Competitive ad analysis empowers you to improve your advertising strategies to boost the success of your business.

The reality is that competition is inevitable in the professional world. Many companies are edged out by their business rivals simply because they neglect to conduct the necessary competitive ad research.

It’s only natural for your target market to compare your advertising content to your competitors’ ads. You can transform this common phenomenon to your advantage through research work.

Competitive ad analysis is a vital element of the marketing efforts of your business. It trains you to pay attention to the advertising methods of your competitors to improve your own.

As a result, it could potentially lead to optimized ads, upgraded paid search results, better brand awareness, higher sales, and increased profits for your business in the future.

Keep reading if you are wondering, “How can I advertise better than competitors?” Explore competitive research analysis strategies and ideas to level up your ad campaigns by adopting the latest best practices.

The Basics of Competitive Ad Analysis

Competitive ad analysis is the identification and evaluation of your competitors based on the definition by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It allows you to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your direct and indirect business rivals. It also involves the examination of the pros and cons of their products and services.

Competitive ad research is worth investing time and effort in because it can contribute to the success of your marketing campaigns and your business.

The Benefits of Competitive Ad Research

Competitive ad analysis can lead to vital advantages for your business. Here are some of its important benefits:

How To Conduct Competitive Ad Research

  1. 1. Familiarize Yourself With the Market

  2. Both competitive ad research and general market research are necessary for you to comprehend the consumer behavior in your industry. This is essential because you and your direct competitors share the same target market.

    A combination of these two types of research will give you a deeper understanding of your target market, according to resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    Good knowledge of these factors will serve as a solid foundation as you compare your ads to the ads of your competitors:

    • Demand: You can find out if there is a need for your products or services.
    • Economic Status: You will discover the income range and employment rate of your target audience.
    • Market Size: You may estimate the number of people who may potentially be interested in your services or products.
    • Geography: You can pinpoint where your customers are located.
    • Market Saturation: You will find out who your competitors are by learning which similar options are already available in the market.
    • Pricing: You may estimate the average price for the type of product or service that you offer based on what customers pay for the alternatives.
  3. 2. Identify Market Trends

  4. Competitive analysis lets you discover market trends that your competitors have already utilized and your business may have missed.

    Increasing your capacity to identify and predict trends will allow you to adapt to these trends ahead of your rivals in the future.

  5. 3. Pinpoint Market Gaps

  6. Competitive ad analysis grants you the opportunity to check which segments of the audience your competitors are presently targeting.

    It allows you to pinpoint the segment of your target market that is underserved at present. You can position your business to reach out to these potential clients.

  7. 4. Check the Marketing Benchmarks

  8. Marketing benchmarks are standard measurements employed to compare the tangible results of your marketing efforts to the results of your business rivals. This information about your competitors is usually found in publicly available sources like quarterly financial results.

    Competitive research allows you to track the areas of competitive advantage to find out which areas you are underperforming.

  9. 5. Find Out What Works and What Doesn’t

  10. Most creative advertising ideas seem appealing during the brainstorming stage. However, it is the actual reception and reaction of the consumers to business ads that determine their success.

    Aside from reviewing your ad content, make sure to know what works for your competitors and what doesn’t. Learn from the right things that the competition does. Learn from their mistakes as well, so you won’t need to make the same blunders.

  11. 6. Enhance Your Marketing Strategies

  12. Competitive research allows you to realize why your target audience prefers to buy from you or your competitors.

    It gives you the chance to see if your competitors can highlight the benefits of their products and services more effectively than you currently do. As a result, you will figure out how you can improve your marketing techniques moving forward.

  13. 7. Fine-Tune Your Marketing Goals

  14. Your business ads may be creative and exciting, yet they may not significantly impact your consumers if your marketing goals are off. Competitive ad analysis will help you fine-tune your objectives for your advertising strategies.

  15. 8. Create Future Advertising Plans

  16. The overall results of your competitive ad research will guide you in formulating strategic advertising plans for the future marketing campaigns of your business.

    It could lead you to improve your products and services, change your pricing plans, and enhance your promotional methods.

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How To Conduct Competitive Ad Research

Competitive ad research must be done in a systematic, logical way to gain the best results from your research work. Instead of randomly checking out your competitors’ ads, create a strategic plan with the help of the tips below.

Continue reading to learn how to perform marketing competitor analysis.

Discover Market Positions

Finding out the competitive market positions is an essential aspect of competitive ad research.

According to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, a map formed through statistical analysis will give you crucial insights into the relationships between prices and benefits. It enables you to monitor competitive positions, which may fluctuate over the months and years.

