Seven Steps to Create a Strategic HealthTech Competitive Analysis
How does your HealthTech company stand out from your competitors?
Too often, marketing executives think positioning is something you do to your product. It’s not.
Positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of your buyers. It’s an active conversation with your market about how you’re different.
Do you know how you’re different? Do you know your competition?
In this guide, we will outline the seven steps needed to create a strategic HealthTech competitive analysis. If you follow these steps, you will be able to articulate your position and foster communication with your potential buyer.
- Assemble Your Team and Tools
- Study Yourself
- Define the Competition
- Spy on Your Competitors’ Websites
- Study Your Competitors’ Content
- Excavate Your Competitors’ Analytics
- Discover Your Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The accompanying Competitive Analysis template and how-to guide provide detailed instructions for how to follow this seven-step analysis.
Think About This
- 90% of businesses report that their industry has become more competitive in the last three years. HealthTech exploded and nearly doubled in size in 2020 following a record year of HealthTech companies releasing IPOs in 2019. Nasdaq observed, “More HealthTech companies are popping up by the day.”
- 69% of B2B buyers chose a vendor because they “demonstrating a strong knowledge of the solution and business landscape.”
- 65% applauded a vendor’s “strong knowledge of our company and needs.”
- 66% indicated “easy access to pricing and competitive information” was “very important” in their decision making.
- Only 40% of marketers integrate competitive analysis insight into strategy
Are You Championship-Ready?
No Green Jacket, Lombardi Trophy, or Venus Rosewater Dish waits for you.
There is something even more precious at the end of your fiscal year: your company’s continued growth.
But you still have to compete. You still have to win.
Every coach in every sport studies game film. They rewind, watch, and repeat. They zoom in. They play in slow motion. Why? They are finding ways to fix their own mistakes, searching for their opponents’ tendencies to make the same mistakes, and identifying gaps that can be exploited.
The more coaches study the competition, the better they can respond during the pressure of the game and increase their probability to win.
The more you study your HealthTech competition, the more confident decisions you will make and the more your company will stand out in the marketplace.
Bottom line: You will get better.
Do You Really Need to Conduct a HealthTech Competitive Analysis?
Your company exists. Therefore, you have competition.
Be transparent with yourself for a second: How aware are you of the changing marketplace? You can no longer afford to say, “Sure, I know what’s going on.” You don’t know what you don’t know.
Dissecting your competitive landscape will:
Identify new competitors on the scene
The HealthTech global market nearly doubled in size in 2020 following a record year of HealthTech companies releasing IPOs in 2019. Nasdaq observed, “More HealthTech companies are popping up by the day.”
Highlight how known competitors have changed tactics
How much have you altered your efforts in the last 12 months? Your sharpest competitors have done the same—or more.
Establish new benchmarks
Creating goals and KPIs that build on your past success can push your team, but comparing your performance against your competition enables you to see a better picture of how to win new customers.
Better define your identity and your strengths
View yourself like your competitors would to see how you stack up. your competitors to see how you stack up. You’ll see what you are and what you aren’t. Before Sam Walton cut the ribbon on a new Walmart store, he always visited the local competitors. He walked through the stores making notes about how they excelled against his location.
Eliminate technology bias
Don’t assume your audience knows anything about or comprehends your technology. Leading with a technology bias immediately puts distance between you and your audience.
Reduce Your Financial Risk and Increase Your Marketing Focus
If you’re like most CMOs, you spend a few minutes each day questioning how much and where you’re investing your marketing dollars. Your competitive analysis will expose what’s winning and where you can push down the gas to separate yourself from your competitors.
You’re marketing a HealthTech product. So are your competitors.
The only way to know what makes you different—the thing that makes customers choose your product—is to know what your competitors are not. You don’t want to look like them, sound like them, or be confused with them—because you’re different.
Know how much better—and also where they’re beating you in marketing—by conducting a strategic HealthTech competitive analysis. Our clients, website visitors, podcast listeners, and even our competition have downloaded our Competitive Analysis Template. Use this framework to ask the questions that matter. Work to fill in each blank about your top competitors and you’ll have a great roadmap of where you stand and where you need to move.
