The market place is a crowded one, and full of competitors. One of the biggest mistakes an organisation can make, large or small, is having the impression they do not have any competitors, or at least any worth keeping an eye on.
No product or service is unique enough to not have something to compete with, and that is why it is crucial to observe what your competitors are doing, how they are interacting and what they are offering.Why should you take competitor analysis seriously?
- Knowledge is power: understanding what works for your competitors will reveal opportunities for your business. Get to know what their weaknesses are, in order to give your business a competitive advantage.
- In carrying out extensive competitor analysis, you will be able to gain an idea on their future plans, and as a result, create a competitive strategy that will place you ahead of them.
- Competitor analysis should also be used to find out who your main competitors are, and why you consider them your main competitors. Use this to improve on any weaknesses, to make you more competitive within the marketplace.
How can you effectively analyse your competitors?A) Find out how your competitors are engaging with customers and if they have effective customer relationship management. Are they connecting via social media channels? If so, join the conversation to make your business heard.
B) What products and services are they offering? If your competitors are offering higher quality services than you e.g. next day delivery, better customer service contact or better product quality, look into improving your business within these relevant areas. Likewise, if your competitors are not offering services as competent as yours, ensure you push this within your marketing efforts, to give yourself a unique selling point (USP).
C) Create an analysis of your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to gauge where you can improve as a business and how you can get ahead of your competitors.
D) Mystery shopping; this is an excellent method of seeing what your competitor’s customer service channels are like. In doing this you will be able to gain a perspective on their weaknesses and strengths and adjust your own accordingly, again giving you a competitive advantage.
E) Look into your competitor’s marketing material in order to gauge how they interact with their customers and what kind of material they actually use. In doing this you will be able to work out how to market to similar consumers.
F) Also, looking into your competitors’ PR material is an effective way of understanding how they communicate with a wider market place and the general public. E.g. local and national publications. This may give you some ideas on how to position yourself to your target market, and which publications to be contacting.
Competition within the marketplace is crucial for a business to grow, but only if you acknowledge the importance of competitor analysis and use it to improve your own strategy.
If you are looking for ways to analyse your competitors’ movements, or are looking to improve your marketing performance to enhance your competitive profile, why not attend / register your interest for one of our newly developed online webinars!