A competitive analysis matrix, or competitor benchmarking matrix, is a way to illustrate your competitive landscape and easily see where you sit amongst your competitors. This method of competition mapping is a popular choice for intelligence teams because you see a great deal of condensed information in one glance. All of the work that you’ve put into compiling competitive intelligence data for other intelligence reports will fit neatly into your matrices and can be used to strengthen your position with strategic planning and execution.
There are several kinds of matrices. This post reviews six examples that will help you differentiate yourself in the market, build better products and services, and increase your market share through stronger marketing strategies. It might be helpful to synthesise some of the techniques demonstrated to build your own competitive analysis metrix template. Read on to see why the competitive analysis matrix is one of the best tools you can use for competitive mapping within your organization.
Competitive Analysis Matrix Examples
Much like a SWOT analysis, a competitive analysis matrix (or competitors analysis chart) is a visual tool including specific and defined elements of your competitive data. There may be different visuals for different categories, but each matrix should give you the consolidated information needed to move to the next step in the strategic planning process. Ultimately, you may decide to try each of these examples to find the right fit for your organization. We’ve broken down this post into three sections:
- Independent Analysis
- Internal Analysis
- Additional Analysis
Each section highlights a different way to view your intelligence by plotting it into a matrix, whether that be a grid, quadrants, or spreadsheets. No matrix is superior to the other, but each is uniquely valuable.
Third-party reports like the ones listed below give a 30,000-foot view of the competitive landscape. These large-scale reports often include information that your internal teams may not quickly obtain. Additionally, this data is useful because it might be referenced by potential customers at the sales funnel’s desire phase, lending you a pivotal tip to what your target market is looking for in a product or service.
G2 Crowd Grid
G2 scores products and vendors based on reviews gathered from their user community and aggregated data from online sources such as social networks. They have a unique, proprietary algorithm that calculates Customer Satisfaction and Market Presence scores in real-time. They produce competitive matrix grids for several industries and market segments. The G2 platform delivers an exact visual representation of the competitive landscape by illustrating your organization’s position among competitors in the form of a competitive analysis graph.
Below you’ll see the G2 Crowd Grid for Email Marketing.
There are four quadrants in the above grid: Niche, Contenders, High Performers, and Leaders. To further customize your view, the grid can be filtered and sorted by Small Business (50 or less employees), Mid-Market (51-1000 employees), and Enterprise (greater than 1000 employees).
Magic Quadrant is a series of market research reports produced by IT consulting firm Gartner. Their reports compare vendors to provide visual snapshots and an in-depth analysis of market trends. Gartner’s analytics include graphics depicting competitors in a two-dimensional matrix, based on Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. The ability to execute is a summary of financial stability, product development, customer base, and sales channels. The completeness of vision focuses on innovation and whether or not the subject is driving the market.
These scores lead to positioning in one of four quadrants:
- Leaders - Vendors with the highest composite score for Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision.
- Challengers - These vendors pose potential threats to Leaders, lacking only in size and influence.
- Visionaries - These vendors offer innovative solutions to solve customer problems, but have not shown their ability to capture market share or sustain profitability.
- Niche Players - Vendors that are narrowly focused on a very specific market segment.
(While we're on the topic of Gartner, did you know we were featured in Gartner's CI and MI tool report in 2022? Check out our blog about it here!)
While a third-party perspective may be heavily detailed, it may also be too broad for your business size or industry. Developing a competitive analysis matrix will allow you to customize the criteria for your data set in a way that only members of your company can. When creating an internal competitive analysis matrix, you can start with a competitive overview and refine the data as you sharpen your focus on particular segments.
The win/loss matrix is the analysis of won and lost sales opportunities. The results will show you where you are performing well against the competition and where you need the most improvement. Specifically, you will uncover the reasons why a customer chose to buy your product or service, or why they didn’t.
