Collecting intelligence on your business rivals might seem like something straight out of a spy movie, but you shouldn’t undervalue the importance of monitoring your competitors. Monitoring their performance would give you a crucial edge. By keeping tabs on your competitors, you could see new trends, their range of services and products, corporate positioning, marketing promotions, as well as customer relationship management.
Leverage the power of the Internet.
Considering that you already know your key competitors, look online for their presence, check company websites, e-commerce sites, blogs, and brochures. These would give you an idea of the branding and pricing, which would be helpful for your marketing and price tracking efforts. Subscribe to relevant online trade magazines and forums to see what other people might have to say about your business and your competitors. You could also consider using Google Alert, which could provide you all the latest news about your competitors.
Speak with customers.
Communicating with your customers and your competitors’ customers is vital as you could gain valuable insight on why they chose your business over your competitors and vice versa. If applicable, you could also use mystery shopping to determine how your business compares with your business rivals and how they handle their customers.
Use the information you gathered to your advantage.
For you to use the data you collected, you first have to aggregate and then analyze all the information. Create a table to compare key factors including product, brand, prices, services, as well as marketing promotions between your competitors. Every month or quarter, evaluate this table to get insights on the most significant opportunities and potential threats. Knowing what your business rivals do well would help you in tweaking your offers to make it better and in turn, highlight their weaknesses.
It’s extremely vital that you fully understand your sector so that you could better develop and fine-tune your efforts and stay a step ahead of your competitors. Take note that competitor monitoring is even more crucial if your sector is fast moving or aggressive. Determining the strengths of your rivals would aid you in identifying what’s lacking in your offers, maintaining competitive pricing, and staying on top of things.