How well do you really match up against your competitors?

This blog is about taking your knowledge about your competitors to a much deeper level which will identify opportunities to grow your business and your profitability.

Task one – carry out Google searches on all the possible search terms relevant to your products and services or which might be used by your potential customers. Print out or record the results of the searches and summarise the key conclusions.

Doing this before you look at the websites of your major competitors gives you a feel for how your market looks from a potential customer’s point of view. This often shows that what you might perceive to be ‘weaker’ competitors rank higher on search engines or come across more strongly on the Internet than you and this has important implications for your marketing strategy.

I should warn you that I have seen the owners of good businesses get really angry when they realise that a competitor who they consider to be a ‘cowboy’ actually looks quite impressive if you are a potential customer who is searching on Google for their product and service and who then looks at their website. If this happens to you I suggest that you abide by the age old maxim – ‘Don’t get mad get even’ and gaining a better understanding of what your competitors are really up to is a great place to start.

Task two – now you can look at the websites of your major competitors, print out key pages and summarise the strengths and weaknesses as well as any clues about their strategy and the type of customers they are targeting.

Task three – finally you need to think of all the other possible sources of competitor information including advertising, PR material, social media pages and activity, and where appropriate seeking feedback from your most trusted customers.

Now that you have a wealth of information about your key competitors it makes sense to organise it so that it will be of greatest value in developing a competitive marketing strategy. You can do this by summarising the key attributes of each competitor on a single page or you can put your main competitors and the most important competitive attributes in your market on two sides of a matrix and then devise a scoring system which will summarise the relative strengths of each competitor.

These steps will get you started on building your understanding of what your competitors are up to and what you can do to beat them. Look at the MGBA website for more ideas about how to improve your marketing and other aspects of your business.

I love helping business owners get to grips with their marketing so if you have any questions or would like more information please visit the MGBA website www.mgba.co.uk or contact me using the details below:-

 

E-mail: peter.schofield@mgba.co.uk

Mobile: 07831 550157