How Can Understanding Your Competition Help You Gain Success?
Your competition may have access to various data related to market trends, marketing, and even consumers. Understanding how they run their business helps you isolate potential problems within your own business.
Say you were studying your competitor’s pricing points. You come across a product that nearly immediately sold out, while another that hasn’t. You realize that the difference in price between the two played a role in the success. The cheaper item sold out faster. This helps you understand consumer buying patterns in the area. It also lets you make better decisions about your pricing strategies.
You can also consider learning about your competition’s marketing strategy. This is made easy with social media and digital marketing. The idea behind studying your contest is related to using their successes and mistakes to build a consistent path to business success.
Here are five ways you can study your competition:
1. Competitor Analysis
Conducting a competitor analysis helps you understand your competition using research and analytical models. You will need to gather data on your competition. There are two kinds of data you can gather:
Primary Data: Data from interviews, by talking to previous employees, talking to customers, visiting locations, etc.
Secondary Data: Data obtained from magazines, blogs, newspapers, and other third parties.
You’ll also need to consider variables that you want to study. This can include how your competitor approaches customers, how they handle operations etc. Ideally, your analysis should try to answer questions about your competition.
At the end of the analysis, you’ll have a deep understanding of your competition.
2. Study Your Industry
To truly understand who your competition are, you should also think about researching your industry. This helps you learn about new players in the field who can become competitive as well. By learning about the successful businesses in your industry, as well as how they got there, you can take your business down a similar route.
3. Isolate Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Not only do you need information about competition, you also need information that can help you grow your business. You can achieve this goal by analyzing the SWOT of your competitors.
Consider conducting a separate SWOT analysis of different competitors.
Here, you’re looking at their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also be looking at the opportunities they have available, or those they have taken advantage of.
Finally, you also want to list out how they are a threat to your business. Do they have better pricing strategies? Have they shifted to eCommerce? How did it go?
4. Website and Testimonials
Don’t miss out on their business websites either. Through your competition’s business website, you can understand the services they offer. You can also learn about their online marketing strategies, such as whether they are hosting a blog.
They could also be backlinking their videos related to their industry as well.
You can also think about reading customer testimonials on their website, social media, and other review websites. This is a good way for you to understand customer pain points.
5. Social Media
Your competitor’s social media can tell you a lot about them as well. Through social media, you can learn about their marketing strategies. You can see how they interact with their customers, as well as how they market to different target markets.
Monitoring their social media can help you generate your own marketing strategies.
The more you know about your competition, the more data you have regarding your own business decisions. From what products are in trend, to ideas on how to resonate with your customers, your competition has a lot to teach you about business.
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- Gleeson, AG, March 4th 2021, ‘Why You Need to Know Your Business Competition’, viewed April 9th 2021, https://www.liveplan.com/blog/why-do-you-need-to-know-your-competition/
- Meissner, SM, December 2nd 2015, ‘4 Reasons Why It Is Vital to Study Your Competition’, viewed April 9th 2021, https://www.liveadmins.com/blog/4-reasons-why-it-is-vital-to-study-your-competition
- Tubis, NT, March 1st 2018, ‘,How to Study Your Competition to See Business Success’, viewed April 9th 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/03/01/how-to-study-your-competition-to-see-business-success/?sh=7d028638559e
- Staff, ‘Understand Your Competitors’, viewed April 9th 2021, https://m.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/understand-your-competitors/