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What constitutes a competitor, and what is the goal you have in mind when you conduct competitor analysis?
What is your philosophy when it comes to competitors?
This is a great question because: fortune favors the focused. In our world, there are thousands of SaaS offerings on the market. Many offer competitive products and capabilities to us. However, only a select few come up frequently in head-to-head deals where win-rate meaningfully impact our perfo......Read More
The competitive set is defined by your audience, not you. And it changes all the time. At Square, we compete against anything that enables anyone to participate in our economy, not just other POS companies. The "Jobs to be Done" framework is helpful here - anything (tool, company, resource) that ......Read More
Here is the competitive intelligence mission statement I've used for several years (repeat from previous post but will add more detail). “Define ourselves based on problems we solve and value we provide, not your competition. But also equip ourselves to stand out from competition and win agai......Read More
I've found that there's a tendency in B2B SaaS to have some people in the org get concerned over every new "competitor" in the market. You can't allow this to affect your strategy because most SaaS tools and solutions today have a lot of competitors. When I think about who my true competitors t......Read More
The goal of our work is to help our company build and express our competitive differentiation. A competitor is anyone who has a similar value prop for the same audience. Not necessarily the same solution. Even if a customer could feasibly use both, we might still be "competing!"
Thanks for asking this question. The exercise of defining your competitive set is a critical, but at times under-emphasized aspect of conducting research. There are three primary modes for competitive research: 1) optimization, 2) growth and 3) exploration. 1) Optimization is the most narrow mod......Read More
1. Revenue impact 2. Product innovation I used to only focus on the first point. That's an important one—and if you have limited bandwidth, I'd recommend you start there first. These are the vendors that are impacting your sellers' win rates. They're likely the more well-known vendors in your......Read More
I typically think of direct competitors as being other players in the same category of my org that are going after an overlapping share of wallet with an overlapping group of target customers. You may also spend time on your indirect competitors or even substitute products, but you're much less l......Read More
"Competitor aware, customer obsessed" is something that I've internalized when thinking about competitors. Competitors are a good thing - it validates your space, your product-market fit and the market opportunity. The key is balancing the focus on competitors and the focus on customers. It can b......Read More
For smaller teams that may not have a built out CI team or CI PMM it can get tough to manage competitive research, positioning, creation enablement and dissemination of assets on top of everything else that you're doing as a PMM. This is why my philisophy is to really prioritize your top tier com......Read More
This one is tricky because I think there's a tendency to want to boil the ocean and do everything for every competitor. Some combination of market research and competitive win/loss analysis should help you create a few different tiers of competitors. My rule of thumb is no more than 3 competitors......Read More
Interesting question about how I define "compeititor" in and of itself. I tend to look at competitors as barriers that keep people from buying the product I'm selling. Sometimes its a comparable product, sometimes it's an alternate type of solution and sometimes it's nothing at all. The question ......Read More
There are a few types of competitors to think about: Tier 1: Prime Competition - Those who compete for the same dollars for a very similar product. You often end up in feature battles with them and eat each other’s lunch. They look very similar to your offering in the eyes of prospects. They e......Read More
Depends on how competitive your market is. You can create a list of competitors and create segments based on different variables that are important for your product or business. For instance direct competitors vs indirect competitors, Or competitors by vertical, or competitors by use case, etc. ......Read More
My primary philosophy around competitors is a little different than most: focus 80% of your energy on what makes you great as a product or service, and the rest on what anyone else is doing. I've worked in duopoly markets (speech IVR in the contact center), highly fragmented markets (enterpri......Read More
'I think a competitor is anyone who is in or adjacent to your space. Said another way, a competitor is a vendor that can cause confusion or slow down your sales cycle for some reason. There are a few different types of competitors: * Main competitors - the ones who you are competing with head o......Read More
I think of competitors in two ways. 1. alternatives. Excel the classical example here. An alternative way of achieving the same 2. similar / same product offerings targeted at the similar / same buyer. This last part around targeting and segmentation is important. Tesla and F150 are both electric......Read More
In the most simpliest terms, a direct competitor is solving a simliar or same pain point as you are. One goal in conducting a competitive analysis as part of your market research is to identify points of differentiation and keeping a pulse on what's working (or not) in market. You can produce hel......Read More
A competitor is anything that can be substituted for the value that your product offers. Sometimes, that's a product with a very similar feature set. Sometimes, it's a product that is designed for a different purpose, but people are using it (poorly) to solve for your product's value prop. And in......Read More
I think competitors are important, but developing your own unique perspective of who you are, what makes you different, and who you serve is 10-100x more important. A short-ish anecdote: I used to work at AdRoll, which helps small businesses advertise on Google, Facebook, and everywhere else (......Read More
Related Ask Me Anything Sessions
Eightfold Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Ryan Smith on Competitive Positioning
August 24 @ 10:00AM PST
Atlassian Head of Core Product Marketing & GTM, ITSM Solutions, Daniel Kuperman on Competitive Positioning
June 1 @ 10:00AM PST
Guidewire Software VP Product Marketing, Axel Kirstetter on Competitive Positioning
May 23 @ 10:00AM PST
How do you differentiate market intelligence from competitive intelligence?How do you convince your company that it's worth the time to invest in researching and making buyer personas?How do you delineate the responsibilities of market research between Product Marketing and User Research?How often do you talk to customers, or do qualitative + VOC research?How do you stay on top of competitors when it's a crowded market and things are changing every day?How do you drive culture change with market research?