The kind of product or services your business is offering doesn't matter, the fact is, it will always face competition. The key to success is understanding your competitors and ways they conduct their business. It is essential to understand the brand of products or services they offer, the marketing strategy they use, the model of distributing and delivery system, how they utilize technology, and how customers perceive their brand. However, these factors are not always simple to assess.
There are always two types of competitors in the market; Direct competitors, are those who sell similar products like your and Indirect competitors are those who sell slightly different products to yours. Understanding competition is vital for the business. The following points offer some way to get a better understanding of your competitors.
1. Communicate with Your Customers
It sounds easy, but unfortunately, many don’t do enough of it. No one can give you a clear picture of the competition rather than the customer. For instance, if a new customer shifts to get their product or service somewhere else, it is important to ask them why they made a switch. Also, although it might be a bit difficult, it is essential to reach out to former customers and find out the reason why they stopped using your business and switched to the competitor. You can’t implement useful changes without gathering the right information from the right source.
2. Interact with Your Competitors
The secret here is to use the right approach to reach your competitors, and through them, you can learn a lot about the company by asking relevant questions. While they will not reveal all of their business strategies, it is possible to get some high-level information like the size of the company, the production level and new ventures they may be planning to move into.
3. How to Respond to the Information Concerning Your Competitors
After evaluating the information regarding your competitors, you will be in a better position to identify the gaps in the market and assess it. The information can also be used to determine whether there is a saturation of certain products in the market, which can lead you to focus on less competitive sectors. Also, after discovering the situation in the market, table out all the factors you have found, no matter how small, and try to answer the following questions.
What lessons can I learn in order to improve?
In which areas are they performing worse than you?
In which areas are they outperforming you?
4. Conduct Online Surveys
Obvious, competitor research sets off by conducting online research through Google to their site, surveying every page into detail. However, some software allows you to search on the keywords and AdWords that competitors buy. Also, through web data integration, you can retrieve information from the past that could give you information about your competitors.
5. Attend Business Seminars, Conferences and Expos
Plenty of valuable information is shared during these regular meetings. Observing your competitors in action will give you helpful insights about their businesses. When there is more than one competitor in your field, it can help you to compare the performance of both and draw a solid conclusion
It is very crucial for you to understand about the positioning, pricing, strengths, and weakness with your competitor. The information you collect in your industry and your own business will help you to reform your marketing model and truly shine to your target audience.