Marketing is a game of competing for the attention of your audience. 

And the competition is fierce.

You’re competing for traffic, ad placement, followers, sales… The list goes on. 

💡 ReadCompetitive Analysis: All You Need to Know

And while the idea of conducting competitive analysis isn’t particularly fun, it’s necessary. But here’s where AI in competitive analysis comes into play.

This blog’ll discuss how AI can assist you in competitive analysis and tools you should use.

What is AI in Competitive Analysis?

AI in competitive analysis refers to using artificial intelligence, such as advanced tools and techniques, to gather, process, and analyze data, which can then be used as your benchmark. Many competitor analysis tools are out there to help you quickly and efficiently assess how you measure against your competition.

Many companies use AI in competitive analysis for decision-making and data-driven insights that would otherwise be impossible to derive manually. And according to a research on PR statistics, the majority (76%) of PR professionals emphasize the need for skills in AI and technology integration. This reflects the industry’s focus on leveraging technology for enhanced strategies.

Read 9 Instagram Competitor Analysis Tools To Boost Your Strategy

Competitive sentiment analysis
Determ is a media monitoring tools for competitor analysis based on scraped online information

How to Use AI in competitive analysis

When applied effectively, AI and competitor analysis and research tools can unlock game-changing opportunities, including:

1. Automated data collection & analysis

AI-driven web scraping tools can automatically collect data from various sources, ensuring a continuous flow of updated information on competitors’ products, pricing, features, and market activities. 

The primary goal is to automate the process of gathering a wide range of data from various sources, which can include competitors’ websites, social media, news articles, and more. Once collected, this data is subjected to analytical processes to extract insights and trends. 

Most companies use media monitoring tools such as Determ to collect all this information about their competitors. Media monitoring tools automatically match keywords that you want to keep track of with data that they scrape of the web. The keywords you can keep track can be anything from your competitors’ products to their top leadership names.

Benefits: Enables businesses to efficiently collect and analyze large volumes of data, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape and competitors’ activities over time.

For example, Natalie Homer, Head of PR at HiBob uses Determ’s AI assistant Synthia to summarize topics for her.

“I’ve taken to providing an overview of what topics have generally made the news in any given month as a foreword to my reports I look at all the coverage, what’s been written about, and I do a little summary. This would take up to an hour … Well, Synthia does it for me. Synthia summarizes exactly what was written about that month in less than a minute, so it’s brilliant.”

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2. Competitive Sentiment Analysis

Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms can do sentiment analysis in customer reviews, social media mentions, and other textual data. Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms are used to analyze and categorize textual data into positive, negative, or neutral sentiments.

Machine learning models may be trained to recognize context and nuances in language. It focuses on subjective information to determine how customers feel about a brand, product, or service.

For example, let’s imagine you’re Papa Johns and you’re collecting mentions of your competitors Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza. You go into the Reports section of your media monitoring tool and compare the number of mentions per sentiment.

Number of mentions per sentiment in AI competitive analysis for Papa John's, Domino's and Pizza Hut

You notice that even though they are mentioned more, they have a bigger portion of negative mentions. This is your find out where they’re failing and use this to your advantage. 

And there you have it, a recent research in Great Britain found 81% of food from McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Domino’s contained phthalates and 70% contained a chemical linked to fertility problems. Time for Papa Johns to seize the day.

Benefits: Provides insights into public perception, helping businesses understand customer satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to enhance their offerings.

3. Dynamic Competitor Monitoring

AI-powered tools can continuously monitor competitors‘ online activities, news, and social media. Through real-time analysis, businesses can stay informed about changes in competitor strategies, partnerships, or product launches, allowing for timely responses. It is more time-sensitive and concentrates on tracking immediate and recent activities, allowing businesses to respond swiftly to changes in the competitive landscape.

Wendy’s social media strategy is something most brands would love to have. They keep track of all mentions of all their biggest competitors and use it to their advantage. 

Read How AI is Changing The Way We Predict Consumer Behavior

Take this example of a radio station posting on X about McDonalds and how they’re changing their burgers. Wendy’s asked a question that was insinuating on the previous accusations that McDonalds patties were not actually meat.

Wendy's competitive tracking comment on social media

Benefits: Provides a proactive approach to staying informed about competitors’ moves, enabling timely responses and adjustments to strategic plans.

4. Risk Management

AI can contribute to PR risk management by analyzing various factors such as economic indicators, market trends, and competitor movements. Machine learning models can identify potential risks and provide insights to guide strategic decision-making.

Remember that time when X announced they’re going to cut back on moderation? Remember when audiences were massively posting that they’re leaving the platform because now everybody can buy to be verified? There were many more issues. Unplugging servers, reinstating banned accounts, replacing verified check marks with paid subscription badges, throttling access to news sites, blaming the Anti-Defamation League for a decline in advertising, etc. This caused a big backlash of the social media platform.

Leaving X posts

Yeah, guess who took this for their advantage? You guessed it, their biggest competitor Meta. Meta since launched Threads, virtually a copy paste of the previous Twitter. 

Benefits: Provides early detection of potential risks, enabling proactive risk mitigation strategies and better-informed decision-making in the face of uncertainty.

5. Competitive Benchmarking

AI algorithms can automate the comparison of key performance indicators (KPIs) across competitors. This facilitates a quantitative analysis of how well your business is performing relative to competitors in areas such as market share, customer satisfaction, and product features. It focuses on quantifiable metrics and key performance indicators for a comparative analysis.

Let’s get back to our 3 competitors, Domino’s pizza, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. In Determ, a media monitoring tool, we’re going to compare total mentions per channel. 

Total mentions per channel in competitive analysis for Pizza Hut, Domino's and Papa John's

This way we can identify what’s our competitors focus channel and hop on the strategy that they’ve been employing. Make sure to differentiate earned and owned channels. This way you can compare where they post the most and where their audience is primarily. Now this is a great time saving way to use AI in competitive analysis because media monitoring tools track many different channels.

Benefits: Enables businesses to identify areas where they excel or lag behind competitors, facilitating informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Read AI in PR: 16 Ways AI Will Transform The Game For PR Pros

6. Automated Reporting

AI-driven reporting tools can automate the generation of reports summarizing key findings from competitive analysis. These reports can be customized based on specific metrics, timeframes, or competitors, providing decision-makers with actionable insights in a timely manner.

Media monitoring tools such as Determ allow for a custom analysis, based on what matters to you. But here is an example of a competitive analysis for brands Pull & Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius.

Benefits: Saves time and resources by automating the reporting process, ensuring that decision-makers have timely access to actionable insights for strategic planning and decision-making.

The Future of Competitive Analysis is AI-Driven

As we navigate the evolving landscape of marketing, AI emerges as a formidable ally in the quest for competitive advantage. By seamlessly integrating AI tools into your competitive analysis, you’re not just keeping up—you’re setting the pace. The benefits, as showcased in various applications, underscore the transformative impact of AI in shaping marketing strategies.

So, as you strategize and plan for the future, consider the power of AI in competitive analysis—a dynamic force that turns data into insights and challenges into opportunities. It’s not just about keeping pace with the competition; it’s about leading the way in the ever-evolving game of marketing.

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