One of the first steps of creating a marketing strategy is identifying your competitors.
By analyzing your competition, you can determine ways your business can stand out from the crowd.
If you skip this step, you are going to miss a critical marketing knowledge, so here is a simple process you can follow to identify key competitors in your marketing.
7 Steps To Identifying Competitors In Your Marketing
Step 1: Take stock of your primary offerings
Figure out what your main offerings (products or services) are and write them down.
We recommend doing this in a spreadsheet, but you can also keep it simple and use a piece of paper.
This is what you will be competing with others on, so don’t include minor, tangential products or services that only make up a small percentage of your revenue.
Step 2: Pretend you are a consumer
Do a Google search for the products and services you offer, or look for them on Amazon or other online marketplaces. Think about it – where would your ideal customer start looking?
Phone books are still a great way of finding local competition, but don’t skip the Google search! Even if you operate locally, the rise of the global economy means you have to keep global competition in mind as well.
Pick 5 to 10 potential competitors and add them to your spreadsheet.
Step 3: Narrow it down
You should identify your marketing competitors by:
- Your industry, such as Brazilian coffee imports
- Your market, which encompasses the coffee suppliers in your area
- The strategic group, or the suppliers using the same prices and marketing strategies as you are
You may have competitors in more than one of these areas, so make a note of these categories in your spreadsheet as well.
Step 4: Ask around
Word of mouth is a great way to discover where your ideal customer typically shops and which businesses have been successful. Simply ask your friends and family or post a question on social media!
If you want to take it a step further, consider hiring a market research firm to do it for you.
Step 5: Zero in on their competitive advantage
What is unique about each of your competitors? Do they use promotions, bundles, free shipping or extra services in their marketing?
You should be able to identify the ways each of your competitors differentiates their product and start coming up with your own unique angles.
Step 6: Sign up for their newsletter
It’s not enough to identify your marketing competitors and forget about them.
You should keep an eye on their business and see if you can improve your own marketing practices.
You can also use this knowledge in sales conversations, for example, when talking about what other companies in your niche are offering (and why your product is better).
Step 7: Define your competitive advantage
Now that you have seen what the other companies have to offer, it is time to define your own competitive advantage.
If someone was searching for suppliers or providers in your area, what would make YOU stand out?
How Handmade SEO Can Help
Here at Handmade SEO, we don’t just grow traffic.
Identifying and analyzing competitors in your marketing is a big part of the Handmade SEO process. We then use that knowledge to build you a marketing strategy that establishes you as the go-to business in your niche.