Creating a Crosstab Comparison for Competitive Intelligence

Kimberly Surico |
 06/24/19 |
4 min read

Because no brand exists in a vacuum, it’s important for all brands to assess their success within the context of competitors. Creating a Crosstab Analysis is how you do that.

What’s the Value of Crosstab Analysis?

Though there are several ways to view and interpret social data, a Crosstab Analysis is particularly useful in competitive analysis because you can compare multiple brands in a few key ways: by Topics, Themes, Tags, and Products.

And with recent updates, you can compare each of these directly, i.e., Topics against Topics, or in any combination, i.e., Topics against Tags, Themes against Product Hierarchies, etc.

This versatility allows for virtually unlimited options for seeing where you stand against competitors, and where you should focus your efforts moving forward.

Here are a few examples of how that looks, and why such analytics matter.

Understanding Sentiment Specifics

Everything you learn about your competitors should be viewed through the lens of how consumers feel about them – which is the same lens you should apply to your own brand. It can be enormously helpful to view industry-specific keywords across several brands to understand where you’re doing better than the competition, and where you need to step up.

Here’s a look at Net Sentiment comparing several airline brands against Delta with regard to top airline offerings:

If you’re any of the brands above, you can take comfort knowing that everyone seems to be dropping the ball with travelers when it comes to cancellations and delays. If you’re Delta, whose Net Sentiment is lowest, you should be a bit more concerned – especially given that none of the other categories are making up for those issues in consumers’ hearts.

If you’re JetBlue, and doing better than your closest competitors in most categories, you’d want to consider pushing to turn things around in the cancellations and delays department – because then you’d really rule the sky.

This is also a great way to spot trends and uncover what’s driving them. For example, if you launched a new smart watch and wanted to know what consumers were talking about, you could compare brands and terms to get a sense of the conversation volume and emotion:

Then you could use whatever you find to direct your next steps.

Seeing Where Your Brand Stands – Literally

Advertising resources aren’t unlimited for any brand – so it’s a huge advantage to view geographical comparisons and see where it’s wisest to apply your marketing dollars. That way your new product launch can maximize every bit of spend.

Here’s a look at a geographical Crosstab Analysis for Gucci and competitors:

If you’re competing with Gucci you’ve got to advertise in North America, but don’t discount Europe and Asia. They’ve got solid mentions on both those continents as well.

But for marketing to be effective, you need to know what’s actually driving the conversation. As your brand is mentioned, what’s coming up? Comparing Themes against Themes gives you that intelligence:

North American consumers love Gucci most for their price, influence in the fashion world, and innovation. Now you know where to target your efforts.

Where on Social?

Of course, courting consumers means engaging in conversations – not just analyzing them. To do that you have to know where on social conversations are happening, obviously. But it’s also smart to see which channel has the most passionate audience – so you can engage with your most important fans and inspire them to share the love even further.

Taco Bell not only has the highest Passion Intensity of the brands compared above, but the conversation is most intense on Tumblr.

For many brands this would possibly be a huge surprise, but Taco Bell is all about putting fans first and using social insights to drive their engagement, campaigns, and events. It’s no surprise their unique approach has fans connecting on a less obvious channel. And it’s no surprise those fans love them.

Never Take Love for Granted

Just because you have your audience in the palm of your hands today, doesn’t mean they will be swooning over you tomorrow. Knowing what competitors have going for them – or where you have an advantage over them – is paramount.

Using social listening to learn who your competitors are – because there are always surprises – is only step one. Performing a Crosstab Analysis really lets you see where you and those in your category rate with the audience you share.

And you can view this intel in a variety of formats – with flexible widgets that let stakeholders choose how they receive data. That’s the kind of detail that might not seem to matter, but when decisions need to be made quickly, a clear and comprehensive visual dashboard saves precious time.

And that just might mean the difference in beating a competitor to the punch. You definitely don’t want to learn that the hard way.

Haven’t run a Crosstab Analysis before? Get in touch and we’ll walk you through all this tool has to offer.


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