In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we discuss the importance of knowing your competition!
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We understand that as a business owner or manager, you have many irons in the fire. I know firsthand, that countless details must be seen to. But I also wonder…is one of those tasks a competitive analysis?
For many, a competitive analysis ranks pretty far down on the priority list. That could be a costly mistake because you need to have a good handle on what your competition is up to and what their strengths and weaknesses are in order to be competitive.
Most agree there are three main types of competitors: direct, indirect – also termed substitute or alternative – and available spend competitors. Direct competitors offer what you offer. Indirect competitors offer products or services that aren’t the same as yours but offer the same benefit or results. And, available spend competitors compete for the “same-occasion” dollars.
The purpose of a competitive analysis is to look at how the buyer could meet his or her needs with the available alternatives and to make certain your company provides advantages over your competition. You will be in a better position to create a more far-reaching marketing strategy with the information learned from your competitive analysis research.
Ok so hopefully I have convinced you that you should start poking around and getting more knowledgeable about your competition. But now you may be wondering, where do I start? Well, once you determine your competitors, continually monitor and analyze their marketing activities. Remember: knowledge is power.
These 5 ideas will show you how to get in to their world.
1. Sign up: by receiving their newsletter or emails, you will see what they have to say and how they say it.
2. Become a customer: if they offer a free trial, sign up for it if not, consider buying something small. This way, you can experience the purchase process and see how they treat their customers.
3. Explore their website: this is a great way to discover new product information, special promotions, and discounts. Check out their careers page, if they have one, to see how they may be growing.
4. Like and follow social networks: besides the obvious, you can get a feel as to how they interact with their audience.
5. Call them: you’ll find out how they do business. You can also learn about pricing and offered incentives. Ask them whatever you’d like. As far as they know, you’re a potential customer.
Yes, it does take time to find out who your competition is and what they’re up to. But, there are many benefits to conducting a competitive analysis.
1. The information you gather will help you develop a more solid marketing plan.
2. Identifying what others do well will help strengthen your offer.
3. The knowledge gained positions you for growth.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please share it with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time as I interview one of our teammates on how to incorporate infographics into your content marketing strategy.