Staying Ahead of the Curve: An Agile Team User Guide to the Competitive Analysis Template

Staying Ahead of the Curve: An Agile Team User Guide to the Competitive Analysis Template

For Agile teams to succeed, they need to know their competitors. They have to identify what sets their business apart, for better and for worse. To do this, they examine competitor product features, marketing techniques, SEO rankings, and more. This can get complicated fast. Whiteboards helps your team streamline this task. Our Competitive Analysis template breaks the process into 5 simple steps. The template organizes all your high-level competitor data into one richly informative report. Product managers and marketers use this report to develop new features and improve customer engagement.

The Competitive Analysis template also offers Jira users the unparalleled benefit of two-way Jira integration. Develop your competitive analysis in the template. Identify specific opportunities and challenges. Create a new user story in Whiteboards, and the story appears automatically in Jira. Associated issues and tasks also sync seamlessly with Jira. Relevant users see new information and receive assignments instantly in Jira. Meanwhile, updates in Jira appear on the whiteboard.

Stay ahead of the competition with the free Whiteboards app, and keep reading to learn how to use the Competitive Analysis template.

How does a template support competition analysis?

Whiteboards keeps your competitive analysis landscape tidy and focused.

Professional football coaches have to strategize carefully to achieve big wins. Good coaches know each player’s skill set. They know how best to deploy them on the field; they also know the competition inside and out, and study each player on the opposing team. They analyze their strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and special abilities, as well as reference years of detailed statistics on the team and its players, and understand the plays the opposing coach has been running. And they plan their own plays accordingly.

To stay competitive, successful Agile teams do the same. But instead of one coach, a diverse team collaborates to analyze the competition. Then they write their plays together. The Competitive Analysis template keeps your team’s work organized as you strategize these plays. Compare yourself to the competition in ten important areas. Discover your competition’s strengths, weaknesses, and key advantages. Use the populated template to conduct a SWOT analysis and take immediate action. The entire process creates a reference for future marketing strategies and feature updates.

In a competitive analysis session, you’ll identify key opportunities. Write your next “game plays” based on these. Strategize together to capitalize on current successes and troubleshoot rising threats. With your strategy set, you’re ready to take action. Import, update, and create relevant Jira issues right in Whiteboards. Assign users tasks on virtual sticky notes. Convert these notes to Jira issues on the whiteboard. Whiteboards’ native two-way Jira integration ensures they appear instantly in Jira.

Moving forward, think of your completed template as a living document. Return to it at regular intervals. Hold quarterly meetings to update the information and reassess the evolving market. Save each revised template in Whiteboards to review past competitive analysis sessions all in one place.

If you’re ready to get started with the Competitive Analysis template and 70+ other templates, sign up for a free Whiteboards account now. Or, read the competitive analysis example below to learn how to get the most from competition analysis.

A step-by-step competitive analysis example

Competitive Analysis template from Whiteboards.io
Competitive Analysis template from Whiteboards.io

Ready to hash out how your brand or product stacks up to its competitors? Lay out details with the Competitive Analysis template and emerge with a powerful competitive analysis report. By the end of these 5 steps, you’ll have targeted key product and marketing opportunities. Launch these initiatives as a team while you’re gathered on the whiteboard. Or, use Whiteboards’ Frames feature to create a presentation to get buy-in from other company stakeholders. Analyze, strategize, and present your findings all on the same infinite-plane whiteboard.

Before you start:

The leader of the meeting should prepare carefully for the analysis session. For instance, be sure to have your marketing analytics tools at the ready. You’ll need these for step 2 below. Also, know that not every team uses the template the exact same way. Read through this guide before starting. Adapt it to fit your team’s specific needs. Thoughtful advance planning prevents delays and keeps the session running smoothly.

Pro tip: Invite prospective end users to your competitor analysis session. Their fresh eyes are particularly useful during steps 2 and 3, below. Treat these outside stakeholders as special guests. Encourage them to participate liberally. Consider inviting indirect company stakeholders as well. Good candidates have distance from the product or feature you’re exploring. This helps them role-play end users differently than those who work closely with the product every day. When possible, choose participants who fit your target consumer demographics.

