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Strategic Competitive Analysis: Strategies for B2B Startups

Founder of Orchid Agency
Marissa Lodato
April 10, 2024
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Strategic competitive analysis is an indispensable tool for every B2B marketing team. Beyond competitor dynamics, competitive analysis can unlock insights into market trends and internal capabilities. 

But, competitive analysis isn’t about spying on your competition to poach their ideas, it’s about studying your competitors to see how your product or service measures up in the market.

With this information, you are on your way to well-informed decision-making for sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

Let’s get started.

What is B2B Strategic Competitive Analysis?

Competitive analysis is crucial for businesses to navigate and thrive. It's about diving into your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, empowering you to refine strategies and gain a competitive edge.

Why is B2B competitive analysis important for startups?

By deciphering market dynamics, customer preferences, and key competitors, startups can uncover hidden opportunities, tailor their offerings to address unmet needs, and gain a crucial early edge. This competitive differentiation sets the stage for capturing market share and establishing a strong foothold in the ever-evolving B2B landscape.

Competitive analysis helps mitigate risk by providing insights into customer preferences, investor expectations, and market trends. These insights inform strategic decisions, enabling you to navigate the market confidently and avoid costly missteps.

In essence, competitive analysis empowers your startup to make informed choices that drive success, both in the short and long term. Embrace it as your secret resource to conquer the B2B landscape.

How do I get started with B2B competitive analysis?

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1. Define Objects and Goals

Outline your goals for conducting competitive analysis. If you have existing information or assets related to certain aspects, prioritize identifying gaps in your knowledge rather than rehashing what you already know

For example, if you know how to stand out from your competitors, it's better to focus on researching logistics or a pricing scheme for your product or service.

2. Identify Competitors 

Identify as many of your direct and indirect competitors as possible. Direct competitors offer similar products or services to the same target market as yours, while indirect competitors typically provide alternative solutions to fulfill the same needs of consumers.

There are many ways to identify your competitors, but the most common and easiest ways include industry research via reports, articles, and publicly available market analyses.

3. Collect Basic Information

Basic information about your competitors, such as the products or services, the size of their organization, or even where they are located, can help shape your B2B marketing plan. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions when strategizing and planning. 

LinkedIn or even your competitors’ websites can provide you with the basic information you need, and sometimes more. 

4. Analyze Digital Presence 

  • Website: Reviewing your competitors' websites is essential to gain insights into their offerings, user experience, and overall digital marketing strategy, helping you to identify opportunities for differentiation and strategic positioning in the market. Take a look at what type of content your competitors are creating. 
  • Social Media: Social Media reach is also a good indicator of your competitors’ reputation and prestige. Do they still get a lot of engagement despite only posting rarely? Or maybe they are also startups and are posting excessively to try to boost engagement.
  • Reviews: Don’t forget to look into your competitors’ customers and their reviews and comments provide you with valuable knowledge regarding both customer preferences in the market, as well as the reputation and brand strength of your competitors.

These insights will aid in your decision-making and also give you insights when your startup decides to start marketing through social media.

5. Check Pricing Strategies

Many startups tend to second guess pricing their products or services, so it’s worth checking your competitors’ pricing strategies to help get a general idea of what your potential customers are willing to pay for a product or service.

You may also run into some more unique pricing schemes like subscription services or discounts for repeat or long-term customers, and see if these unique pricing schemes work in the market you wish to enter.

6. Review Marketing/Sales Strategies

The most important aspect of selling a product is convincing potential customers that your products or services are worth buying.

Studying your competitors’ marketing and sales strategies will provide key information and inspiration in helping sell your product.

Your competitors will have different ways of approaching the value proposition, so it is important to analyze how your competitors market their products, so you can optimally position yours and maximize your exposure, leading to more sales.

7. Stay Informed

The market, of course, evolves and changes over time. Keeping on top of these changes is imperative to ensuring your strategies are up-to-date and keeping tabs on your competitors.

If you notice competitors exiting the market, it’s a good time to tap into their customer base. On the other hand, if a competitor is suddenly doing well, you can find out if they discovered a new strategy, and opt to follow them before your competitors catch wind. Always stay updated!

What tools can help with B2B competitive analysis?

There are a plethora of tools that can assist you in gathering data for your competitive analyses. Some tools are more feature-packed than others, while simpler tools are usually free. Either way, here are some good tools to start with:

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool that does one very simple, but very effective function: it monitors the web for keywords you input and notifies you of any new developments or news related to that keyword. 

Putting in the names of your competitors will give you regular updates on them, allowing you to keep tabs on them without having to consciously look them up. 

Another way to use Google Alerts would be to input your product or service as a keyword, and you’ll regularly get notifications on market news. You can even opt to get content from a specific region. 


Likely, you’re already using LinkedIn, so there’s no excuse not to do some research on your competitors on this platform. Not only can you glean information about your competition, but the platform allows you to monitor updates about them as well as view employee profiles, giving you insights into their organization structure, and how employees view the company. 


Crunchbase is a paid platform that provides information and services that are invaluable to a marketing team. It’s a comprehensive database that provides information on companies and the people behind them, and many notable companies have used Crunchbase for research and networking. 

Crunchbase provides information on company profiles, investor profiles, funding information, and job postings, among a plethora of other information that will prove useful for you. Crunchbase also has an API that your developers can use to integrate into applications or websites, making data gathering even easier.


Owler is best described as a more comprehensive Google Alerts. Owler allows you to follow companies and trends, giving you updates on them as well as providing insight on potential new competitors and big news on existing ones. 

The search and filtering function is also more advanced, allowing you to separate the more important news from the others, and narrow down your updates to something more specific than just a keyword. 

Owler is a dynamic platform that offers both data-driven insights as well as community-contributed information, giving you several avenues of information to pull from. It has a free community version, but their paid subscription unlocks the full potential of the platform and provides you with some neat tools including access to their AI as well as CRM integration.


SEMrush includes tools for SEO, PPC marketing, content marketing, competitive analysis, and more. SEMrush can collect data on your competitors that not many other platforms provide, including their search rankings and paid advertising strategies. 

SEMrush also offers data and insights on specific markets, giving you data to work with on your own or use the platform’s features and tools to compile data as well as generate analyses for you in custom reports, allowing you to easily create reports to present to your stakeholders and team members. 

SEMrush is the priciest subscription on this list, but they offer a free trial, so be sure to give their comprehensive suite a try!

While this guide provides a solid foundation for strategic competitive analysis, the possibilities extend far beyond. Remember, seemingly irrelevant data can yield valuable insights when viewed from a broader perspective. Explore diverse tools and platforms, as there's a treasure trove of options waiting to empower your competitive advantage. Let us know how we can help.