Market positions let you compare your business in a constructive way against your competitors. They allow you to analyze your competitors’ strategies and form a map of the competitive landscape.

For example, if you have a souvenir shop business in Lancaster, PA, you must find out where you rank in sales and brand awareness compared to other similar souvenir shops in the area.

Being aware of the market positions in various platforms allows your business team to work together to edge out the competition effectively.

You need to increase your understanding of the online market for your industry and your region through competitive analysis and market research.

  1. Step 1: Learn About Your Competitors Through Paid Search

  2. Paid search is considered the primary platform for online advertising, based on a study by the Marketing Science journal.

    There are various paid-search competitor research tools that you can utilize. These tools commonly provide keyword and competitor ad performance data. Each tool has its own particular method of collecting, processing, and organizing information.

  3. Step 2: Google Ads Competitive Analysis

  4. Analyze Google Ads campaigns by integrating your Google Analytics account with Google Ads. This will grant you high-performance insights on how your ads stack up to the ads of your business rivals in terms of paid search traffic.

    Google Ads competitive analysis places your performance into the proper context, so you can figure out the trends in your industry and set the right targets for your advertising strategies.

  5. Step 3: Compare Keyword Profiles and Website Content

  6. Learn how your website content and keywords are faring in comparison with the websites of your competitors. Measure their SEO metrics side by side to discover which backlink profile is the most powerful one.

    Do not rely solely on static backlink numbers since these alone do not provide a complete view of the competitive landscape. Compare backlink growth over time to learn if you are drawing new backlinks compared to your rivals or gradually losing backlinks.

    Find out competitor keywords by conducting keyword research and using keyword tools. Keyword research reveals the keywords which bring traffic to the websites of your competitors. This will grant you insight into the interests of consumers and leads you to choose the right keywords for your website.

  7. Step 4: Google Display Network Analysis

  8. Analyze the performance of your Google Display ads by studying the statistics of the ads, extensions, and placement pages.

    It will give you the chance to discover where your Display ads are appearing. It will help you evaluate the target market that your ads are reaching through clicks and conversions, and it enables you to understand which targeting choices are working for you and your competitors.

    Google Reports let you make tables and charts, granting you an overview of your performance data. These include details on targeting, impressions, and conversions.

  9. Step 5: Google Shopping Competitive Analysis

  10. The Google price competitiveness report reveals how your competitors price similar products that you offer. It shows the average price for every product, so you can gauge the price point where your peers are gaining clicks.

    The Google shopping competitive analysis provides two ways to organize and view data:

    • Monitor your competitive ability in Shopping ads and free listings by studying product types, brands, and categories.
    • Track data on individual products if the benchmark metric is available.
  11. Step 6: Social Media Ad Analysis

  12. Social media ad analysis involves gathering and analyzing data that your target market has shared on social networks.

    It can be advantageous for your business because it lets you pinpoint trends in consumer behavior within your industry.

    The research results show you the data that will quantify the return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns depending on the existing traffic on your business’s different social media channels.

    It allows you to evaluate the performance of your social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. It helps you realize which topics and subjects are most relevant to your consumers.

    Social ad analysis could lead you to make strategic marketing campaigns and smart business choices in the long run.

Pay Attention to the Metrics

Analyze the current state of your online presence through website analytics and website auditing.

For instance, you need to find out how the online presence of your souvenir shop business is faring compared to other similar shops in Lancaster, PA, through web analytics and website audit.

Web Analytics

Web analytics refers to the measurement, gathering, evaluation, and reporting of web data. It monitors web traffic so that you can improve your web content plans. It will enable you to see the number of visitors and number of pages of your business website. It will let you keep track of changes to your website traffic after you launch an advertising campaign.

Website Audit

A website audit is conducted to pinpoint issues with your website structure and content. It measures your business website’s web traffic, user experience, user engagement, functionality, and performance.

It allows you to pinpoint technical site performance so that you can enhance the online presence of your business.

Aside from evaluating your online presence, it is also crucial for you to monitor your offsite presence in traditional print ads, broadcast ad campaigns, online directories, and social media channels.

Transform Analysis into Action

Use the results of your competitive ad analysis as the basis for new marketing strategies so that you can advertise better than your competition in the business field.

For example, you must apply the insights that you learned from competitive research to tweak or overhaul your marketing strategies for your souvenir shop business in Lancaster, PA.

  1. Step 1: Level up Your Ad Campaigns

  2. There are two ways that you can improve your advertising efforts so that your ads will become superior to that of your competitors: direct and indirect.

