If you want your business to stand out in a crowded market, you need a thoughtful, distinctive marketing strategy that sets your product apart from the competition. Knowing which companies you’re up against and what they have to offer will give your marketing team an advantage. To that end, let’s look at some areas where effective competitive intelligence gathering can improve your marketing strategy:
Sometimes spotting the competition is obvious. If your industry is dominated by a few major players, it makes sense to keep track of their respective marketing strategies. But there are always new, up-and-coming businesses to consider, many of which may not even be on your radar until they pose a serious threat to your customer base. Effective competitive intelligence allows your team to discover and analyze potential new competitors, while still keeping tabs on what the more established companies are doing.
Once you know who you want to watch, you also need to ensure that you’re getting a complete picture of their public profile. Beyond websites and press releases, monitoring external sites like social media platforms and job boards can turn up useful info. Be sure to look beyond Facebook and Twitter-- sites like YouTube, SlideShare, and Vimeo are also worth tracking.
After you’ve identified the competition, it’s important to understand what they’re offering. Knowing about a competitors’ pricing, release schedule, product features, upcoming events, and new services can offer valuable marketing insights-- if you know where to find that kind of information. A thorough understanding of what other businesses can provide your potential customers will allow your marketing team to build a more precise strategy that highlights your competition’s weaknesses and your product’s relative strengths.
Beyond the product itself, the marketing content your competition produces to support and promote its products can be a source of opportunity. Keep an eye on how and where customers engage with other businesses in your industry space. What content gets the most views? What garners the most engagement? Look for trends or popular topics that could be adapted or expanded on in your own marketing content.
Understanding how your competition is selling itself and its products to your potential customers can also help you identify gaps in their strategy that are waiting to be exploited. For instance, another company in your industry might run an active Facebook page, while its popular blog only gets updated once every month or so. Your business might be able to siphon some views (and customers) by publishing more blog content to fill that void. A systematic, continuous intelligence gathering process will help you spot that kind of pattern.
Competitive research allows you to learn from your competition’s successes and failures when it comes to customer satisfaction. Financial reports, social media postings, and reviews can all offer insight into how content their current customers really are. And by monitoring what, how, and how often other businesses communicate with potential customers, you can start to identify how they generate and pursue leads.
If your marketing strategy could use a competitive intelligence boost, contact CI Radar today to set up a free demonstration.