January 30, 2024

What is a Competitive Audit?

A competitive audit is a structured way to research and analyze competitors. It can be a key part of an organization’s marketing strategy and helps establish benchmarks for measuring performance. It also highlights opportunities to set your business apart, grow sales and remain viable.

The audience for a competitive audit can vary from high-level C-suiters to individual members of the product team, depending on the goals and approach of the process. In addition to informing product teams, the insights can also lift the work of other departments within a company, like sales and marketing.

Defining what you’re looking to achieve will save time and ensure the audit is focused. For example, setting a goal to increase backlinks will focus your competitor research on domains that are likely to be willing to link to your brand and help you measure success.

You can classify your competition into three categories: direct competitors, indirect competitors and replacement competitors. Direct competitors offer a similar service to yours and market to the same customers. Indirect competitors offer a different service to the same customer base and have an additional revenue stream from other products or services. Replacement competitors have a different product offering but can “replace” yours.

Conducting a competitor audit is essential to understanding how your product compares with others in the marketplace. It can help you spot friction points in your user flow; opportunities to improve customer experience and add value; outright mistakes that your competitors are making that you could avoid; and even ways that your product performs better than a competitor.

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