It's always a good idea to understand your Saas competitors - who they are and what they are offering. You can use this knowledge to help shape your strategies for marketing and product development. Here's a template to help you get started. Use this process to analyse your product's competitors so you can stay ahead of the game.
This process features on our list of 25 processes every business needs (under Sales & Marketing).
Download the attached spreadsheet and create a new row for every competitor. Even do it for your own product from time to time!
2Think about your different types of competitors
Direct - companies/products that do the same or very similar to what you're doing (solving same problem for similar customers)
Indirect - different features but same customer, or product that isn't intended for the same purpose but is often used as such.
Alternative solutions - e.g. manual ones - spreadsheets, pen and paper, phone systems, hiring consultants. A way to solve the problem not using software.
Multiple tools - using different systems, often linked together to do one thing.
Taken from: producthabits.com/competitor-analysis
Take a note of whether it's a .com address, or a less used domain.
Your first thoughts and feelings of the homepage are important - this is how their customers will respond to it too.
Is the messaging benefits or feature led? What is emphasised? What is the tone like - corporate or more chatty?
Videos are a quick way to understand what the company wants you to know about their product - there's often one on the homepage. Again, what's the messaging and tone? The quality and style of the video also provides valuable information.
It's usually possible get an idea of their target audience from the homepage, through the use of language and imagery.
- Do they seem to be targeting CEOs or workers?
- Particular job roles or departments?
- Larger or smaller companies?
- Geographical location?
- Try to identify niches - does the target audience have a specific problem, or use a particular piece of software?
4.3Business model & pricing information
Free trial? Completely free? Freemium? (free for some features, but have to upgrade for more?)
Is there a set up or implementation cost?
For direct competitors, the features are likely to be similar to your own product . But are there any that are new or different? Any they're missing? Any that you definitely don't intend to develop?
Sometimes products will have written pages comparing themselves to their competitors, which gives a good idea of how they perceive themselves and their positioning in the market.
5About the company
How long have they been running? How many employees do they have? (LinkedIn is good for this) Can you find out how many customers they have? (and any big names?) Are they self-funded or have they raised funding? Where are they based geographically?
crunchbase.com is a great site that captures a lot of the above information.
Find out what keywords they are paying to appear in Google searches/adverts for. There are many paid tools available, but a good (free) place to start is Google's own keyword planner: ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner
7Review websites (customer sentiment)
Take a look at public review websites to see what their customers like/don't like.
You can also do a search for "product name + review", or search on Reddit for more unconstructed feedback (only really works for large competitors).
8Review their social media
What accounts do they have? Are the accounts active? Is the content just being reposted from their blog, or are there attempts at user engagement? How many likes/shares do they get? What hashtags are used?
9Consider subscribing to the newsletter or blog
This is a great way to stay up to date with their latest articles and product features, and will give you more hints for what they think their audience will engage with.
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