It’s surprising but few marketers have a formal competitive review process in place. The extent to which they do competitive analysis typically consists of subscribing to their competitors’ email promotions and newsletters; there is little analysis of their programs. Understanding a competitor’s frequency, use of personalization, and other apparent tactics is a necessary, but often-untapped knowledge resource.
While there are enough variables to focus on without adding yet another ingredient to the optimization mix, a tremendous amount of information can be gleaned from what your competitors are doing. A cautionary note: marketers should place appropriate emphasis on competitive insights and not have it completely disrupt their company’s vision and strategy of what’s appropriate for their own programs.
Late last year, David Daniels, a leading e-mail expert and consultant surveyed 333 marketing executives on the competitive intelligence tactics they’re using. The data featured a balance of B2C and B2B email senders. The survey participants were mainly in the following industry verticals: financial services, retail, travel/hospitality and media/publishing.
One of the more notable survey results was email marketers’ inability to benchmark their program performance relative to their peers hinders optimization opportunities and conceals the benefits that such comparisons can offer. Astonishingly, email marketers are aware of this shortcoming and cite their inability to benchmark email performance against industry peers as one of their top five challenges.
Of the marketers surveyed, 37% of them stated that “greater use of analytics in order to optimize our communications” is this year’s top priority. Nearly a quarter said that they plan on analyzing their competitor’s email marketing messages. Another notable survey finding was that email marketers who employ competitive analysis tools contribute more corporate revenue from email than those who don
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