Whether you’re a micro-business, an established brand or just someone with the beginnings of a great idea, it pays to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Through competitor analysis, you can future-proof your business and anticipate what’s around the corner for your industry or sector. Just as an antelope always needs to keep its eye on the horizon to spot a pack of lions, you need to constantly keep track of what your competitors are doing so that your place in the industry isn’t eaten up.
I’ve been in business for 14 years now, and to this day I take competitor analysis seriously. I often spend time looking at competitors’ websites to see how they do business. Trying to work out their business model, what their products and services are and how they present their offering is a great exercise that gives me a lot to consider about what we could do in our business.
By keeping in mind the following points, you too can use your competitors to improve your own business.
Four Key Ways To Analyse Your Competition
Despite being dimly aware that everyone does it, us British business owners hate being too upfront about looking at our competitors.
However, tact and politeness aside, knowing as much as possible about your five closest competitors is a business necessity. Competitor analysis is not about copying other businesses; it’s about understanding what they are doing, especially in terms of marketing strategy.
To succeed in business, it is imperative that you know the following about your competitors:
- What range of products (or services) do they offer?
- How have they packaged their products?
- How have they priced their products?
- How do they write about their products and what style of marketing copy do they use?
How To Analyse Your Competitors
We recently built our new website from scratch. When building any website, the process of working out navigation and content for each new page is hard work. However, by analysing competitors’ websites we could see for ourselves what would work on our site and what would not.
Well-crafted website copy stands out and can be the difference between securing new business and losing potential clients to your competitors. If you’re just starting out, you can get a real head start by seeing how your competitors write their copy.
Any business’s success is the result of an enormous amount of trial and error, so be sure to evaluate what aspects of your competitors’ services really work and apply what you find out to your own business. That way you can streamline your own strategy and avoid many of your competitors’ pitfalls along the way. You will waste less time correcting your own mistakes by learning from your competitors’ mistakes.
As well as avoiding mistakes, your competitors can also show you what works for them. For example, if you see that a competitor has been doing lots of pay-per-click advertising for a long period of time, it’s probably a safe bet that that method is proving profitable. Succeeding at PPC requires a certain amount of expertise, but if your competitors are making it work, there’s every chance you can too.
I recommend that you subscribe to your competitors’ email marketing. Someone’s email marketing is a sort of window that enables you to analyse their entire marketing strategy.
Email marketing allows you to see the overall thinking behind:
- Promotion of a product or service
- Special offers
- Style of copy and content
- Branding and visual identity
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