Putting Together Effective Competitor Analysis with Flowcharts

“The Weakness of an Enemy forms Part of your Own Strength.” – Anonymous

Widely divergent in terms of processes and functionality, the domains of biology and modern commerce present interesting points of convergence. Both entail the study of dynamic processes, of multiple levels of evolution inside systems, and both underline a relentless competition for resources in their immediate operating environments. Specifically, the domain of commerce has evolved into a complex, multi-tiered, wide-ranging ecosystem defined by raw competition for the customer’s dollars and a perennial drive by individual operators to acquire precious market share.

In this context, an effective competitor analysis presents an intelligent tool for use in commercial markets; such an analysis “denotes strategic research that specializes in the collection and review of information about rival firms. It’s an essential tactic for finding out what your competitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your company’s success.” The outlines of such analyses, when framed inside multi-grade illustrations such as flowcharts, emerge to provide distinctive inputs into the planning, operation, and diversification of the modern enterprise.

Online retail industry operators could devise flowcharts that help analyze different elements positioned in the websites of competitors. Such a survey allows investigators to gain a sense of the online stature of commercial rivals. Therefore, as part of an effective competitor analysis, investigators could assess the quality of product photography on websites, depth of product descriptions, color schemes embedded in web pages, different forms of social media activity designed to promote products and services, the range of products arrayed on websites, different customer support and service mechanisms, any form of deficient information in product descriptions, and others. The emerging schematic enables operators to frame a clear picture of the online presence of competitors, use the information to devise a qualitatively improved digital presence, and establish a landmark in the digital domain. These actions help further the cause of generating an effective competitor analysis in the online retail trade.

A new market entrant can position itself as a customer on a competitor’s website as part of efforts to drive an effective competitor analysis. This stance enables the entrant to assess the behavior of said competitor toward the average customer, and glean insights that could subsequently power a defined competitive edge. The entrant could enroll for a digital newsletter at the competitor’s website, regularly scan the site for new offers, promotional mechanisms, and discounts, purchase a set of competing products, test the efficacy of customer service mechanisms, follow blog posts on the website, enlist as a follower on the social media handles of the competitor, and others. Each of these elements, when depicted inside flowcharts, allows the new entrant to assess various dimensions of performance of said competitor over time. An effective competitor analysis could help the entrant to construct an original website loaded with upgraded features and mechanics, such as higher response rate to customer queries, suggestions, reviews, and other forms of inputs.

Marketing professionals can undertake effective competitor analysis as part of efforts to expand the commercial footprint of a corporate enterprise. Such an analysis can help marketers survey the scope and depth of an existing market, identify gaps and fault lines in markets, detect evolving trends, develop new lines of products and services, identify new sets of customers, and develop new marketing tactics and techniques. Flowcharts can assist marketers to conduct such investigations, outline processes to fulfill various points of the mandate, and drive the methods to explore and achieve each point. In addition, sections of digital flowcharts can serve as dashboards that depict progress registered in such pursuits, thereby informing and enlightening the sponsor enterprise. Such analysis must find completion under the guidance of marketing experts, design professionals, and observers from the senior ranks of management teams.

Discovering under-served market segments and customer populations remains one of the key objectives of an effective competitor analysis. Such discovery can help entrepreneurs find fresh revenue streams in congested markets, generate a new rationale for operating in contested commercial spaces, and establish a corporate tradition of servicing (perceived) blank sports in given markets. However, such discovery must emerge from a methodical examination of the structure of a market through the transparent expanses offered by modern flowcharts. For instance, an operator of commercial logistics services could conduct an analysis of the quanta of revenues emanating from its top five customers. Such analysis can point to under-serviced market segments, thereby necessitating the creation of innovative marketing campaigns designed for said segments. This aspect of effective competitor analysis can spark discoveries that ultimately boost the market reach of said operator and uncover new revenue streams that bolster the bottom line of the enterprise.

Metrics such as revenue figures and the number of customers must feature prominently inside any attempt to conduct an effective competitor analysis. Stacks of validated numbers that denote these metrics can help investigators size up a certain market and feed the information into the overarching objective of courting commercial success. For instance, a manufacturer and distributor of premium cosmetics and healthcare products can develop such stacks inside the graded spaces of flowcharts; manifest spikes in quarterly revenue, when co-related to events such as new product launches or the inauguration of refreshed marketing strategies, help uncover the essential nature of a given market and point the way to accruing rapid commercial gains for the investigator. Therefore, the use of a flowchart can help to spark insights that can ultimately aid in the formation of new business strategy by the distributor. In addition, subsequent editions of the flowchart can enable a distributor to gain a high-level view of the success of effective competitor analysis and refine the operating mechanisms that drive the exercise.

Brands that seek to build an ambitious presence on social media can undertake effective competitor analysis in pursuit of building traction in digital spaces. Such an initiative must be exploratory in nature and best executed inside the expansive spaces offered by flowcharts. Different buckets of information could include the number of digital engagements generated by each post on social media handles, the number of social media-powered ‘shares’ gained by each post, the total number of ‘likes’ and comments, total count of followers in handles, rate of engagement, posts on hashtags, average posting frequency, and follower growth over time, and others. Such information can help brands define the contours of a desired digital presence, while undertaking new initiatives in brand building for the benefit of virtual fans and followers. In addition, the completed flowchart can help brand strategists ideate on new campaigns that will win heavy traction in digital spaces, thereby allowing the brand to fulfil key aspects of its founding vision.

This exposition spotlights the utility of deploying flowcharts in contemporary attempts at conducting effective competitor analysis. Every aspect of a flowchart can be custom-designed to frame an intelligent analysis of the different lines of competition; these illustrations also help business leaders to gain insight into the mechanics of a market, spark the development of novel business strategies, seek meaning in the proverbial sea of numbers, delineate the disparate lines of commercial motivation, and spur the roll out of enhanced business initiatives. However, strands of innovation must intervene to multiply the scope of outcomes, thereby cementing a positive impression of the utility of modern flowcharts.

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