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The process of researching some of the competitor’s activities in the Digital environment


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As always, before I start the big topic of researching competitors in the Digital environment, I will talk about OVERALL THINKING. If these thoughts cannot be identified together, all the instructions below will be meaningless. In part 1, I will answer 5 basic questions: WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN, WHO, part 2 will answer the HOW question. Whenever I have time, I will write a separate article about the 5W1H super classic model to help you learn how to learn and understand any method/tool very quickly.

  1. Overall Thinking
  2. What? + Where?

The article title itself answers the question “what do we do and where do we do”. We will study some of the competitor’s marketing activities in the Digital environment.

Why is it “1 number”, not all? This is simply because you cannot study 100% of your competitors’ activities digitally. In the digital environment, there are hundreds of activities that can be implemented, from small activities like a comment seeding to large activities like a media campaign. So, unless you have an inside hand or commercial espionage, you have learned that 80% of the activities are already satisfactory.

  1. Why?

This is the most important question, the one that helps define the goals. This is the question that will guide all subsequent questions. Without defining the target, all methods are meaningless.

I will say briefly: the goal of researching some of the competitors’ activities on digital is to FIND IDEAS FOR MARKETING ACTIVITIES. You must clearly define that this is not “SUBJECT RESEARCH”. Competitive research is a comprehensive research activity, which involves a lot of information that needs to be found. The table below will help you understand what you want to say

I have to talk very carefully about this issue, that is because many people often confuse two concepts that lead to fatal mistakes. Taking the results of the second column to propose a competitive strategy and sales policy is very dangerous. Because we cannot know how much of their budget competitors actually spend on digital activities. The research results in column 2 can be very local, not showing an accurate picture of the competitor. For example, your research and know that Digital competitors are hitting this segment, but in fact, outside of the selling point they hit another segment, which is very normal.

  1. Who?

The next question we have to answer is, are we going to study AI? Or in other words, how do we choose research subjects?

Since the article title is research on competitor activity, you will usually assume that we will choose direct/indirect/alternative competitors for research. But the truth is not so, we will not study our competitors like that.

Let’s go back to section I.2, obviously, the goal of this activity is “FIND IDEAS FOR MARKETING”, so we simply find the AI ​​who can give us MKT ideas. So, AI will be the one who gives us those ideas, there are 2 criteria as follows:

There’s a lot of activity on digital, and the results look good.

– We share the same customer segment.

Looking at the two conditions above, it is clear that there is no word here that is an opponent. Condition No. 1 is too easy to understand, sometimes you choose units that do not do or do very little on digital, of course, there is nothing to study, and nothing for you to learn. The second condition must be explained a little more carefully.

In MKT, basically everything comes from the customer side, the customer will decide the whole way of doing MKT of us. If you run a promotion, it’s simply because you think your customers will love it. If you do deliver a message, simply because you think the message will stimulate customer behavior. If you use a communication channel, it is simply because the customers are there. So, two products/services are not related to each other, but if they serve the same customer segment, then they can completely learn about how to do MKT.

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For example, a clothing product and a cosmetic product are clearly not in competition (a spending competition per customer, ignore it because it’s rather vague), but if 2 If that product serves a segment of women with income over 20 years old, living in the city, aged 30-> 40, the MKT must clearly research the needs/desires of that set of customers to give out messages, channels, promotions,…. All of that information, it is clear that the above 2 products can all learn from each other.

Closing is not studying the opponent but just calling it an opponent for easy understanding.

  1. When?

When are we going to do this? Once again coming back to our goal, we do research on rival activity on digital to FIND IDEAS FOR MKT ACTIVITIES => we will do this when we need ideas. There are 3 important moments that we really need ideas for MKT activities, they are:

  • The moment when we plan a new product/project.
  • The moment we got stuck in MKT activity, don’t know how to make things better. Instead of sitting there and squeezing your forehead to find ways to change, doing your competitor research will give you a lot of inspiration.
  • You discover a very good digital agency, have very good campaigns but serve the same customer segment with your unit.

Above is the whole content to help you answer the questions: what to do, where to do, with whom, when. Now comes the main question that you would expect: how?

  1. The 10-step process of researching some of the competitor’s activities in the Digital environment

Note 1: The process below will not be suitable for spying to steal orders, spy on small shops that only sell on Facebook.

Note 2: There are countless tools to research the competitor, but I only recommend free or cheap + easy to use tools, so that you can really apply in real work.

  1. Use Google to check which websites your competitors have.

Tools used:

How to do it: go to Google, type in the name of the product/service to be researched, find 5-10 pages of GG results

The results: websites that competitors build, both main and satellite web. You can use to find subdomains of the above websites. For example, web, using the above tool to discover the domain, later we will have to check both domains above.

Note: Competitors can use small microsites, small landing pages, these links may not be indexed on Google, or the competitor can actively prevent google indexing to avoid being found => with fields In this particular case, it is very difficult to find those sites. Step 5 will be able to help you supplement this section.

  1. Use SimilarWeb to check which web competitor is the main user.

Tools to use: This is the most popular and free website analysis tool in the world.

How to do it: Enter the domains found in step 1 into the similar web search bar

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Use SimilarWeb to check which web competitor is the main user.

Where to fill the domain to study and where to show estimated traffic

Result: You will see the estimated traffic to those domains. If the traffic is too low or not available, it could be that the website is unimportant, without research. If there is a lot of traffic, it could be the domain that your competitors are using mainly.

