, download our Eguide.

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