14 August 2018

How to Conduct a Competitive Gap Analysis for SaaS

As a SaaS company, getting your marketing strategy right by identifying and quantifying your customers’ needs is an ongoing process. For strategic marketing planners, a SaaS competitive gap analysis provides you with a clearer understanding of the SaaS market and your competitors.

A SaaS competitive gap analysis highlights gaps in the market and provides a comparison on product features, prices, customer service and overall core offering, allowing you to develop a better, more targeted marketing plan.

The competitive gap analysis may also help towards product development by identifying your solutions’ weaknesses and highlighting areas where your offering can be improved and fine-tuned in future iterations.

A four-step process will provide you with a framework for conducting your SaaS competitive gap analysis.

Step 1. Identify your competitors

Make a list of the companies that provide a solution identical or very similar to your offering. There may well be quite a few competitors. If this is the case, choose the companies that you believe are the biggest threat to your business.

Step 2. Analyze your competitors

Use available resources, such as analyst reports, company websites and social media platforms, marketing collateral, news articles, blogs and company reports to analyse your competitors. A general Google search online will reveal further details about your competitors including product and customer service reviews. Customer reviews and feedback will give you valuable insight into how customers perceive the company.

Here are some questions to ask yourself while conducting the research for your competitive gap analysis:

  • What is their core offering?
  • What features does it have?
  • What is their pitch?
  • What is their main message?
  • Do they offer any products or services that are different or unique?

Step 3. Analyze content

Use your competitors’ content to tell you more about them: what they are saying and how they are saying it. Drill down on these types of questions when embarking on a competitive gap analysis:

  • Are they the ‘go to’ source for information from industry professionals?
  • Are they considered to be a SaaS thought leader?
  • What kind of tone and voice do they use in their content?
  • Read their ‘About Us’ section—is it linked with their social media platforms and does it deliver the same message? Monitor website and social media traffic flow using online tools, such as Alexa or SimilarWeb.

SEO 

A big part of acquiring new customers comes from searches. SEO or search engine optimization can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling a similar product or service, an optimized site is likely to attract more customers and make more sales. So, when undertaking a competitive gap analysis, look at your competitors’ SEO. Are they up to date with their meta tags?

Social media

Read the content on your competitors’ social media platforms. Influencer and analysis websites like Fanpage Karma, Klear and LikeAlyzer are great tools for competitor social media analysis.

Here are a few items to consider when reviewing your competitors’ social content as part of a competitive gap analysis:

  • Is it well written, full of jargon or just ‘fluffy’?
  • How often do they post new social content?
  • Do your competitors curate content from other publishers and how are they distributing their content?
  • Do their customers engage with them on social media?

PR, outreach and reviews

Events, exhibitions and sponsorships are a good indication of competitors’ outreach activities. For example, do they lead the industry by providing thought leadership speakers? Do they carry out PR, and if so, are they making much noise in the market? Also review any strategic partnerships they may have developed.

Step 4. Compare and analyze

Once you’ve gathered all the relevant data, organize it. A table format is one of the best ways of displaying the data under specific headings, such as Strengths, Weaknesses, Market Strategy and Threat Level.

To wrap up: data driven marketing 

If you’ve dug deep into your research, your data should be able to identify who your biggest competitors are, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, their company strategy and where your SaaS products stand against their offerings.

You’ll be able to find the gaps and identify how your company’s products and services can be differentiated, including creating unique selling propositions (USPs) to develop improved customer engagement and retention.

If you uncover gaps in your content, take a look at the various done-for-you content writing services we offer.

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Emily Amos
Emily Amos

Emily leads teams in creating strong content marketing strategies and relevant, valuable content that cuts through the noise and lifts your company to a position of authority.

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