Lat week we published part 1 of this article kindly contributed by our guest blogger Jim Connolly.
Part 2 brings to you some expert advice to start your competitior analysis.
Competitor Analysis on the Internet.
To start with, if you would like to get a ‘general’ idea of how much traffic your competitors get to their website, you can check them out right now for free – here’s how. Depending on the industry you are in, you can often get a mountain of extremely valuable information by visiting a competitors’ website. If you are in retail, for example, you will immediately be able to see; their product lines, prices, delivery times, guarantees etc.
No matter what industry you are in, most websites will have an ‘about’ page, which tells you all about the company. You should also be able to tell very quickly what each company thinks it’s best at – because people sell their services based on their strengths!
You will also be able to tell in seconds, if they have had their website professionally copy written or not. This is a key indicator as to how seriously they take their marketing.
Conversations with THEIR clients
Whenever you meet someone, who is using the services of one of your competitors, ask them how well they are being looked after. This is a more accurate measurement of the quality of a competitor’s services, than the earlier example; where people with an axe to grind were relied upon.
An existing client is someone who can generally, be seen as having an ‘average’ or ‘typical’ experience of a service provider. If they say their service provider is great or awful – ask them; “In what way?” Then listen!
Avoid conversations with suppliers.
I have found conversations with suppliers, who also supply one’s competitors, to be close to worthless! Also, be extremely careful what you say to anyone who gives you too much information. As my mother used to tell me; “those who bring news, carry news!”
After your Competitor Analysis - What next?
After your Competitor Analysis, take a good close look at your own business and find ways to beat them! Don’t just try to match them - look at how you can go one better. If you cannot offer a better service to someone than they already get - why on earth should they switch to you?
For example, would YOU go through all the hassle of switching from your current; accountant, insurance broker, bank or recruitment provider; for a service that’s no better than you already receive?
Of course not – and NOR WOULD ANYONE ELSE!
Only when you have developed a service that you know, with confidence, is better than your competition, are you ready to market it. When you have a great service, and you get that message in front of potential clients with compelling marketing, the sky’s the limit. You can achieve anything!
Teimlo would like to thank Jim Connolly for contributing this article. If you would like to contribute an article offering some expert advice please contact Marie.