Benchmarking tips: do you know your competitors?

By Ana Karina Silva, Researcher

Analysing your competitors; they’re tricky waters to navigate, aren’t they? You could run the risk of muddying your thought process or even paralysing your strategy. But many people don’t realise that it could also mean inspiration - anticipating events, making better decisions and being proactive as well as innovative. And it all starts from the comfort of your own desk. 

According to IAB Europe, the UK is Europe’s largest digital advertising market, reaching a huge €15.6 billion in 2017. This research highlighted two key things – the first being that the need for effective ads as a way of standing out from the crowd has never been stronger.  The second is that there’s an increase of fragmented media channels. This means that clients are putting emphasis on the facts and figures and demanding their relevance in creative to differentiate their brand from their competitors.


That’s where good competitor analysis comes into play. Surprisingly, despite the need to understand the industry in order to convey effective communications, not all agencies have a specific department dedicated to research. In fact, a study found that 74% of marketers agreed that competitive analysis is “important or very important,” but 57% admitted they weren’t very good at it (Conductor, 2018).


To conduct an in-depth study of the industry really depends on your intended goals. Generally, it entails a detailed competitor analysis to, among other things, know what tactics your competitors are using, as well as get a glimpse at how they are conveying their messages.  It helps to compare in relation to your own in order to identify, understand and then apply best practices.

Secondary research, or desk research, is the most common approach for allowing businesses to glean a lot of information in a shorter period of time. It also allows for a broader view of existing issues at a lower cost, when compared to primary research.

However, depending on the intended depth, desk research can be time-consuming due to all information not being readily available, plus some data might be inaccurate, outdated, or contradictory. In addition, some of the best data, provided by reputable sources, can prove to be quite costly.

DELINEO TIP: We advise conducting regular competitor analyses to keep on top of your game. Remember to think about direct and indirect competition too.


Research has proved to be advantageous for not only companies on a whole, but employees. This is down to a number of reasons.

It  helps to:

  • Establish industry benchmarks to make marketing more effective
  • Identify the market’s underserved needs
  • Highlight new business or marketing opportunities
  • Save time and money by learning from your competitor and their efforts
  • Improve internal processes, products/services and capabilities for your teams

Remember that competitive research and analysis is an on-going process. One that’s never actually finished as you’ll find that the market is constantly changing, new players are emerging. Plus, new research purposes are always arising, depending on the strategy, campaign or products being developed.

At Delineo, as part of our Communications Innovation efforts, we aim to act as the ‘voice of the consumer’. We identify the most important insights, inspiring teams to produce great ideas and add value to your brand. To find out how we do so, get in touch.