Want to Know What Your Competitors Are up to Then Rummage in Their Bins

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There is no need to go this far to find out what your competitors are up to. But keeping an eye on your competition is very important to keep up and get ahead in your industry sector. 

Understanding your competitors’ strengths will show your gaps in your own offering. And ensure you are on track with your pricing strategy, you are aware of your market developments, customers wants and needs. And also the associated developments in new technologies. 

Beat your competitors

Knowing what your competitors are up to will help you:

  • Beat your competitors
  • Win more business
  • Increase profits
  • Reduce risk

Sometimes you can’t solve problems if you’re too close to see the answer. Also, you can’t steal a lead on your competition if you don’t know where or who they are. Nor can you meet your market and business development needs if you don’t know what they are. In our experience, too many companies find it too easy to dismiss competitors and market changes as irrelevant. 

Some ignore problems hoping they will go away. Don’t find out why they are losing customers to rivals. In an ever-changing world, deciding what to do is surrounded by a fog of misinterpretation, exaggeration, confusion and lies. All very risky when making decisions. 

You don’t need to run around like James Bond to collect Competitor intelligence. But never underestimate the value of knowing what your competitors are doing. Be able to track trends, corporate positioning and products or services changes. Their customer relationship management, sales and marketing strategies and tactics. And like most things, the number of benefits (wins) depends on two things. 

  1. The level of detail you get into
  2. The quality of the analysis you undertake
  3. Oh, and the ability to select a quality partner (like us… 🙂

What is Competitor Analysis?

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Competitor Analysis defines your competitors’ strategies, isolates their strengths and weaknesses. Then compares them to your operation and offers. And then enabling you to counter their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Desk research

The first action is to identify your competitors. Your local ones, the foreign ones, the obvious ones and the rivals you have never heard. And those who offer an alternative substitute product or service to your customers. And then the new offerings in development which will affect your future market share. 

Start by looking at competitor websites. Note down the basics, check out their products and testimonials. Analyse their branding, tone of voice and visuals. Determine how they attract customers.

Set up Google Alerts for each of them and their products. So you are at least getting some of their latest news and views. 

You’ll likely have more competitors than you initially thought. It could be very daunting, but rank them in terms of a direct threat to you. Direct competitors closest to you in the search engine rankings. Place them into:

Key competitors

Your key competitors

Emerging start-ups

The next big thing. Those who have the potential to become key competitors. 

Watching

Potential competitors who have the resources to smash a hole in the market. For instance, eBay developing a similar product to you or BP buying a key competitor.

Be friends with them

In a one on one fight, your competitor is the enemy. They want to take money out of your pocket for themselves. It’s been like that since the beginning of time. 

But, it is a massive world out there, and some (most) of your competitors are not your enemy. And most failed companies are not a result of the action of a tradition competitor. 

It is more likely that you do not do precisely the same thing as your competitor. You operate in the same industry, but you may offer slightly different things. You resolve different customer problems. 

Building relationships with competitors isn’t going to kill your business. It can be invaluable in terms of support. Potentially offer joint venture opportunities, create knowledge sharing and open up collaborative creation of new technologies. 

Meet and grab a coffee with them at exhibitions and have an informal chat. They are not going to force your trade secrets out of you. They will have the same concerns as you and will make great sounding boards. And you never know, generate some leads for you. Clearly, not the leads they are chasing, but that doesn’t match their needs. Let them talk, and you could be amazed by what you learn. 

Social media

Researching social media will give you more knowledge of your competitors. Most reasonably competent companies will have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Assess how well they have been to attract followers and what they are saying to them. What their followers are telling them. Then look at the traditional trade magazines and website. Find industry-focused blogs and forums to see what the insiders think of them. 

Your customers

Attend networking events and talk to your customers and prospects. Listen out for their needs, and how your competitors are doing, what they are doing right and wrong. Ask their advice on a competitor and their products and services. They will hear a lot about competitors because they will be in touch with them more than you. They will have listened to their sales pitch. Maybe they have met the sales team, used their products and experienced their customer services.

Take action

Once you have found and analysed all the information, you think you need to take some time to benchmark them with your offering. Pull out the key insights you have found. Develop your strategies based on the most significant threats and opportunities you may face. Then build the plan and take action. 

Want to know what your competitors are up to then rummage in their bins

This article was called want to know what your competitors are up to then rummage in their bins?. It’s not needed or recommended. We hopefully showed you that you could find more helpful information. A knowledge of what your competitors are up to without having to put any gloves on to rummage through coke cans and sandwich wrappers. But keeping an eye on your competition is incredibly important. To enable you to keep up and get ahead in your industry sector. 

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