One of the most important questions that gets asked within many industries is “Our performance is great. But how are we doing against our competitors?” Over the years the development of third-party tools have enabled us to build our understanding of industry competitors through Market Intelligence. Here at Anything is Possible we’ve also shared this passion for helping provide brands with meaningful insight, which is why we developed a platform – searchshare.io – to help brands track their share of search against industry competitors in key markets.
We live in a world where we now have access to multiple data points, such as how often people are searching for your brand, how many people are visiting your website, how much media spend is being invested across various media channels and which types of creative are we using in these channels. But what about industry competitors? Can we track these key metrics in our markets of interest?
Answering these questions is key to developing actionable market intelligence, which we see as analysing the following areas:
1. Understanding media investment and creatives across channels
Tracking media investment for industry competitors has always been difficult. Thanks to our investment and development of in an industry-leading tech stack we can help brands understand where industry competitors are investing across various media channels over a specific time period.
Working with a higher education institution we could see where their industry competitors were investing in media channels such as Cinema, Digital Video, Display, Outdoor, Press, Radio and Social. Having access to this information allowed us to develop our understanding of when industry competitors were investing, which media channels and importantly the types of creatives being used.
For example, were industry competitors investing in outdoor to advertise their course offering? Or was there an upcoming open day they needed to promote? Which media channels were being used during the critical month of Clearing?
From this, we can provide brands with an in-depth curation, comparison and insight into cross-channel creatives used by industry competitors. And we can see where brands are positioned in the market and understanding the effectiveness of media strategies.
2. Website performance analysis across key metrics
Understanding how much media spend industry competitors are investing across various media channels only tells us part of the picture from a Market Intelligence point of view. Once people see an advert, the next step could be to visit the website of the brand in question. Using a global-leading website analytics tool, we are able to analyse key website metrics in markets around the world such as:
- Website Engagement
- Marketing Channels
- Cross-Browsing Behaviours
- Audience Overlap
- Audience Loyalty
Working with another Higher Education institution we were able to see, for example, the average percentage of website users who visit their website and on the same day visit an industry competitor’s website. In the example above, we can see that on average 4.7% of website users who visit Website A also visit Website E on the same day.
Additionally, we can see where website visitors are coming from before reaching the website of brands and industry competitors. For example, is there a high percentage of website users who are visiting the website directly, or are they searching organically for the brand in question first before reaching the website? In the example above, we can see that direct and organic Search are the main sources of website traffic, with Website B having a high percentage from Direct (63%) and Website E from Organic Search (34%). This understanding lets us infer which channels are driving people to site, which influences strategies such as link building for referral website traffic or increasing investment in paid search.
3. Measuring a brand’s market share using searchshare
So we now have an understanding of how media spend industry competitors are investing and how people are interacting with the industry competitors’ websites. But how can we measure the market share of brands against industry competitors? Share of search is a new way to track brands against industry competitors using search data from Google. Share of search compares a brand’s search demand against industry competitors in key markets. This data has been shown to have a proven average correlation of 83% with future share of the market. Additionally, our own research has shown the effectiveness of share of search as a metric to measure advertising impacts. This means that we can measure how search trends influence market share for brands across key markets around the world.
The starting point is to first assess how searchshare volumes are trending using year-on-year comparisons.
As we can see from the example above, whilst search volumes fluctuated between 2019 and 2021, search volume in 2022 YTD has increased by 42.2% compared to the same time period last year.
Once we understand the search demand for brands in key markets, we can then benchmark them against industry competitors to see how these search trends have influenced their share of search using searchshare.io.
For a longer term view, we can analyse the average percentage of search to see how peaks in search volume influence searchshare over a twelve month period:
However, if we want to analyse the short term impact search trends are having on a brands share of search, we can look at the average percentage of search over a three month period:
Finally, share of search is also a powerful metric for campaign planning. Through analysing search volume data, we can establish which markets should be prioritised based on the number of people searching for your brand. Through applying search volume per head of population to the search volume data, we are able to normalise the ratio between the number of people searching for your brand and the population size of the market being analysed.
4. So what does it mean?
Market intelligence is crucial to understanding your market landscape and what your competitors are doing.
At the beginning of this blog we asked a question. “Our performance is great, but how are we doing against our industry competitors?” Through leveraging our own tools like searchshare.io, we can provide brands with the information they need. We show you how to understand the effectiveness of campaign performance against industry competitors. And we give you vital, game-changing insight to power your media planning strategies.
If you want to explore this relationship further, and what it means for you – just speak to the experts.