Refining Product Strategy with Competitive Analysis
A few months back, we, a team of product managers, asked ourselves a couple of questions:
Who are the potential customer data platforms (CDP) competitors?
If we were to offer a CDP, is there a white space?
Naturally, as product managers, we started conducting competitive research and analysis. After a few hours of effort, we found a dozen or so competitors in a report from Gartner. A few days later, we came across some more companies on G2. The two sources listed companies that overlapped only a little. So now we were looking at over 25 companies. As we continued to research, we landed on the CDP Institute website, which lists about 100 vendors in its directory. That’s not all! Every week, we continued to find more and more companies claiming to have CDP capabilities. For me, it was like the groundhog day. A couple of years before this, I witnessed the same in social media management tools (aka, Facebook marketing partners) which exploded from 50-60 companies to over 700. While I blame it on agile and cheap capital in the last 10 years, the reality was that my product team had to stop spending time on competitive analysis and share a set of competitive insights which were largely opinions and subjective.
This became the genesis of StatsLateral:
How can I build competitive insights that are data-driven and hence, objective?
Is it possible to reliably address strategic product questions?
After months of hard work, we are proud to launch our first beta product at StatsLateral with the goal of answering such hard, strategic questions. Today’s modern tech stacks and intelligent tech (AI/ML) is helping gather, process and analyze large amounts of information/data points to build objective insights with a defensible, data-driven capability. We applied our tech on 80+ CDP companies and across over 30+ potential capabilities. We analyzed information from several thousands of data points (soon in millions, thanks for scalable tech) to reliably and simply answer the key questions, such as:
1. If we were to offer Capability X (say, “Facebook Ads”), what’s the likely direct competition today?
The answer is 3 companies (B, E & F from this set of 8 companies). Our product can provide the exact number from the entire set of 80 companies. Detailed data and analysis with real companies names can be accessed on our free beta product here.
A subset of analysis (8 companies x 8 capabilities) -- darker color represents a relatively stronger capability.
2. Who is the strongest in both “Email Marketing” and “Predictive Analytics”?
Company B (from this set of 8 companies). Our product can provide similar answers to dozens or even hundreds of capabilities. Detailed data and analysis with real companies names can be accessed on our free beta product here.
A subset of analysis (5 companies x 8 capabilities) -- Longer line means relatively stronger capability.
We believe there are several third party analysts and great reports out there which provide fairly good high level and macro info on the industry trends. Their free reports serve as a great starting point and even for a pretty penny, one primarily gets company level information. We are product people. Our goal is to provide deep, specific and highly relevant product-level insights to our users who know that in the tech industry, the devil is in the details. Hence, we envision a future where machines can help us boil the ocean, if one must (I personally won’t recommend), at an affordable price. Feel free to drop us a line of feedback or comment: firstname.lastname@example.org