Now that you are well on your way to establishing your brand’s value and differentiation, it is time to do a little research. While this will help you further refine your brand, it is also an essential strategy for deeper market understanding and targeting accuracy. Although we touched on competitive analysis as a way of helping you differentiate your products and services, it is also important to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and where opportunities exist.

Market analysis will help you learn more about the customers you hope to serve. Who are they, and what is their demographic makeup (age and gender, where they live and work, and their hobbies and interests)?  This data will help you understand if there are enough potential customers in the region you wish to serve to sustain and grow your business.  In addition, you can use this to identify potential subsets of audiences that you could address, maybe even with a unique product or service. Finally, it will also help you understand if there are any regulatory restrictions you must adhere to if you are to compliantly serve your audience. 

Now that you know more about your competitors, the market, and the customers you wish to target, what is your unique selling proposition? What will draw that person into your clinic over your competitor’s down the street? What exactly makes you stand out from the crowd? Do you offer something unique? Do you price your products differently?

This section will provide further insight into what each type of analysis is, what they will do for your business, and how to get started. Read on.

Competitive Analysis

What is it?

A competitor is a business, person, team, or organization that competes against you or your business, offering a similar product or service. They not only provide a similar service, but they also tend to offer a comparable price. Understanding your competition is key to getting ahead in business. Competition can be either direct or indirect:

Direct Competition: Direct competition is a situation in which two or more businesses offer products or services that are essentially the same; as such, the businesses are competing for the same potential market.

Indirect Competition: Indirect competition is between two vendors whose products or services are not the same but could satisfy the same consumer need, i.e.; a soft drink company and a coffee company.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

It is imperative for a company to understand who its competition is. If you can’t identify your competitors and their marketing tactics, you’ll struggle to differentiate yourself and your product from the crowd. A business can learn a lot from their competition; what they are doing right, and what can be improved upon. Always be open to change and aware of what your competitors are doing.

How do I get started?

A thorough understanding of your product and its value to your audience or customers is crucial to identifying your direct competition.

Market Research: Take a look at the market for your product and evaluate which other companies are selling a product that would compete with yours. (see market research tab. for more detail).

Speak to Your Sales Team: Ask the sales team for the names of competitors they are often coming across. They will often be aware of who the main competitors are that a business needs to be mindful of.

Customer Feedback: Your customers are the key to unlocking your direct competitors. Customers often reveal unexpected competitors that aren’t even on your radar.

Online Community Forums: Potential customers will often seek advice and recommendations on social media sites and apps or community forums. By investigating the conversations your customers have on these websites, you’ll be able to further identify your competitors. Alternatively, it’s an excellent way to hear what your customers are saying about you.

Check out your competitor’s social media presence, identify gaps in their content or find new angles to issues in your market and target those areas.

Market Analysis

What is it?

A market analysis is a process of gathering information about your market, the industry, the competition, buying habits of the consumer, and revenue potential, to name a few.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

When you start a business or may already be in business, these insights support more informed business decisions about possible marketing strategies.

How do I get started?

It may seem complex at first; however, the effort is well worth the insight. A company may reduce risks and make better decisions because they understand their customers and market conditions.

Identify Your Purpose: There are many reasons why businesses might conduct market research. It is easier to research when you understand what you want to accomplish, i.e., to help improve cash flow or improve business operations.

Define Your Industry’s Outlook: What are the economic trends in the industry? With the aging population, are you seeing more interest in hearing health? What are the technological advances in the industry? What tools are you using that will help you stand out in the field? What about regulatory concerns?

Pinpoint Target Customers: Understanding your customers and where they come from will help define their needs and interests. See the Target Audience tab.

Compare Your Competition: Researching your competition will provide unlimited information. Look at things like your competition’s offerings, location, targeted customers, and disadvantages in the market. See the Competitive Analysis tab.

Analyze your findings: Once you have done your research, what is it telling you? Is your industry growing? Are you competitive? What are the current trends you need to be aware of etc.?