Note: need to clarify the main sub-concept. A competitor’s official website is sometimes not an important one. The main web we need to look for is the website that competitors put their budget/traffic on.

  1. Estimate the competitor’s budget and performance chart via a similar web.

Tools to use: still similar to web


  • Read the competitor’s estimated traffic metrics on similar web, compare it with our own traffic, thereby derive the competitor’s relative budget relative to us (more, less, equivalent,…). For example, the web we have 500k traffic, the competitor’s web has 2 million traffic => obviously the budget and the intensity of the competition is much stronger than ours. Note: In fact, for many reasons, the number of traffic displayed on the similar web is always wrong. According to the numbers I tracked for a long time. If the displayed traffic is below 600k, you multiply that number by 2 to get the number close to reality. If the traffic shows up above 600, you multiply that number by 1.5 times.
  • Next, we look at the activity chart on the left. It will tell us how much traffic has changed for our competitors over the past 6 months. If the fluctuations are small, there is nothing to pay much attention to. If the sudden change is different. If the increase is strong, it could be because the opponent has a good campaign or increased their budget. If the decrease is strong, the opponent may be fined (banned from advertising, closed website), faulty website, or reduced budget. Our mission is to find out what makes the opponent such a dramatic change. Step 9 will help further study this.

Note: This estimate is only approximate. There are 3 scenarios that lead to incorrect competitor traffic and budget estimates:

There are cases where competitors spend most of their budget on channels without traffic such as Facebook Engage, Youtube TrueView, Banner optimization, …. => no web traffic but the real budget is still very large.

Bottom line: Using Similarweb will help you get a rough overview of your competitors. Helping you know which competitors are worth studying according to the criteria mentioned in section I.3.

  1. Use SemRush to research GoogleAds + competitor’s Landingpage.

SemRush is a very popular tool, especially in the SEO world. However, this tool is still very strong in researching Google advertising, today I only talk about this feature (because I only know how to use this only).

Tools to use:

How to see in the following detailed article: How to use SemRush to research competitors’ Google Ads. After following the 6 steps in the above article, you can pull all Google ads (both banner and Adword) pointing to 1 domain, which you normally cannot do by hand without. tools.


Banner templates, banner design ideas, messages on the banner.

Adwords templates, ideas for making Adwords.


  1. Research the landing pages you find.

After we complete the research of GG ads and FB ads, we will summarize all the Landipages that have been searched, classify which landing pages are worth learning, analyze those landing pages.

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The results obtained: landing page design, message on the landing page, sales program, promotions, which kols to use, Reason To Beleive (the information is given to increase trust, increase purchasing power), …

  1. Use Google trends to check if your competitors have any outstanding media campaigns

Tools to use:

Usage: Enter the competitor’s brand name, follow the trend chart that Google returns. If there is no strong volatility, it doesn’t matter much. If there is a very high trend peak => Either the opponent has a very good communication campaign, or the opponent has a media crisis, it is worth studying.

The result: Whether or not the competitor has any outstanding media activities or not.

Use Google trends to check if your competitors have any outstanding media campaigns

  1. Use the Google Time Filter tools to research media campaigns.

If the result in step 7 is to have a research campaign. Please determine the time to study, then use the Time filter function available on Google, extremely interesting but few people notice.

To activate this function, please click on the tool button on the GG search page-> click the button at all times -> click on the custom range -> choose the desired time period.

Use the Google Time Filter tools for campaign research

  1. Use the Google Time Filter tools to research media campaigns.

If the result in step 7 is to have a research campaign. Please determine the time to study, then use the Time filter function available on Google, extremely interesting but few people notice.

To activate this function, please click on the tool button on the GG search page-> click the button at all times -> click on the custom range -> choose the desired time period.

  1. Use Google Site Specific Search search syntax to research competitor PR activities in major newspapers.

This is an extremely important advanced Google search syntax, you should know. The syntax is as follows: “keyword” site: “domain”

Use the Google Site Specific Search search syntax to research PR activity

Example syntax of Google Site Specific Search

To find the full range of competitor’s PR activities, search according to the above syntax, applicable to about a dozen large newspapers. Find and classify PR articles worth learning.

  1. Evaluate the competitor’s performance and draw lessons

This is the most important step, all of the 9 steps above do not make any sense if this step you do not do well. Because in general, the goal of this whole competitor research activity is to FIND IDEAS FOR MKT-SOL ACTIVITIES, so it doesn’t matter what your opponent does, what you draw out is what applies to you. This is the time to draw and come up with your own ideas.


1 Insight customer has not discovered

Interesting promotions never thought of

Communication channel never tried

Nice and stimulating message

Communication partner

Good content

New content format

Good PR, Event campaigns


Above is the whole 9-step basic process for you to research and learn from your competitors. There is also a Template for you to present the results of the research, for submission to the boss, or put in the Plan. Since the post is too long, I will not continue to write that part, I will continue to share in a separate article.

Bellie Brown
Bellie Brown
Hi my lovely readers, I am Bellie brown editor and writer of I write blogs on various niches such as business, technology, lifestyle., health, entertainment, etc as well as manage the daily reports of the website. I am very addicted to my work which makes me keen on reading and writing on the very latest and trending topics. One can check my more writings by visiting

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