Learning about our competition is one of the best ways to improve what we do. It takes a sense of humility to understand that we may not be the best, most popular, or at least the most-established service yet. But we essentially have to keep an eye on our competition in the marketplace, and that is relatively easy to do through the Internet. There are various factors that will either help us advance or fall behind in market-share; so managing those factors appropriately is key to maximizing success.
Pride can be a good and bad thing. It can be a rewarding feeling for a job well done, or it can blind us in turn from learning how we can further improve our business.
A willingness to set pride aside, perform an analysis of your competition, and implement the better aspects of their strategies – will ensure you the greatest possible success.
Confidence and humility go hand-in-hand because it takes confidence to confront our shortcomings. Accepting our individual situation is the first step in properly understanding our competition. We must put our egos aside and we shouldn’t sugar-coat hard truths as doing so can defeat the purpose of the overall analysis. Where do business’ analytic results fall short from your current goals, and by how much? How far of a distance are you from meeting your goals?
Next let’s take a look at the competition. How do their prices compare to yours? What do they offer more or less of? How effectively are they utilizing social media?
Take note of all the differences you can find between their business and marketing model and yours. Are they using marketing tricks? If so, what positive or negative impact do you think it is having for them? How does their website compare to yours? Does it use more modern design techniques? Is it simpler or more complex than your website? What kind of feeling does the competition website give to you? Mark down a list of any ideas for improvements that you think would enhance your website.
One we fully understand evaluate our competition’s methods of success from an objective viewpoint, we can create a foundation for insight, action, and improvement.
Interpretation and Assessment
Keep in mind any insights from previous customer feedback when openly asking yourself: “What do you like about your competition in contrast to your business? What are their strengths and weaknesses?” If they appear to be having success with their social media channels, how are they managing to getting the extra attention?
Overall what have you learned from a surface view of things? What differences are there comparing your operations and theirs? How does their target audience differ from yours? What else have you learned? Formulate an organized list of useful insights.
Now it is time to implement what you have learned and build an action plan around what was discovered. Consider ways you can adjust your advertising, content strategy, and product/service strategy based on your discoveries. Simply attempting to copy the strategies of competitors is usually a bad idea. Instead evaluate what works for your competition and adapt it to your business’s unique circumstances; including the best that the competition has to offer without compromising your core business.
Instead of envy, the best view of competition is to view them as intelligence assets. With a realistic and intelligent approach, you or your team can discover your competition’s greatest advantages. By discovering your strengths and weaknesses; your business will be stronger for the effort.
There is one remaining step; that is to evaluate the effectiveness of your changes, and if necessary, return to the drawing board.
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