Step #1: Assemble Your Team and Tools
Don’t go it alone. It’s too much work for one person. Furthermore, you need the perspectives from others who interact with the customer more than you. Your competitive analysis will mean more if you have these positions on your team.
A sheriff to compile the information and hold others accountable to providing their numbers.
Someone from your SEO team who knows how to navigate the reporting tools and Google Analytics.
A top sales performer who has the heart of the customer.
A seasoned customer service representative who interacts daily with your customers.
Yourself. You need a team, but don’t delegate this. Be involved.
Give everyone access to the same worksheet and presentation template so you can fill in data as research builds. This team will bring two major benefits to your competitive analysis report. First, you can remain focused on your customer and your customer’s problems. Secondly, the conversations around competition will give way to ideas for differentiation and marketing improvement. Don’t lose the benefit of a brain trust.
Plus, there will be a great benefit for you. You’ll gain incredible perspective and be able to deliver greater clarity with the rest of the C-Suite.
Step #2: Study Yourself
Take an objective look at all of the attributes you’re going to measure for your competition. Go through the worksheet and build your own profile. This exercise will help you as you dig into the marketplace. Be harsh but fair with your company and your own marketing.
Step #3: Define the Competition
As you consider who you war against in the marketplace, look at how you and your competitors solve your customer’s problems. Too many HealthTech companies get their egos involved and fight old grudges. Yes, it’s a small world after all, but you’re differentiating yourself so your customer can have a superior solution, not so you can crush that former co-worker.
We are often asked, “How many competitors should we study?” We recommend two from each type of competitor—direct competitors and search competitors.
You probably know why they are. They are the ones at the top of mind. When you see their logos you feel a mixture of admiration and loathing. But don’t stop with the ones on the tip of your tongue. Look to analyst reports, G2, and Becker’s.
- To whom have you lost business?
- Who does your sales team hear mentioned all the time?
- When you exhibit at trade shows or virtual conferences, who do you crash into?
You know the story. Prospects are doing at least 65% of their research before you even know they’re looking. It’s a self-service world. There are companies getting your traffic. Do you know who they are?
- Who owns your top keywords?
- Who buys ads when your winning keywords show up in a search?
- Who is bidding on your branded keywords?
For every competitor—direct or search—research these attributes:
- Unique value proposition
- Product features
- Overall tone and voice of marketing copy, blog posts, landing pages
- Company culture, values, mission, and people
- Branding, visual identity, and imagery
There are cells in the worksheet for this information. Grade their efforts as well. On a scale of 1–10, how well do they accomplish these tasks?
Step #4: Spy On Your Competitors’ Websites
In HealthTech, marketing starts—and sometimes ends—with a website.
Visit each competitor’s homepage. Strive to have the same experience as your customer would in research mode. Put aside your bias so you don’t miss important observations.
- Desktop and Mobile: What are your first impressions?
- Homepage: Do you know what they do within five seconds?
- Navigation: Is it easy to follow?
- Graphic design: Does their visual brand identity hold together?
- User experience: Do you get lost in the navigation?
- Load time: Acceptable or frustrating?
Take a Deeper Look
As you begin to evaluate websites, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights will give you even more information.
Our Competitive Analysis Template helps you look at internal website information including titles (headers, main, and subtitles) and meta descriptions. Your team can also find this information by employing Developer Tools in the browser.
Step-by-step information on extracting this information can be found in the guide, “How To Use The Competitive Analysis Template,” which comes with your download.
Step #5: Study Your Competitors’ Content
HealthTech companies of all sizes know that content is king, and your competitors’ content deserves more than a cursory look. What are they saying and how are they saying it? Answers to both questions will give you clues to how they are driving traffic with content. This is the most important piece of your competitor analysis, so spend some time here. You’re looking for content quantity, quality, and channels.
- Direct Product Competition: What do they say about the product that competes directly with yours? Product and content pages reveal comparisons, pricing, resources, and more.
- Inbound Marketing: How do they use content to conduct inbound marketing for themselves and their product? Evaluate their content for similarities, frequency, variety, length, and the mix between gated and free content.
- Content Optimization: What is their level of optimization? Evaluate their internal linking and meta structure. With Google now using site performance as part of its ranking algorithm, this comparison criteria is more important than ever.
