Competitive Advertising: The 4 W’s

Posted by WhatRunsWhere on January 16, 2014
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Try to imagine a world without businesses competing with each other.  It’s pretty difficult.

If there were no competition the whole notion of customer being King would cease to exist. Businesses wouldn’t have to provide winning customer service, competitive pricing, or anything else to ‘win’ you over as a loyal customer.

Chances are that if you have a product or service that sells, someone else is trying to sell it too.  On top of that, they are probably competing with your price, the services you offer, and are essentially gearing up to sell it better than you.

What do you do when this happens? Since you wouldn’t dare let them steal your clients, you compete right back with a winning competitive advertising strategy.

Competitive Advertising: Promotional technique in which an advertiser claims the superiority of its product over competing product(s) by direct or indirect comparison. If other products are mentioned by their name (and not as ‘brand X,’ ‘brand Y,’ etc.) the owners of those brands may challenge the fairness of the comparison in a court. Also called comparative advertising or comparison advertising.  Source

Competitive advertising is nothing new.  Back when newspapers were the predominate way to advertise, businesses would clip the articles of their competitors and strategize how they could do it better.

Now that so much advertising takes place online, it has become vital for businesses to monitor their competition’s online advertising presence.

With a little bit of research and some help from the WRW ad intelligence platform you can gain all kinds of insights on your competitors.

Learn how you can uncover the 4 W’s of competitive advertising to improve your competitive edge…

Who are your competitors and how can you find them?

Can’t name ANY of your competitors? Let’s find out who they are.

Start with a few simple searches on a search engine.  Try searching for your product or service to see if any other brands pop up.  If you only deal with local clients, be sure to add location in your search criteria so that you can discover local competition.

Think like your customer, how would they search for your product online? What keywords would they likely use to search?

What ads are they using?

Did you find a competitor to look up? Or maybe you already have the name of your biggest competitor? (You possibly have their logo placed on a dartboard?)

Great—now let’s spy on their ads.

Using the search ‘By Advertiser’ feature on WRW you can simply search their domain and VOILA!



On the advertiser’s profile you’ll see Text/Hybrid Ads and Banner ads on the left side. Click on each and instantly you’ll be able to see all of their text and banner ads.



Now what can you learn from how they designed their banner ads? How can you improve?

Where are they placing their ads?

Next, take a look at where they are running all of their ads by clicking ‘Traffic Sources’.

Could any of these sources be valuable for your business?

Also try clicking Placement Suggestions to see an assortment of similar locations to place your ads that aren’t being utilized by your competitor.


When did this campaign start? How long has it been running?

While looking under Traffic Sources taking a look under ‘Duration’.


Here you can see exactly how long your competitor has been running their ads on each Traffic Source.

Hint: The longer the ad has been running the better the traffic source.

Using Competitive Advertising Data to Your Advantage

Having a competitive advantage pays off. The more successful you are, the more customers that you will keep for yourself and take from your competition.

Take their online advertising strategy and beat it!


“The wise learn many things from their enemies.” – Aristophanes




Topics: Display Ads, Optimization, Competitive Intelligence, Advertising


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