This post asks how to find out things about my competitors. Every start-up and established business faces competition. Understanding who the competitors are in your game and what they do will assist you in staying ahead of them. Use Competitor Analysis when looking at how to find out things about your competitor.
What is competitor analysis?
Competitor analysis identifies, analyses, understands and learns from your rivals. It is a great way to answer the question. How to find out things about my competitors?
It has to be an essential aspect of your marketing strategy. If it’s not, then you are wasting your time doing a marketing strategy. It will allow you to establish what makes your offering unique in your marketplace. And what will make you attractive in your target market?
If you are pre-startup, you have to do Competitor Analysis before you start your business. To determine what you are going to do and assess if it’s a good idea in the first place. It’s an ever-evolving document. So once you have written it, you should keep it up to date and amend it once your world changes.
Who are my competitors?
There will be many businesses like yours, many with the same passionate owners. If you are setting up a market stall selling fruit and veg. Then the chap across the street is likely a direct competitor. And the supermarket down the road is also robust direct competition. Look at the competitors that are not established yet. Where could they come from? Who could they be? What about indirect Competitors? Fast food restaurants are indirect competition. A customer can spend their cash on fruit and veg or decide to buy a takeaway instead. With the internet taking over our lives, it’s important to remember to sometimes go back to basics.
Step away from the mobile screen and get out and take a look at your market. Take time to do things like taking a walk around the local area where you plan to open your business. Look through industry magazines. Read the local business press. Look for telephone directories and talk to your potential customers. The bigger the market, the more use of the internet and online research tools will need to be made. But you can still go to trade shows and exhibitions and wander around. Armed with a set of questions you need to answer about your market. To give you an idea of what your competition is saying, what they are missing and how you can do things better, collect all the associated marketing material you can find.
What to find out about my competitors
If you look hard enough, you can find out anything about your competitors:
- Who and where your competitors are in the world
- What they offer and what they don’t offer
- Their pricing strategy
- Their customers
- How and where they advertise.
- What they say in their advertising and marketing
- Understand their strength and take advantage of their weaknesses
- What are your ideal customer demographic? Age, gender, income level and so on.
- How often will they purchase?
- What are their service expectations?
- How much do they generally spend?
- What after-sales support do they expect?
- Why will they select a specific competitor?
- Are there any patterns to their spending with your competitor?
- Where are they current shopping?
Where to start
Fire up Google as even the smallest companies will have a web footprint. Look for companies who are offering a similar product to yours. Look beyond your city, county and even country. A competitors website will give you sufficient information to make a start. It will show its products and services. How it sells them, what they say about their product, their target market and their USP. Some will offer their prices. And if they don’t show you any of the above, you could be off to a great start.
Look at review websites and the testimonials on their own websites. Look through old and new trade magazines. Seek out their social media accounts, relevant blogs, forums and feedback. What do their customers say? How satisfied are they?
Another great place to find out more information is by asking your customers. Find out what they like and dislike about your competitors. Where the improvements can be made. And what are they not doing that they would like them (or you) to do.
How to find out things about my competitors
This post asked how to find out things about my competitors. It explained why it’s important to understand who your competitors are and what they do to stay ahead.