Whatever goods or services you sell, you are never alone in the marketplace. And that's the good news - it's the competition that forces you to constantly improve your products. But to do that, you need to keep an eye on your competitors. Read on to find out how.
Keep an eye on the competition and find out your advantages
If you keep an eye on your competition, you'll become more aware of:
- how your company, product or service is unique, what your competitive advantage is,
- who your competitors are and what to do to keep them from taking your customers,
- what the trends are in your industry and how your competitors are working with them,
- what works for competitors in business and how you can get inspired.
Keeping an eye on your competitors will also help you avoid risks. For example, if another company has tried to launch a new product that you're working on in the past but failed, you can avoid their mistakes and do better.
What to look for when monitoring the competition
Monitor your competition regularly, at least once a year, but ideally more often. First, take stock of your direct competitors who offer similar products and services and operate in the same market as you. Then research each competitor. Focus on the following areas:
1. Website and e-shop
Check out your competitors' website and focus on:
- products offered by competitors,
- the prices at which they sell them, and the discounts, promotions or sales they offer,
- the method of sale, whether they use an e-shop, bricks-and-mortar stores or distributors.
This allows you to see how similar or different your products are, how you differ in price and whether or not this gives you an advantage over your competitors. Equally, you can see the opportunities - is the competitors e-commerce working and could it work for you?
2. Blog, newsletter and more
You can also check out the blog, news or other published texts on the website. If a competitor sends a newsletter, please subscribe. Find out how often they send or publish newsletters and what they communicate. You can also track how interested clients are in the articles, such as whether they share or comment on the content.
Focus on how you could handle the topics better or even which areas your competitors aren't covering, and this is an opportunity for you.
3. Social medias
See which networks your competitors have profiles on and how active they are on them. Also find out the number of followers or how brands respond to posts, what they like and what they don't.
Not only that, you'll get inspired in what content your clients are interested in. You'll also see what problems they're solving and what they're looking for in competitors. Or how satisfied they are with products and services.
If your competitors' marketers are active on LinkedIn, it's time to catch up.
Keep track of whether and which ads your competitors are using and which product benefits they are highlighting. This will give you an idea of which goods and services your competitors see as their most important and are trying to sell the most.
The ads will also show you how competitive your environment is and how much effort you need to put into making yourself visible to clients.
Probably the hardest part will be finding out what its clients think of its competitors. Use social media reviews or e-commerce reviews to do this. You'll see what customers like and dislike about your competitors' products. Also keep an eye on what customers your competitors are targeting and how they differ from yours.
Also ask your clients why they choose your products and what makes you better than the competition for them. You can keep all communication with your clients together thanks to our RAYNET CRM. Try it for 30 days free in the trial version.
How to deal with the information found
Everything you learn about your competition will help you differentiate yourself and potentially improve your services. Here are a few ways you can achieve this:
Customize your ideal customer persona – Have you found that your competition is targeting the exact same audience as you and having more success with it? Then you better not drag it out, but edit your ideal customer persona and try to get those customers that your competitor overlooks. Are you developing a company system and the competition has intercepted production companies? Try to reorient yourself, for example, to retail stores.
Work on your brand – When you find that your competition presents itself very similarly to you, differentiate yourself. Create a marketing strategy focused on strengthening your brand and be more distinctive and attractive to your target audience.
Adapt the business process - Think about whether you can gain advantages over the competition if, for example, you change the way you get leads, the schedule of business meetings or the creation of offers.
Improve customer service and support - Have you found from customer feedback that your competition has too slow customer support? Tune yours and you have a big competitive advantage. And if the competition is doing well, be even better.
Evolve Product and Services – After thorough competitive research, you should have dozens of cues to tweak, differentiate, and overall improve your products and services. Take advantage of it.