The win/loss matrix is often more robust when the sales team directly contributes to the data collection, as much of it is likely in their CRM. Another effective method for gathering intelligence about your wins and losses is to conduct an interview with prospects that fell through, and those that became customers.
For yourself and each of your competitors, plot their win rate and win/loss ratios with the following formulas:
Won Opportunities / Total Opportunities = Win Rate
Won Opportunities / Lost Opportunities = Win Ratio
Organize the results into quadrants, much like the Gartner Magic Quadrant. The competitor analysis graph below is an example of a win/loss matrix created by Growth Velocity.
Feature Comparison Matrix
A feature comparison matrix is an opportunity to explore the granular details of the competition’s product offerings. It will reveal or refine your unique value proposition and highlight areas that need improvement. This type of competitive analysis matrix creates opportunities to strengthen and differentiate your brand.
*image from 280group.com
Competitive analysis can probe even the most intricate depths of your business and that of your competitors. When it comes to online marketing, there are several opportunities to analyze what is working and what isn’t. Independent research can pave the way for the development of many spreadsheets and documents holding the keys to the optimum digital marketing strategy. For SEO improvements, look at the following suggestions that can be easily cataloged into a spreadsheet.
Competitor Keyword Matrix
The competitor keyword matrix contains information about the keywords driving people to your competitor’s websites. It should include organic and paid search results, trending keywords, hashtags, and a ranking system. The competitor keyword matrix exposes gaps that reveal content opportunities for your organization to capitalize on.
Competitor Backlink Matrix using a Backlink Checker
A backlink is simply a link from one website to another website (i.e. referring domains, or linking domains). Search engines recognize backlinks, so the more link building you do, the higher your search ranking. By conducting a competitor backlink analysis, using a backlink analysis tool, you can see who has links pointing to your competitors' websites and whom they are linking to as well. When you research the links driving traffic to your competitor’s websites via backlink analytics, you can identify opportunities to improve your organization’s own link building strategy and web traffic, tracking their performance using SEO metrics. Examples to improve your own link building include adding in more relevant internal and external links, and removing spammy links.
The Wide Narrow Methodology
Building a competitive analysis of any format is a tedious and time-consuming project. The results are only worth it when you execute on your findings in a meaningful way. To help you get started, we’re sharing some tips on how to prepare for your research.
Dividing the Workload
The results of the matrix are only as strong as the information that was used to create it. Many intelligence teams are organized by topic area rather than roles in a structure to help divide the workload. Like any other team, organized and transparent roles and responsibilities in a shared workflow will enhance productivity and decrease person dependency.
By involving internal subject matter experts, i.e., sales, marketing, product management, IT, and legal, additional data and analysis perspectives can be added to the intelligence process, profoundly enhancing the output quality.
Almost any analysis task, even outside the field of competitive intelligence, could be condensed into three tasks:
- Screen – Data collection
- Refine – Data refinement and analysis
- Report – Stakeholder communication
Organizing the above three steps in a clear and transparent workflow boosts the productivity of any intelligence team. Before the team sets out to collect data, it’s vital to the end result that you prioritize the deliverables. This will save valuable time and energy and allow the research to remain focused on only the most essential research criteria.
Prioritizing How to Present Competitive Landscape with Deliverables
Prioritizing current and planned deliverables is the key to successful reporting. The matrix below is a tool that can help you figure out the value of different deliverables and the effort required to complete their corresponding tasks.
Deliverables in the upper right corner are those with the highest impact and the largest group of receivers. Top row going left, you’ll place deliverables with high impact but fewer recipients. Right column, second row would be deliverables with lower potential impact, yet many receivers.
Streamline Your Competitive Intelligence
Wide Narrow is here to help when it comes to consolidating outsourced data with internal analysis and additional competitor research. We’d love to chat with you about how we can help your analysis team condense massive amounts of data into usable information. Reach out today or subscribe to our blog (below) for more insights on how you can gain a competitive edge with customized intelligence.