    • Option 1: Comparative Advertising

    • Comparative advertising is a promotional strategy recommended by the Indeed Career Guide.

      It involves directly comparing the differences between your business and your direct competitors. It highlights the ways that your product or service is better than comparable ones in the market.

      A popular option is to select a single competitor to compare your product or service with. Other options include comparing your business to various competitors or a fictional representation of your rival.

    • Option 2: Improve Your Advertising Campaign Based on Research Results

    • Tweak and enhance your marketing strategies to make them better than your competitors without directly comparing your products and services to theirs.

      Take a page from your competition by adapting their successful techniques to your campaign without being a copycat. Steer clear of their unsuccessful methods so that you won’t mimic their mistakes. Pinpoint objectively the elements where you are currently inferior to your rivals to improve these areas.

  3. Step 2: Phased Implementation Plan

  4. Create an implementation plan with logically sequenced phases to carry out your plan in a systematic way. These are the seven phases of campaign implementation, according to information from Forrester:

  1. Goal Setting: List your prioritized business goals connected to communications and revenue targets that marketing can address. Set your projected results, estimated budget, and anticipated return on investment (ROI).
  2. Needs Assessment: Base your campaign themes on the needs of your target audience instead of centering them mainly around the features of your product or service.
  3. Campaign Definition: Make solid plans about what type of campaign you plan to develop. Brainstorm with your internal marketing team and external marketing agencies for a balanced input of ideas.
  4. Campaign Targeting: Select the target market, location, and industry you will aim your ads towards. Choose which advertising channels are most suitable for your marketing goals.
  5. Program Planning: Create program plans that address these four factors: demand creation, reputation, sales enablement, and market intelligence.
  6. Execution: Launch the advertising campaign in cooperation with the marketing team and sales team at the opportune time.
  7. Post-execution: Continue to commit resources towards pipeline acceleration activities to keep up the effects of your campaign. Last but not least, perform a campaign post-mortem to evaluate the overall performance of your efforts. This is instrumental in helping you to develop even better campaigns in the future.

Optimize Ads for Your Business Through Competitive Ad Research

Competitive ad analysis is essential if you wish to reach new heights with your business.

The success of your ad campaigns is not only determined by clever taglines or catchy visuals. Instead, it is quantified by how your ad content stacks up to the competition. More importantly, it is measured by how much your target market is receptive to the campaign.

Competitive ad research is effective if it helps you improve user engagement, highlight brand awareness, build customer loyalty, and increase sales and profits of your business.

Power up your advertising campaigns by performing competitive ad research regularly.

You can conduct this research on your own. Nevertheless, it is wiser to enlist the help of marketing professionals to maximize your competitive ad analysis.

Start Profiting From Professional Competitive Ad Analysis

Reach out to Improve & Grow if you need guidance on performing marketing competitor analysis to level up your advertising campaigns for your business.

Improve & Grow is a digital marketing agency located in Lancaster, PA. We help businesses all over the U.S. to grow by enhancing their marketing results. We can optimize ads for your business through our top-tier marketing services.

Call us at (717) 869-0156 or schedule a Discovery Meeting to find out how our marketing experts can assist you in performing effective competitive ad research that can boost the growth of your business.

FAQ Section

How can I advertise better than competitors?

You can advertise better than competitors by conducting competitive ad research. Competitive analysis lets you compare the performance of your ads with the ads of your peers in the industry. It lets you understand how you can enhance your advertising campaigns through valuable insights that you gain through research.

Learn More

What is Competitive Research?

Competitive research is the identification and evaluation of your competitors. It involves the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your direct and indirect business rivals. It encompasses the examination of the pros and cons of the ads, products, and services of the competition.

Competitive ad research is also popularly known as competitive ad analysis. It can potentially improve the marketing campaigns of your business.

Learn More

How do I find my competitor’s keywords?

Discover your competitor keywords by performing keyword research and using keyword tools. Keyword research lets you find out which keywords drive traffic to the websites of your competitors. It will help you understand the interests of your target market. It will guide you to select the right keywords for your own website.

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Meet the Author:

Skip Lefever

Skip Lefever, Digital Marketing Services Director

Skip is our Director of Pay-Per-Click marketing services, where he helps our clients turn clicks into revenue. Skip also has a background in executive leadership, management consulting, leadership development, strategic & business planning, process improvement and project management services for business owners and executives in for-profit and non-profit environment. He is an expert analyst and with a track record of driving continual improvement.