I am constantly seeking new ways to present competitive benchmarking information to clients so that the impact is immediate and the relevance of the information is obvious. To that end, I try to employ as many visualizations of competitive information as possible.
One of the biggest challenges of a project I recently worked on was discovering how the company should position itself to its end consumers. We were particularly concerned about the language we should use when addressing end consumers. I ran TagCrowd on the homepages of each of the competitors in order to make tag clouds. The homepages were the main area where the competitors tried to involve prospective consumers. Here is a tag cloud image of the Extractable.com homepage as an example:
The results were easily digestible, compelling visualizations of the language and positioning of each competitor. The tag clouds captured how competitors spoke about themselves and the information they chose to present to end consumers.
The client could easily place the tag clouds of two competitors next to each other and see how one emphasizes one aspect over another one. The client could easily see the words and language that competitors were using to describe their services.
In addition, I used tag clouds to give the client a "temperature" reading of their own consumers' feelings toward the company. The tag clouds also gave us some idea of the language the consumers were using to describe the company's services. I ran TagCrowd on forums where their consumers came together to talk about the services. This was an eye-opener, because some very unexpected words came to the surface. It was a quick way to look at the values of the consumers.
I expect to incorporate more tag clouds into my future competitive benchmarking presentations. Does anyone else have creative ways that tag clouds could be used to take a snapshot of a company?