B2B SaaS as a whole, including HealthTech, doesn’t spend as much energy on social media as consumer brands, but don’t neglect your competitors’ social channels. Chart out their LinkedIn activity and add any other channels as you see fit.
Look for a “News” tab in their navigation or their site map to see how they are using news releases or mentions in trade publications. Conduct a simple search on news aggregator sites like Cision as well.
Step #6: Excavate Your Competitors’ Analytics
As we’ve said, we live in a self-service world. You must understand how your competitors are using SEO and SEM to boost traffic and convert leads. The wide variety of analytics available can seem overwhelming. That’s why a member of your SEO crew is essential for your analysis team.
Web-scraper programs pull information from a variety of sources, but the data might not be exact. An apples-to-apples approach allows you to compare yourself and your competitors using the same sources and same metrics.
We recommend using tools like SEMrush, Screaming Frog, or SpyFu to complete your analysis. Focus on the key metrics listed below.
- Organic keywords: Look at the top five, noting the volume and cost-per-click (CPC)
- Ad spend per month
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) scope
- PPC keywords
- Ad text
Step #7: Discover Your Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
What makes you different from your competition? What makes you stronger? Weaker? These factors will drive you to look at your leadership, your board, your operations, and your synergy among departments. We’ve listed some sites to help you find the information.
- Revenue: How much did they bring in last year? (Crunchbase, Owler, LinkedIn)
- Employees: How many? Are they hiring? (Glassdoor, LinkedIn)
- Leadership: Who are their board members and C-suite? (LinkedIn)
- Funding Sources and Rounds: (Crunchbase)
- Reputation: What are others saying about them? Is it positive? (G2, Google Reviews, BBB)
- Upgrade release schedule: How often do they update their software, products, and/or services?
- Trade shows: How many do they attend annually? How large is their booth?
- Virtual Conferences: What is their presence and participation?
These facts and figures only provide part of the story. Once you’ve compiled all the information, gather your analysis team together and discuss one more thing: the soul of these brands. In our work, we’ve found that every company has a soul, but far too few articulate it and are motivated from it. Soulless brands are lifeless and stale.
What is the soul of a brand? The soul answers the “why” questions. It is the personality of your brand. If you can’t discern the soul of your competitors, they may not have one.
And while you’re at it, make sure you know yours.
Bonus Step: Set Up Your Competitor Tool
Many CRMs, including HubSpot and Pardot, have a competitor tool included with premium memberships. This tool pulls data from many internal sources and helps you create a dashboard to look at certain factors. The CRM tool updates the dashboard on an ongoing basis.
The research you conduct to fill in the Competitive Analysis Template will prepare you to set up your CRM’s competitor tool and get the most out of it. Take the time to set it up completely, then monitor it monthly.
Evaluating Your HealthTech Competition. Evaluating Yourself. Actions to Take.
When you finish your analysis worksheet, transfer your data to your presentation template. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment, but your work isn’t done yet. What do you do with all the information?
Highlight where you’re strong and weak. Your homework should bring out the places where you have differentiated yourself from your competition. It should also bring out where they are winning. These factors should drive your decision-making for your marketing strategy. They should also inform your next round of goals and KPIs.
Educate your team. Your department heads, if not every team member, should know who your competition is. You should be able to stop an employee in the hall or a Zoom meeting and ask, “Who is our competition?” and receive a confident answer. Put together confidential short profiles of your competitors and share them company-wide.
Monitor progress. You are not the only company spending money on marketing. Your competitors are not static. Keep watch over their efforts and chart one or two wins and losses you can see. In addition to your CRM’s competitor tool, Google Alerts, Talkwalker, and Mention can be helpful.
We’ve included step-by-step analysis tools in the Guide that comes with your download.
The First Thing You Should Do After Reading This Article
Book time on your own calendar for some thought work around your competition. Download our template (if you haven’t already) then think through who the best team would be. Exciting days are ahead for you.
Remember: Golden Spiral helps healthcare technology companies establish and communicate their unique message to the right decision-makers. We want you to realize your market potential.
We can provide deeper data access through our cadre of tools plus our team of experts across all disciplines. Lean on us to help you gain a competitive edge. Schedule a strategic consultation today.