There are many things to consider when marketing a business and the competition is one of them. Being aware of how competitors are marketing themselves can provide insight and ideas that help a company jump ahead. A small skin care business may have limited resources to analyze the packaging, promotion, advertising, and online activities of its competitors. Fortunately, there are simple, fast, and inexpensive ways to do this.
Marketing should be an ongoing task so make it a regular business process. To get started, sign up for free Google Alerts that provide updates regarding online activity of competitors. Enter the names of a competition into a Google Alerts search query and choose whether to track news, videos, blogs, or discussions. Notifications can be sent weekly, daily, or whenever the query parameters are met.
Signing up for direct marketing and email campaigns from the competition provides first-hand knowledge of what these companies are doing. Use marketing campaign themes, designs, and offers to get inspiration and ensure that your company is holding its own. Develop social media connections with competitors by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter and Pinterest. Track the businesses as well as their key players because these individuals may make posts that provide insights into marketing strategies.
When attending trade shows, stop by competitor booths and pick up copies of their marketing materials to identify whether your company is missing the boat on pricing or promotion. Take things even further by becoming a secret shopper. Purchase competitor products or services online and in stores and assess the experience from the perspective of a customer. Note product sourcing, pricing, and merchandising as well as the techniques used by customer service representatives.
Review competitor websites regularly to identify new designs and functionalities. If a competitor is quick to jump on new trends, follow the same approach, attempting to beat it at its own game. Look at the information that some sites provide and determine whether your site is up to par. If a special offer seems to be particularly effective, consider providing it.
Using these methods, a small business marketer can ensure that efforts exceed those used by the competition. When defining competitors, include companies that indirectly compete with the brand, focusing on any business that could steal attention and market share. By taking a broad view of the competition and its marketing efforts, even the smallest business can get to the top of the pile.