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Using Strategic Competitor Analysis
to Improve Your Conversion Rate
Theo van der Zee - ConversionReview @ Conversion Conference UK 2015
Know thy self,
know thy enemy.
A thousand battles,
a thousand victories.
— Sun Tzu
Know
thy self
Maturing
competitors
Informed
customers
Quick
judgment
Coping with
changes?
Not known to selfKnown to self
Known
to others
Not known
to others
Know
thy enemy
Not known to selfKnown to self
Known
to others
Not known
to others
Un-blinded
Tactics without strategy
is the noise before defeat.
— Sun Tzu
Peeking at
competitors
That would
be great!
Headless
chicken
Ending up
in a drawer
Current
landscape
Continuous
Complete
Contextualized
Connected
Complete
Mentions SEA
SEO
Content
UX
Social
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Continuous
Planning
Collection
ProcessingAnalysis
Dissemination
Evaluation
Contextualized
Benchmarks
of UX
Connected
$$$
Strategic
analysis
bit.ly/CC-
checklist
Planning
$$$
Collection
$$$
Processing
$$$
Analysis
$$$
Dissemination
$$$
Evaluate
$$$
The greatest victory
is that which requires
no battle.
— Sun Tzu
ConversionReview
Data-driven website reviews
info@conversionreview.com
Twitter: @ConvReview

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Conversion Conference 2015

Editor's Notes

  1. Welcome! Presentation about CA. Based on small sample level should be X. Does that seem correct? Let’s get started!
  2. Quote, excellent book, also on modern warfare (business). Not only know yourself, but also knowing everything about enemy (= competitor) is required to win.
  3. Did you notice that markets are changing faster than ever? For example, just take a look at the car industry in recent years:
  4. Maturing competitors: with Tesla there’s no longer just competitors running on gas.
  5. Informed customers: exploring options and add-ons before contacting you
  6. Quick judgment: Detroit industry was slow to react to Asian cheap car producing. [AUDIENCE] Who recognizes one or more of the above?
  7. How to cope with such changing market changes?
  8. Day 2 of conference on CRO, suppose y’all heard about A/B testing by now
  9. Unfortunately, almost all ‘testing ideas gathering techniques’ are focussed on own website. Following slides explain why such a focus can be troublesome
  10. Therefore, even if you’re testing all the things (from local research) many opportunities missed or discovered (too) late, remember Detroit?
  11. Only local maximum can be reached, explain concept. Top of mountain is best possible outcome after given choices.
  12. And competitive landscape looks like this, umbrella corporations that normal people rarely see
  13. Solution: not only look at your own organization, but also outward at your competitors (= competitive analysis). This leads to the following:
  14. Structured, strategic, CI Removes blind spots (= autonomous cars, electric cars, cars as a service, etc.)
  15. Structured, strategic, allows you to reach global maximum. “Not just fastest horses, but cars” — henry ford
  16. Structured, strategic, CI further shows the competitive landscape through your customer’s eyes. Who are you competing against? What’s their offer?
  17. Meaning that taking one-off actions without a bigger, structured plan in mind, will likely lead to failure
  18. Unfortunately, that is still how most people do CI (if they’re doing it at all). Illustrated with ad-hoc user testing example
  19. 1. Manager asks for data on a competitor ‘because he feels he needs it’
  20. 2. Some data is gathered, unstructured and without a clear objective. Feels like running around like a headless chicken
  21. 3. Data is saved unstructured, and reported, only to be put in a drawer most likely
  22. However, competitive landscape has changed rapidly. Remember changes to car industry we’ve discussed? Try adding million channels and data points.
  23. Therefore, we need our CI to have the following aspects, which will be explained in the next slides
  24. Relevance: interactions, synergies, no-man-left-behind
  25. Introduce Rival IQ (no affiliation). Great because it automatically collects, groups, evaluates and alerts (‘hands-off’). (> $199/month). Other tools similar available.
  26. On top of hands-off: Deeper insights if you want to go hands-on. Dashboard shows some of the options to examine
  27. For example, most engaging tweets in landscape of your and specified competitors
  28. Or alerts containing changes to the website, signaling potential strategic repositioning
  29. Separate mention for UX, as it should be handled separately as well
  30. Screenshot of example video, showing features like Annotations and Clips to structure the findings
  31. Loading speed is a huge aspect of UX, therefore separate mention. Company that I hadn’t heard of before
  32. Not only let’s you compare your performance to your competitors
  33. But also gives incredibly detailed information on how to improve your performance / website + FREE (freemium)
  34. Explain relevance of making a cycle and doing each step every time: Consistency, allows for process optimization, no steps forgotten, less errors
  35. First step: determine needs, establish requirements, develop a plan for this analysis
  36. Gather ALL relevant data, for instance: running campaigns or A/B tests, upcoming holidays, dev releases. E.g. anything affecting next CI cycle
  37. Run the user tests as planned, taking into account the collected relevant data. Also, start broad strokes grouping of findings
  38. Analyse the data based on the objectives that were set during planning. Is the page performing as planned? Does the test answers the questions that were posed?
  39. Sharing the insights with the customer/client/manager that requested it. If presented, try to use standardized presentations for efficiency.
  40. Gathering feedback and assessing whether the process satisfied the client's needs and ongoing needs. Consider restarting phase again.
  41. See how you do relative to competitors (and relative to yourself). This provides context for the changes, and allows you to see patterns more easily
  42. Show (automatic) benchmarking via Rival IQ. Enter this data into Excel for long-term benchmarks?
  43. Explain benchmarking for UX: let users do tasks, and rate them on numerical scales. Does require high volume of user testers to get reliable results
  44. Visually can look like this. Could also be segmented per competitor instead.
  45. Connected to (strategic) decisions, how to exploit weaknesses, how to anticipate their moves and beat them to the punch. 4 specific examples follow:
  46. Finding: What influencers are mentioning a competitor (and not you)? Action: Try connecting to them and get them to promote you as well
  47. Finding: What high-value SEO/SEA keywords aren’t you targeting (properly)? Action: Create and promote content related to those keywords.
  48. Finding: What content and/or promotion is performing well for them? Action: Use it as inspiration for your own content marketing efforts
  49. Finding: Who is mentioning, but hasn’t provided a link to your website? Action: Approach them and ask for a link.
  50. Again the user testing, this time handled via the model
  51. Large checklist of items to consider for each step is available for download.
  52. o Decide upon: number of test subjects, deadline, which competitors, etc. o Coordinate with other teams about responsibility, segments, devices, etc.
  53. o Collect relevant data from other (SEA, SEO, etc.) and previous tests o What psychological drives and systems motivate visitors to take actions?
  54. o Gather feedback from team members, improve test setup when required o Run the tests, and make highly structured notes of the results
  55. o View the benchmarks, see if these where positive changes? o Compare the results to other competitors, what can we learn?
  56. o Save all findings in a structured way; including raw source video o Update relevant benchmarks and documents
  57. o Discuss findings and process with team members o See how these new findings affect the current strategy
  58. Conclusion. Learn about competitors, anticipate moves, always be one step ahead. Plan your strategy; structured, relevant, integrated. Base for strategic decisions.
  59. Questions + business cards on the table/stage