One thing for certain today is that sustainable competitive advantage is a misnomer.
They say a marketer’s job is never done, and when it comes to analyzing your competition, nothing could be truer. It’s vitally important to track every aspect of your competitors’ marketing, including their packaging, advertising, promotion, social media and website activity.
Unlike big brands, SMEs generally don’t have the resources to track their competition without spending a lot of money and time. But if you make a regular process of it, there are many ways to track your competitors easily and effectively. Here are six places to start.
1. Sign up for Google Alerts
Getting updates on your competitions’ activity online is absolutely free via Google Alerts, and it couldn’t be easier to set up. Just insert your competitors’ names into the search query and select what results you want to be notified of — including news, blogs, video and discussion. You can have those notifications sent to you as they happen, every day or weekly.
2. Connect with competitors on social media
‘Like’ and ‘follow’ your competition on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Make sure you track both the brand and its key leaders to get a sense of what they’re doing. For example, as a restaurant owner, you may want to follow the names of restaurants you compete with as well as the chefs and restaurateurs to get a full picture of their activity.
3. Enroll in your competition’s mailings and promotions
Sign up for your competitors’ email and direct marketing campaigns, commonly known as customer relationship marketing (CRM) programs. Become a regular ‘customer’ and you’ll quickly see what kind of offers they provide and how they stack up to yours.
4. Become a secret shopper
Conduct shopping trips to try out your competitors’ customer experience, both online and in-store. Purchase your competitors’ products to see what the process feels like. Take notes on the customer service techniques you’re seeing, as well as how the assortment of products are sourced, merchandised and priced. […]
Read full article via Entrepreneur Magazine.