Oftentimes when testing ads, we forget to get outside of our heads as performance marketers, and into the heads of the buyer. Misalignment with what we think consumers want to see and hear versus what they actually want to see and hear can significantly affect ad performance.
That is why as a media buyer or marketer, it is important to know exactly what is in the minds of your consumer, or client’s consumer. It may seem like a super taxing thing, but it is easier than you think. Let’s give you some tips on how we do the same.
What is Customer & Competitive Analysis?
So before we get started with the tips, let’s first break down what Customer & Competitive Analysis is and why it is important to your brand(s).
Customer & Competitive Analysis is getting inside the head of a potential customer so you can have a relevant conversation with them about your product or service. This allows you to effectively tell them how your product is better and how it can help them.
Just like you would convince your friend that a restaurant is a good choice by describing the food, the ambiance, music, or convenience of the place, you would do the same with your ad messaging about your product. In that example, of the restaurant, the customer would typically ask you what kind of food the restaurant has, how far away is it, or how parking is. As marketers, we need to know what this conversation is or what customers are saying back to us, so we can construct messaging, campaign structure, and creatives around those things to have a flowing conversation with them.
How You Can Talk With Your Customer
We have 5 tips for tapping into consumer thoughts and simultaneously checking out the competition to get the full scope of where you are in the market and how to message for efficiency.
1. Read all the reviews you possibly can. Make a list across your brand and at least 2 other competitors. Write 5 reasons why customers love the product and 5 reasons why they hate it. Do this across all competitors and don’t limit the reviews to website reviews. Look at Amazon reviews, Google reviews, and even Facebook reviews if available.
Note: With reviews, you’re looking for skepticism, objections, and the difference between the experience before and what they got/experience after.
Ex: “I wasn’t sure about this product”, “I heard about this product, was skeptical but once I got it, I felt better”, etc.
Make sure to take notes about these comments. People will tell you how they feel about your product(s).
2. Read through comments and organic posts/ads. You can do this in Ads Manager and read through all of the ad comments. For competitors, you will have to get retargeted. Go through their flows and see these comments. We encourage you to go through ATC (Add-to-Cart) because most brands will be retargeting ATC. If you go into the Ads Library, you will not be able to read comments. You can also try to get retargeted on other platforms like Tik Tok or YouTube, but Facebook and Instagram is a great place where people are active on.
In addition, you can read comments on the organic side, because people will start talking there and it could reveal more information than you think. We were surprised to see how people were talking about how having a cup of coffee and starting their day made them feel empowered and prepared. From that we concluded, that is what they really care about!
3. Compare Steps 1 & 2 and then compare them to the landing page. In this step, you are looking for alignment between what customers are saying about you and what your selling point or messaging is on your landing page. The second step within this is to do this with competitors’ reviews and landing pages as well. Is what they are pushing coming across to customers? The reviews can give you insight. This is the opportunity to align your brand with what consumers are talking back with.
4. Pull competitor ads and example ads. This is prime time to take what’s working from your competitors and improve on what’s not working for them, for yourself. If your competitors’ ad programs don’t compare well with customer chatter or websites, it’s good to notice that and see how that might be coming up in your brand(s).
5. Dig into search terms. On Google or Amazon search, there should be search terms on there. If you’re running Broad or Phrase Match, there will be a lot of search terms different than the ones you are targeting. This very simple exercise has helped us see the disconnect between what we are going after and what people are actually searching for. We want to speak to people in the way they are speaking to us, so it’s important to note these terms as well.
BONUS (if you have more time): Alright, you made it to the bonus! We don’t always perform this step, as it is super granular, and takes several hours. But when we have the time, we go into Google search, Instagram, Tik Tok, and YouTube, and search the keywords or hashtags that are highly related to the industry at hand.
We find the content and keywords people are engaging with the most as well as the comments on these popular pieces of content. The question we try to answer here is “what are people talking about?”. In addition, we identify and even mimic influencers who are leading the conversations in these product areas.
And that is exactly how we conduct our Customer & Competitive Analysis! If you have any questions or key findings from your own analysis, drop them down below!