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Second only to knowing their customers, businesses need to know their competitors.

If you know only some of your competitors, the less obvious ones could be siphoning away online traffic.

To offer a leg up in this war of keywords, topics, and content, marketing intelligence provider GinzaMetrics is today announcing a new Competitor Discovery tool.

Known competitors “are only half the battle,” according to CEO and founder Ray Grieselhuber.

His company’s specialty is “brand findability” on search and social media. The new discovery tool is intended to assist in that goal with automation of what previously had been a more manual process on the platform, where brands had to present their keywords and the brands they’re interested in.

“It’s the same data, [but] more proactive,” he said.

A Nike, for instance, would know that Reebok and Adidas are competitors seeking to pull away traffic. But, he told us, a brand should also be asking: “Who else is out there talking about these topics?”

Now, he said, the Competitor Discovery tool helps to automatically “find people who are making content in this space” so the brand can better plot its counter-strategy.

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The tool can flag competitors, provide metrics, and make recommendations about keywords or content based on a brand’s selection of topics, or by parsing the brand’s landing page and inferring topics.

It provides such metrics as competitors’ search volume, search ranking, cost-per-click for their chosen keywords, findability score, and expected traffic. The proprietary findability score indicates how likely it is that a user will find the brand’s content for specific keywords or topics, compared to the competitor. Brands can then use these and other metrics for future campaign decisions.

What about GinzaMetrics’ own competitors?

In content search optimization, Grieselhuber pointed to such competitors as content performance marketing platform BrightEdge and web presence management provider Conductor.

For competitive positioning that is more oriented toward analysis of social media and content, he cited inbound content marketer Hubspot and marketing automation platform Marketo. TrackMaven similarly focuses on competitive marketing intelligence, he said, but they’re more inclined toward social media.

“We came from the search engine optimization perspective,” he said. “Our special sauce is the way we combine the data,” finding the most relevant drivers for a brand.

“There may be a thousand keywords [that are] relevant somewhat, but only 400 to 500 are [really] relevant.”

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