Sonar is a competitive intelligence platform providing marketers with strategic information about their competitive landscape across digital environments and markets. Used by major brands such as P&G, AccorHotels and Samsung, Sonar uses powerful crawling technology to bring to the surface low signals from competitors’ moves, even in walled gardens. Once product managers define which competitors to monitor in which retail environments, Sonar extracts data from the selected sources, transforms data to apply relevant calculations, and loads the formatted information into the Sonar database, accessible through a dashboard.
Sonar helps brands precisely calibrate their pricing according to competitors. Marketers can access insights such as price per category, per brand, per custom attribute (e.g., for automotive manufacturers: car model, fuel type), price elasticity (lower whisker, lower hinge, median, upper hinge, upper whisker and average), minimum advertised price and more. Each price can be recalculated to provide fair comparison (e.g., for CPG brands, prices can be readjusted per volume unit if competitors sell in different packaging formats), and first-party data can also be injected to add other layers of intelligence, such as profitability. Therefore, marketers can be notified via customised alerts of subtle changes in competitor pricing that can have drastic consequences in the consumer decision and react before losing sales.
Example: Fizzy drinks
Market: United Kingdom
Category: Diet, Diet caffeine free, Regular, Zero Sugar
Retailer: Amazon, ASDA, Ocado, Tesco
Flavour: Apple, Blood Orange, Burdock, Cherry, Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, Lemon and Lime, Lemonade, Lime, Mango, Orange, Original, Rose Lemonade
As highlighted in the iProspect 2019 Global Commerce Survey, only one marketer out of five (21%) currently uses a digital shelf analytics technology.[ii] A tool like Sonar delivers to brands a comprehensive vision of shelf presence, encompassing the real share of shelf vs. their competitors, their search coverage of strategic queries, the most popular products per category and retailer, and more. Marketers can use this information to improve their product mix per platform, inform the negotiations with retailers, understand where content optimisation should be performed, and evaluate the products and categories for which advertising would bring the most added value.
Segment: Basic, Essential, Premium, Super Premium
Retailer: Angeloni, Carrefour, Casas Bahia, eFacil, Fast Shop, Magazine Luiza, Ponto Frio, Submarino
Brand: Brastemp, Consul, Electrolux, Panasonic, Samsung,
Using Sonar, marketers can understand the advertising strategies of their competitors. They can not only access the ad share per category, retailer and brand, they can also get insights on the type of ad run by their competitors. Powered by optical character recognition and image recognition, Sonar reads and interprets the content of any display banner to automatically categorise ads in promotional types (e.g., bundle, discount, trade-in, product launch, sponsorship, partnership) and provide ad samples for each. Sonar can also compile the list of all the products advertised per competitor to inform marketers about the strategies of their competitors.
Example: Blenders and Mixers
Segment: Basic, Low Essential, Essential, High Essential
Retailer: Americanas, MagazineLuiza, Ponto Frio
Brand: Arno, Britania, Mondial, Philco
The intelligence collected in competitive monitoring platforms like Sonar can be put into action very rapidly for paid media purposes. It can not only help marketers evolve their messaging and reassess the selection of products they promote through advertising, it can also directly drive bidding strategies and ad formats. iProspect has developed a decision matrix taking into consideration the product lifecycle stage and its competitive strength, with actionable tactics for each possible scenario.
This article is excerpted from the report Data-Driven Commerce. Download it now for key insights on winning at commerce in the new digital economy.
[i] iProspect 2018 Global Client Survey, October 2018
[ii] iProspect 2019 Global Commerce Survey, May 2019