Technology companies must compete aggressively.  Understanding competitors and how they impact the growth of a company should be an important and ongoing part of its operations. 

Competitive advantage begins with knowing what is important to potential customers.  Only by fulfilling customer needs in ways which are superior to major competitors can a company achieve and sustain market leadership.  SMG takes a whole customer view of the products and services being provided.  Technology alone rarely enables the achievement or maintenance of a superior market position.  Rather, a company’s complete offering, matched against the priorities of its target market and compared with that of its competitors, determines market leadership.

SMG's Experience with Competitive Analysis and Relative Competitive Assessments

From its founding in 1989, SMG has been providing objective and real-time market input on competitors to its clients.  Frequently, companies make decisions based on anecdotes, isolated sales situations, and management experience that is derived from inappropriate markets or is outdated.  Our projects often require information we gather directly from markets and consistently include competitor perceptions and performance data.

SMG has undertaken hundreds of projects that have evaluated the relative potential and performance of its clients.  Competitive understanding is an area where research and analysis conducted by an independent consultancy is essential. We have evaluated a wide range of competitive issues across many products, industries, and geographies including:

  • Product functionality and quality

  • Pricing and discounting practices

  • Sales channel operations and effectiveness

  • Customer and technical support competencies

  • Competitive sales and marketing practices

Examples of our Competitive Analysis and Relative Competitive Assessment experience include:

Major Hardware Company:
The client wanted to update its services offerings by knowing exactly what its three major competitors were offering and how customers evaluated their performance.  SMG built a table directly comparing the various services offered and conducted telephone interviews with hardware support managers at Fortune 500 companies to measure the absolute and relative capabilities and delivery of services of each competitor.  The client modified and repositioned its new offerings as a result of the project.

Start-up Messaging Software Vendor:
In support of our client’s go-to-market strategy development, SMG conducted a preliminary assessment of its competitive environment. SMG delivered a comprehensive competitive overview of the client’s target market by:

  • Collecting data from a variety of sources, including Internet-based research, analyst reports, public financial records, and telephone interviews with several competitors.

  • Analyzing a variety of market factors, including market share, capitalization, channel coverage, and growth rates of the leading competitors.

  • Creating a matrix of competitive solutions that demonstrated to our client that market coverage was comprehensive and that the competition would be formidable for a start-up to attack directly.
Based on this competitive feedback and an internal assessment of its resources and capabilities, our client repositioned itself by pursuing an alternative solution addressing a different market segment.