Competitive analysis is an exciting topic. However, most of the articles and blog posts about it touch the surface of it. From text to text we are told that there are such great tools like SimilarWeb, which costs like a new Boeing, Alex.com that was relevant years ago, or App Annie, the rare corporate user will be able to manage right away.
I am a professional marketer for many years and have accumulated some experience working with tools I’d like to share with you today. This list will help you to uncover hidden marketing strategies and approaches your competitors use.
It is not an obvious thing, but you can use residential proxies for competitive intelligence. The idea is pretty simple: nowadays, companies are successfully blocking bot traffic. Often such traffic is generated by automated marketing analysis tools. Usually, this software uses IP addresses provided by hosting or proxy providers. Such server proxies are easy to spot and block.
As a solution, residential proxies can be used. These are IP addresses from ISPs from different locations (countries, states/regions, and cities). All requests that are sent via them are indistinguishable from those generated by regular users. Nobody will block the real user, so you can analyze everything you want from the website’s content to marketing techniques used by a particular company. You will even be able to view the search results in different countries exactly as the local users do!
I use residential proxies from Infatica because they do not imply any restrictions on the traffic volume or the number of concurrent sessions.
If you work in a field where the so-called in-app advertising (i.e., ads within the mobile applications) is used, then you’d definitely try Apptica. This useful and affordable tool is perfect for monitoring the activity of your competitors.
Using the system, you can spot what types of creatives or ad formats other companies are using for advertising.
The tool is handy for mobile devs as well. You can use it to understand what type of ads other developers implement in their apps. This will give you valuable insights to upgrade your better monetization strategy.
A simple solution that allows seeing how brands advertise online. The system looks like Google for ads: you type the name of the company you’d like to analyze, and the system responds with the list of ad formats, creatives, and websites they are placed.
The report contains data on the file type, its size, the destination website, where it is displayed. That is, using MOAT, you’ll get an understanding of not only what ads your competitors use, but also what websites they chose for business promotion.
We’ve discussed several tools for studying competitors ads on mobile or web, and here is the perfect tool to get some insights about their activity on social. The tool is called RivalIQ, and it is super handy for seeing who and what post on social media along with the response they get.
The tool provides an aggregated report for selected competitors, including data on their activity at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. You can not only get the information about what posts and on what social network brands post, but also see their performance statistics, and set comparisons.
It is hard to overestimate the advantages of RivalIQ. You will get insights about your competitors’ activity on social, and build your own strategy on top of that data.
The original use case of Ghostery is getting more privacy on the internet. For example, you can use the Chrome extension to find all web trackers for data collection and advertising, and block them. This significantly speeds the web page and keeps your information protected.
At first glance, it seems like the anti-marketing solution, but this is the wrong impression. You can use it as a regular person, to find out what data your competitors are trying to get from their users and customers!
That is it for today, thanks for reading! What competitive intelligence tools do you use? Share links in comments below.
Five Tools For Competitive Analysis You Might Not Know Existed was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.