A competitive analysis ceremony in 5 steps:

With your cross-functional team assembled, define what you’re analyzing. Companies with diverse offerings should pinpoint a single brand, product, or service. Set your scope up front to stay focused. Then work through these steps thoughtfully with your team:

  1. List out your competitors.

The Competitive Analysis template provides space for up to ten competitors. Have team members contribute names. Add your top choices to the Competitor fields on the template. Pull up each competitor website on your browser. Keep these in adjacent tabs. You’ll want to be able to move among these sites easily during steps 2-3.

2. Do market research through website and social media analysis.

Work through the categories in the left column. Visit each competitor’s website and social media accounts with your team. View these sites as if you are customers shopping for the product or service type in question.

  • Product/service and Price structure: Use information on the competitor’s website to fill in these simple, objective fields.
  • Market share and Growth: Here’s where you’ll use some of your third-party analytics. Smaller businesses in niche markets may find these statistics hard to come by. If the data exists for your market segment, have this on hand at the start of the meeting. These fields help you track your progress over subsequent competitive analysis meetings. 
  • Marketing strategies: Ask yourselves how the business engages customers online. This is where your more distanced stakeholders are especially valuable. As they role-play the customer, what jumps out as especially appealing? What excites them most as they shop with this hat on? Think about the Key Advantage field. What sets this business apart from the competition? Record other notable Strengths and Weaknesses in the appropriate fields. Remember to check the social media accounts of your competitors as well.

Also, ask how easily customers find your product or brand in the first place. Having a great product and even a great website often isn’t enough to get ahead. Invite your indirect stakeholders to search online for product offerings. Have them use the terms they would normally use when shopping online. Which competitors come up on the first Google search page? Are they using advertising to show up in search engines, or is Google placing them at the top of search results? How many pages before your business shows up?

This anecdotal exercise paints a useful overview of your SEO standing. You can get more detail into this with the help of SEO analysis tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. These tools show you which channels are driving competitor traffic. They also report how your competitors rank in common Google searches. If your product doesn’t appear on the first page using keywords you feel are relevant, it may be hard for your customers to find you. 

Pro tip: Sign up for your competitors’ emails. Monitor how they market directly to their customer base. Bring any insights to your competitive analysis session.

  • Customer satisfaction: Now that you’ve assessed competitor marketing strategies, move on to the fulfillment side. What are people saying about a competitor product? Dive into user reviews. Pay special attention to 3- and 4-star reviews with detailed feedback. Choose a scale and assign scores to each company. Record any notable trends you found for each competitor.
  • Your company: Finally, visit your own website. With competitor sites fresh in mind, you may see it differently than usual. Again, focus any outside or indirect stakeholders here. Ask them to be brutally honest. What do they like least about your site or product? Is any part of the shopping process confusing or off-putting? How quickly can they find and understand the product they’re looking for? How easy is it to purchase, download, or sign up? What is most appealing about their experience? What energizes them? What frustrates them? Is the site trustworthy?

Keep going until all the template’s fields are populated except the Target audience row.

3. Pinpoint and describe your competitors’ audience.

Now you have an overview of the competition’s features, price points, and marketing strategies. Review each competitor column and assess the information you gathered. Build a customer profile of each competitor’s target audience or audiences. To do this, revisit the company websites. Are they marketing to college students? Busy working moms? Retirees? What lifestyle and income brackets are targeted? The product you’re analyzing determines which demographic questions to ask. The website’s design, copy, and features each hold clues to the answers. So does the company’s social media presence. TikTok and Facebook, for instance, have substantially different user bases.

Have the team weigh in personally on how the product offering strikes them. Let’s say your software company is analyzing your newest app. The app connects working parents with long-term in-home child care. Which of your meeting’s team members have an au pair or nanny, or have had several? They’re your ad hoc focus group. If step 2 went well, they’ve already chimed in a lot. Parents of infants know which features spoke to them and which turned them off. Parents with older kids may have different priorities. Gen X parents may have different reactions than millennial parents. All these observations offer valuable insight.

