Quora: How do I find a company’s top competitors?

The following is a post I wrote on Quora.


There are a couple of ways.

  • If a US public company, look at its 10-K (annual report). Firms generally discuss their competitors. You can locate the 10-K on a company’s investor site, through sales intelligence vendors, or free Edgar sites.
  • If a private company, look at Owler, a free site (See below). This is crowdsourced so may include firms that aren’t true competitors.
Owler competitor lists are gathered through social voting.
  • Look at sales intelligence services such as D&B Hoovers or InsideView. Hoover’s competitors are editorially generated and include top three flags (see below)
D&B Hoover’s competitor lists are gathered by a team of researchers.
  • Within IT, look at Forrester Wave reports. Another option is technology category searches in PE/VC databases such as DataFox, Crunchbase, Pitchbook, or CB Insights. Keep in mind that companies within the same segment may not be competitors, but partners, customers, etc.
  • Many industries have industry specific market research that includes competitors. A few general market research firms also provide competitors (e.g. MarketLine, Euromonitor, Global Data, and Freedonia). Top Competitors are also available in IBISWorld, Vertical IQ, and First Research.
  • Zoominfo and a few other vendors identify similar companies based upon proximity in articles. This finds competitors, but also customers and partners so should be carefully reviewed.
  • For new technologies or industries, D&B Hoovers offers Conceptual Search which identify companies associated with key phrases (e.g. Marcellus Shale, Obamacare). This is more of an associated companies list and will identify firms in a topical ecosystem. For example, “Harry Potter” identifies studios, publishers, toy makers, theme parks, and thematic tours. (See example below of conceptual search on Marcellus Shale). Conceptual Search lists may be refined by standard prospecting filters such as industry, geography, and size.
D&B Hoover’s Conceptual Search looks for companies associated with specific phrases.
  • If none of these work, use peer list searches (industry code lists) or keyword searches in sales intelligence vendors. If cost is a concern, go to your public library and see if they have ReferenceUSA, AtoZDatabases, or Mergent Online. Each of these allows you to build peer lists based on industry codes, company size, and geography. If you need help, ask for the business or reference librarian to assist.

Mmojo Data Marketplace Launched (Part II)

 

 

Mmojo offers segmentation analysis and look-a-like prospecting.
Mmojo offers segmentation analysis and look-a-like prospecting.

(Part II of my coverage of the Mmojo launch.  Yesterday I covered Mmojo’s enrichment capabilities and tomorrow I will cover pricing and data vendors)

Mmojo’s prospecting module supports both traditional prospecting and ABM list cloning.  The Build a List User Interface is straightforward with filtering by

  • Location: State, City, ZIP
  • Company Name
  • Company Attribute: Public/Private/Government, HQ/Sub/Branch
  • Size: Revenue, Employees
  • Technology
  • Industry: Industry Keyword, SIC
  • Contacts: Function, Level, Keyword
  • Indicators: Home Office, Woman Led, Minority Led, Franchise

Type-ahead suggestions help with quickly entering cities. technologies, industry, and job functions/levels.

Missing geographic selects included counties, MSAs, ZIP Ranges, Email and Direct Dial Availability.  The inability to easily refine by location may be a hindrance to SMB sales.

The Industry selects are by keyword and SIC code, but the keyword search which supports typeahead suggest is sluggish. NAICS codes are coming next month.

Mmojo offers a matrix for quickly selecting job functions and levels.
Mmojo offers a matrix for quickly selecting job functions and levels.

A nice feature is the ability to quickly select contacts by function (Sales, Marketing, Engineering, IT/IS, HR, Finance, Operations, Planning) and Level by clicking or dragging the clicked mouse across a grid (see image on right).  Users can also enter keywords, but the list was mostly high-level titles and general functions.  Missing were key roles such as purchasing, sales operations, accounts receivable, accounts payable, security (except CISO), and compliance (except CCO).

Another welcome feature is the ability to save multi-variable filters allowing marketers to store territories or industry segments for quick recall.

Previously uploaded or built lists may be used for list suppression (e.g. exclude current customers and prospects) or as a constraint list (e.g. subsetting of a current list for targeting).  The system also maintains a Master List for this purpose.

When prospecting, marketers can grab a random subset of the list for a campaign or for forwarding directly to sales reps.

Lists can also be used to find mMore-like-these cloned companies.  The peer feature allows users to define the relevant variables and weights to be assigned to them.  Thus, a regional tradeshow list can be used as a seed file for additional prospects, but with the location variables relaxed; additional variables (e.g. deployed technology, growth indicators, corporate attributes) can then be assigned corresponding weights.  This feature is easily managed via a drag-and-drop tool and visual indicators.  As a segmentation analysis is also displayed, marketers can analyze the seed file as they adjust the selection criteria and weights.

I had one significant concern: the workflow from building a list to viewing it is not clear and is likely to frustrate trialers and new users.  Nevertheless, the user interface is otherwise straightforward and the dynamic segmentation (see left side of top image) is beautifully rendered and informative.


Part III discusses Mmojo content and pricing.