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9 Superb Competitor Research Tools to Boost Your Marketing Efforts

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Since its early days, marketing has been an extremely competitive space. It’s no surprise that marketers face countless challenges and fierce rivals when trying to set up any type of advertising campaign.

Gaining a competitive advantage is extremely important, and modern competitor research tools can help you do favorite that.

Digital marketing allows a new level of ethical competitor surveillance in the form of research tools.

Let’s take a look at how competitor research can help you enhance your marketing campaign and discuss 9 outstanding spy tools to analyze their campaigns.

What Exactly Competitor Research Tools are?

The term “competitive research” can be defined as any strategy that allows you to identify and analyze your competitor’s weaknesses and strengths.

In digital marketing, competitor research tools, also known as spy tools, can help surveil your rivals’ campaigns. You can gain access to real-time and historical data that helps optimize the areas that are most valuable to your industry.

Keep in mind that there are hundreds of marketing platforms and there are spy tools to help you surveil the vast majority of these networks. And, because spy tools have gained so much traction, competitive research is not only left to big corporations anymore.

Today, local and international companies of all sizes use competitor research tools to hone in on their weaknesses and work on these areas of improvement.

Using Competitor Research Tools to Improve Your Campaigns

There are competitor research tools available for most marketing platforms, industries, and budgets. Below, we have included a list of the spy tools we believe can provide the information you need to build a superb campaign.

1. SEMrush – Starting at $99.95/mo

Why is SEMrush Popular? SEMrush is often ranked among the best competitor research tools out there. It’s not only a spy tool, but a comprehensive suite of instruments that help you build a better campaign. You can filter competitors by country and see how much traffic they get through paid ads, the keywords they’re using, the publishers where their ads are shown, and much more.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
Additional Tracking Features
  • Image of competitor ads
  • Landing pages
  • List of publishers
  • Backlink audit and analytics
  • Organic traffic data
  • Social media toolkit

2.  AdPlexity – $199/mo per User

Why is AdPlexity Popular? AdPlexity provides a very reliable option if you’re looking for innovation and cross-channel surveillance. This platform allows you to filter out competitors by different categories and allows you to see the landing page redirection chain being used on each individual ad.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
  • Rich media
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • API
  • Native
Additional Tracking Features
  • Filter by advertisers, publishers, and affiliate networks
  • Ad trend
  • Device targeting
  • Traffic Sources used
  • Outgoing URLs

3. Adbeat – $99/mo

Why is Adbeat Popular? Adbeat is a robust platform with huge amounts of data and insights, but it’s still easy to use. This spy tool supports more than 20 different countries and can collect information from 4 different types of devices as well.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
  • Rich media
  • Pre-roll
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
Additional Tracking Features
  • More than 120 supported networks
  • Reveals estimated ad spend, buying strategies, and landing pages
  • Creates reports in a variety of formats
  • Detailed publisher data
  • Campaigns comparison tool

4. Anstrex – $39.99/mo

Why is Anstrex Popular? Anstrex boasts of more than 27 ad networks scattered across 30 countries. This spy tool is designed to help learn your competitor’s secrets while allowing you to reduce your marketing spend and drive more traffic.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
  • Rich media
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • Native
Additional Tracking Features
  • SimilarWeb and Alexa integration
  • Enhanced search function
  • Choose geographical location
  • Ads notifications
  • Reliable and knowledgeable community

5. WhatRunsWhere – $299/Month

Why is WhatRunsWhere Popular? WhatRunsWhere may be on the more expensive side, but this reliable spy tool collects and renders data around the clock. This means you’ll be getting the most recent and accurate data every time you make adjustments to your campaigns, among other awesome features.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Display
  • Text
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • Native
Additional Tracking Features
  • More than 500 networks and 60 million ads
  • Filter by top performing ads
  • Select specific date range or keywords

6. SpyOver -$149/mo

Why is SpyOver Popular? SpyOver gives you access to extensive competitor statistics in the form of easy-to-understand diagrams and other visual means. At the same time, you can sort ads based on different categories, translate text ads into English, and see which ads actually yield results.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
Supported Channels
  • Desktop
  • Mobile
  • Native
Additional Tracking Features
  • 11 ad networks scattered across 115 countries
  • Search by:
    • Publisher
    • Chain of redirects
    • Landing text
    • Outgoing links
  • Text translation
  • Ad download (with mass download option)

7. Native Ad Buzz – Starting at $47/mo

Why is Native Ad Buzz Popular? NativeAdBuzz, often shortened as NAB, is a great all-around spy tool that can help you reverse engineer winning campaigns. At the same time, because it provides complete information, you’ll probably reduce the time you spend surveilling the competition while still improving your performance.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
Supported Channels
  • Native
  • Desktop
  • Mobile
Additional Tracking Features
  • A large community of internet marketers
  • Ads saving feature
  • Filter ads by language, publisher, landing page, and much more

8. Advault –  Starting at $179/mo

Why is Advault Popular? Identifying and mimicking marketing campaigns can be extremely tough. Advault is a platform that lets you find campaigns based on their popularity. At the same time, Advault implements a series of dedicated metrics and features that allow you to discover new trends in your industry.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • Native
Additional Tracking Features
  • Favorite ads gallery
  • Full networks statistics
  • Chat support available

9. AdsXposed – $169/mo

Why is AdsXposed Popular? Industries that have a global reach play by slightly different rules and many corporate marketers are turning to AdsXposed to help them get the most accurate data. Although it collects ads from more than 200,000 websites, this platform is still extremely easy to use because it offers features that help monitor the competition’s moves closely.

Tool Details
Type of Ad Surveillance
  • Text
  • Display
Supported Channels
  • Mobile
  • Native
  • Desktop
Additional Tracking Features
  • Bookmark ads
  • Show where ads are running
  • Identify global campaigns
  • Custom search

Did we miss something? Share with us your favorite spy tool in the comment section below!

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