Create a broad customer profile for each competitor in the Target Audience field. Assess your own product or brand the same way. Now you’re focused on who you’re trying to reach and who else is trying to reach them.

4. Open a second template to do a SWOT analysis.

At this point, you’ve visualized yourself inside the broader market. You see key similarities and differences between your product and competing products. Add the SWOT Analysis Template to the whiteboard next to the first template and turn your findings into actionable steps. 

The SWOT analysis will be your primary guide moving forward. A lot of the information in your Competitive Analysis template may blend together. What stands out? Where did you see market gaps your company could fill? What are your unique selling points? What competitor product feature did your team love that’s missing from your company offerings? Identify your company’s key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The SWOT analysis has your team answer these 4 questions to create a strategic plan:

Strengths: How do we capitalize on these?

Weaknesses: How do we develop solutions?

Opportunities: How do we get creative?

Threats: How do we prioritize addressing these?

SWOT Analysis template from Whiteboards.io
SWOT Analysis template from Whiteboards.io

5. Visualize your position in the competitive analysis landscape.

Now add the Competitor Analysis Template to the whiteboard next to your first two templates. Reference the data from your completed Competitive Analysis template. Place your competitors on the graph according to Customer Satisfaction and Market Share. Place your own business on the graph to compare. Cross-reference this with your SWOT analysis. This will help you identify your competitive advantages and create a strategic plan with your team. 

Competitor Analysis template from Whiteboards.io
Competitor Analysis template from Whiteboards.io

Concluding your competition analysis session

Launch your plan or prepare a competitive analysis presentation to get buy-in.

You now have a detailed template for permanent reference. You’ve assessed your relative position in terms of market share and customer satisfaction. You’ve developed a targeted plan to address strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Now it’s time to launch your plan.

Using Whiteboards’ two-way Jira integration, turn sticky notes into actionable items by converting them to Jira issues.. Update these issues and create new ones to implement your strategy. Assign tasks to the product design, development, and marketing teams. Take advantage of Whiteboards power tools to batch update Jira issues in a handy import zone. All tasks and updated issues appear instantly in Jira, eliminating manual Jira updates and post-meeting emails. Users can also review the three completed templates at their convenience. Automatic sync means less work and fewer missed communications all around.

Do your proposals need approval from additional stakeholders before moving forward? Create a presentation that includes your three completed templates. Use the Frames feature to create this presentation right on the whiteboard next to your completed templates. Explain your findings and how they support your plan. Consider doing this even if you’ve already implemented your business strategy. A simple presentation helps other stakeholders follow your process. Show off your work and boost buy-in. Hold your presentation right on the whiteboard using Presentation mode. 

Finally, make competitive analysis a team ceremony. Establish recurring meetings at regular intervals throughout the year. Reevaluate the market landscape and your position in it. Store your diagrams in Whiteboards and add to them. Chart your progress over time. Address key opportunities and threats as they arise to maintain your competitive edge.

How does Whiteboards benefit Jira users doing competition analysis?

Two-way Jira integration makes complex processes as simple as possible.

Competitive analysis is inherently complex. Agile teams need to keep up with a fast-evolving market that has a lot of moving parts. The Competitive Analysis template walks you through this intensive analysis. Take advantage of the competitive analysis example on this page to break the process down into manageable steps.

And the best part? How smoothly you can wrap things up. At the end of a long meeting, the last thing you need is tedious post-meeting work. Whiteboards eliminates that work by integrating seamlessly with Jira. Create user tasks in-session on the whiteboard and assign them to relevant Jira users. Those users receive their assignments instantly in Jira with no extra steps. Or, update current Jira issues to reflect your newest strategies. Team members with permissions instantly see these updates in Jira, too. The meeting ends with no need for manual Jira updates or emailed assignments. Save valuable time and energy while the Whiteboards app does the busywork for you.

Let Whiteboards streamline your competition analysis to put you on track for success.  You get more than 80 whiteboard templates to assist all your remote and distributed team meetings. Try out the Competitive Analysis template today and keep your Agile team ahead of the curve.