Conduct a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis on your competition to help you gain better insight into what you do well and where you could improve.

Unique Selling Point

What is it?

A unique selling point (or proposition), often referred to as a USP, is the one thing that makes your company better than the competition. It’s a specific benefit that makes your business stand out compared to other businesses in your market.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Your USP should play to your strengths and should be based on what makes your brand or product uniquely valuable to your customers. Being “unique” is rarely a strong USP in itself. You must differentiate around some aspect your target audience cares about; otherwise, your messaging won’t be nearly as effective.

How do I get started?

A compelling USP should be:

Assertive: What do you have that is better than your competition? This should be something tangible that cannot be argued. For example, we offer SHOEBOX Online to our digital customers and in-store kiosks for QuickTest. This USP supports our customers hearing healthcare journey

Focus on What Your Customers Value: “Unique” won’t count for much if it’s not something your target customers truly care about. Understanding your target audience through demographics, geography etc., will help you determine what is important to them.

More Than a Slogan: While a slogan is one way your USP can be communicated, a USP is about what you can bring to your customers that the competition cannot. Whatever your USP is, ensure it is a focus of the business, and customers can count on this effort.

Don’t use promotions, free shipping, or other discounts as a USP, as your competition can easily duplicate or improve on this offer.

Target Audience

What is it?

A target audience is a group of people defined by various common attributes and characteristics. Simply put, they are the groups of people most likely to purchase your product or service. Therefore, defining this audience is an integral part of creating a successful strategy.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Identifying the right target audience for your business is one of the most vital pieces of a marketing strategy. Understanding the market landscape will help you minimize that risk and allow you to focus your marketing efforts in the most cost-effective way possible.

How do I get started?

Market Research: The first and most important step is to learn everything you can about your market. A good way to begin is through a SWOT analysis. This step will help identify how your company fits in the market through its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Through this type of exercise, you can recognize location, demographics, industries, personality traits, buying habits, etc.

Look at Your Current Customer Base: What are their purchase habits and pain points. Speak with your customers through surveys or online feedback forums.

Check Out Your Competition: What is your competition doing that you are not? Can you learn anything from them?

Analyze Your Product/Service: Are you delighting your customers? Is there anything you can offer that will make your product or service a must-have?

Choose Specific Demographics to Target: Focus on the right demographics. Identify those people who have a high potential to purchase your products or services. Niche marketing, which may start with one and grow quite large, will ensure that you begin with building brand loyalty.

Try multi-segment marketing efforts to help find the right target audience. Leveraging digital marketing, social media, PR and/or content writing aims to gain customers where they consume information to buy the same product for the same uses. Find out which one works for you.


What is it?

Marketing is much more than just advertising and promotions. Your budget must cover the many areas of planning, pricing and distributing your product or service if you want to stay competitive and maximize your profits.

What will it do for me? What’s the purpose?

Some business owners may think a marketing budget is a luxury — an unnecessary expense they can’t afford. But failure to appropriately market and advertise your business can significantly impact its ability to prosper. A carefully planned and budgeted marketing approach can help you effectively promote your business to its target demographic while staying within established financial parameters.

How do I get started?

Know Your Sales Funnel: How many site visits per month, how many leads per month, how many of those leads convert etc. Getting this data from your marketing automation software or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) makes this process relatively simple and help you plan.

Know Your Current Costs: Familiarity with operational costs and potential future costs is key to developing a budget.

Set a Budget Around Already Determined Goals: What are your business goals for the quarter/year, and how can marketing support reaching these goals? Marketing is an investment into the business, not a lost cost.

Understand What Stage Your Business is in: Are you in a growth stage where money needs to be generated quickly, or are you planning where a longer-term strategy should be considered?

Understand Market Trends: When setting a marketing budget, a business needs to adopt and apply different technologies to its marketing stack to keep up with the pace of industry change.

Beware of hidden costs, always over estimate!