Cola and Pepsi, MacDonalds and Burger King, Nike and Reebok, Nintendo and Sega, Ford and Chevrolet, Amazon and Walmart – these are huge corporations and world influencers. However, they are also eternal competitors, trying everything possible to overshade each other. With this desire to be better, companies never stop developing and improving their production, service, and communication with the customer.
The major market players always keep tabs on the rivals’ performance and strategies while building their business lines. The minor players, small businesses, are also learning from their surroundings, to become a strong part of their niche market and climb up the ladder.
Winning the customer’s attention is hard work, however, keeping them loyal is even more difficult because there are lots of competitors out there, who do everything to win away your clients.
Regular observation of the rivals’ performance will help to build a stronger marketing plan anticipating all the measures they are going to take.
What are the most efficient forms of rival observation?
- Just Google it!
Google is the first tool to use when analyzing your competitors. It will show you all the geographically close companies and you can reach their website. This primary information will give you a clear vision of the competitor because the website is like a business card. This first step will provide you with insight into the company’s performance style and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
- Research SWOT
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When all these qualities will be identified, you will have a competitor’s profile in full view. After creating the profile, it’s worth creating the same of yours (be unbiased and self-critical enough) and compare with the others. This is the way to see your pain points, and strong sides, when contrasted with others, and anticipate the future steps of the rivals.
The SWOT analysis requires a great deal of information and good knowledge to operate with it. If this is not a hard skill of yours, it’s better to order the competitor research survey, in order to get a well-compiled report and put it to further use.
- Identify key brand feature
When working on your brand image, it’s worth checking your competitors and their distinctive features, because you don’t want to sound the same or worse. Besides, it’s crucial to define your tone of voice, as it will set the right mood for your further performance.
- Become their customer
It’s a rather devious approach, however, that’s the only way to check things out from the inside. You will see how everything works, what flaws and positive aspects of the service are, and, of course, use this knowledge to correlate or improve your style.
- Follow their website, social networks, and blogs
It is important to be aware of everything that happens in your company and what the competitors do as well. Luckily, all the activities are now presented on the webspace. After becoming an observer of social networks, you will be able to track how your rivals build up their image and brand. Customer comments and on-page activities will also complement the list of needs of the target group.
- Research sales tactics
The first biggest obstacle on your way to success is a client. The e-commerce market is cluttered with small businesses, there’s a lot of competition, and it’s quite difficult to stand out from the crowd and prove your uniqueness. Analyze what the competitors do, how they attract customers, how often they have sales and discounts, and how many customers respond to their offers.
- Check the advertisement
Advertisement is almost always annoying. However, when masterfully created, it attracts the customer into the sales funnel. It’s also worth checking the reactions of people and trying to make out what caused the annoyance or likes. This information will help you a better ad for your company.
Observation will not be full without the customer’s vision. There is obviously some pre-paid stuff, however, when filtering the sweetest reviews, you can see the big picture. As nobody but customers will help you to define the strongest and weakest points in the competitors’ work.
- Employee reviews
While it seems like an irrelevant option, it’s a helpful source of information. Rarely will you find a person who wants to write positive reviews, only the dissatisfied ones have something to say, they are extremely good at spilling the beans. Such information will show all the problems from the inside and the whole company atmosphere as well, which have a direct influence on the way they perform.
- Pricing Strategies
Price fights are fierce, always. Pay attention to the way they form the price. Just selling something cheaper will not help matters, as you will just work at a loss. Focus on the strong points, goodness, and uniqueness of your product, hence, the customer will be willing to buy quality for the money you offer.
Every small business requires a great idea and enough persistence to lead it up the market ladder. However, after starting up your company, it’s important to remember that you are not a sole player and competitors have a direct influence on your performance as well. The efficiency of your business strategy will also depend on the work of other companies. Therefore, by being an active observer and analyst, you will increase and strengthen your position in the market.