7 Steps To Effective Online Competitor Analysis

Regardless of the size of the marketplace or the specific market sector, your business operates in, you likely have competition. Whether that competition is fierce, or whether you compete on friendly terms, the success of your business very much relies upon how much of the market share your business can win.

Increasing that market share can be done in many ways such as creating new products, providing great customer service, and offering great value for money. Highly effective marketing, especially online in this internet age, is another great way to beat your competition. However, all of these efforts will be tempered if you lack a crucial piece of the jigsaw and that is having knowledge about your competitors.

If we take sport for example when a team or individual knows a great deal about the person or team they are opposing they can use that knowledge to focus on their strengths and take advantage of their opponent’s weakness. That same pimple exists in business. To be able to take advantage of this, you must first learn about your competition using competitor analysis. Read on and we will highlight 7 steps to doing this most effectively.

Decide And Describe Who Your Competitors Are: Do you know who your real competition is? It is amazing to see so many business owners carry out this step and find competitors they did not they had, and discover companies they thought were competitors, were targeting a different audience completely. Take time over this and ensure that the businesses which you are going to analyse further are those targeting the same audience as you.

Determine What They Are Offering The Market: This follows on from the previous step, and now you are going to dive deeper into what your competitors are offering your market. Check their website, their brochures, visit their store, and if need be, call them and ask for prices and even a quotation.

Assess Their Online Presence: Assuming you want to be able to beat your competition by bettering them at digital marketing, you need to assess how they market themselves online. Visit their website, social media pages and YouTube channel plus sign up for their email list for firsthand access to their marketing messages.

Identify And List Your Competitors’ Strengths: Be prepared to find that some of your competitors are doing a great job in many areas, and if you want to compete with them you need to know what their strengths are. Is it their products? Social media? Email marketing? Customer service?

Identify And List Your Competitors’ Weaknesses: Your competition is not to be great at everything…no business is. This means they will have weaknesses that hopefully you can exploit. Assess where they are failing or at least not doing as well as you are, or as well as you would expect of a business of their type and size.

Determine What Your Threats Are: Time for some soul-searching as it were, and having looked at where your competitors are weak, you now have to assess where you could be doing better. You especially need to pinpoint areas where your weakness and your competitors’ strengths match as these are the biggest threats. From this must take measures to mitigate the threats from your competition and at the same time formulate a plan to  improve in your weakest areas

Determine What Your Opportunities Are: What you do here is look at which parts of your business are strongest and then identify how they present opportunities for you to beat your competition, especially in areas where they are weakest as these are your easiest wins.