5 Valuable Secrets to Knowing Your Competition
For a full list of secrets, download "10 Website Sections Full of Secrets."
How do you stack up against the competition?
What consumer behaviors are driving innovation and competition?
C-level execs want to know the answers. And in order to deliver, you have to really know your competition. Even though there are tons of information to monitor and collect, that's not the difficult part...
To be effective, you have to quickly capture and share information that offers actionable intelligence. But how can you determine fast enough what's relevant versus a waste of time?
We're about to release five valuable secrets you must know to understand your competition. These secrets will show you how to generate accurate market and competitive intelligence for your decision makers-- faster than the competiton:
1) Track Your Competitor's Content
We live in an Internet-driven economy, and the good news is online information is a free-for-all! The downside is that a quick Google search and snoop of your competitor's homepage won’t really give you enough information to know your competitors. Instead, you'll have to creep up on their blogs, press releases, white papers, ebooks, and even social media profiles. These items communicate strategic positioning and value messaging very nicely to strenthen your business case.
2) Know Their Operations Locally & Abroad
There are sly ways to find out what’s going on behind company doors. It just takes a little bit of time. But with competitive intelligence software, you can follow exactly what they put out on the Internet anywhere around the world regardless of language or region. Things like special offers, promotional gimmicks, and unique market trends can be picked up quickly when you can use technology to organize the data for greater visibiliy. To know what regions are most lucrative to your competitors follow public financial information such as SEC filings and annual reports. These great sources can spill the beans about the source of their earnings for next quarter in addition to their strategic plans. If you're not already following this type of information in an automated and consistent format, you could easily miss the mark.
3) Record the Voice of the Customer
Knowing your competition also means knowing their customers. That means you'll have to pin-point where they talk online, and what they're saying as a group. A competitor’s Twitter profile may feature retweets and replies to customers, but that's just want they want users to see. Twitter and other social networks stream much more unfiltered chatter about your competitor. Consumer blogs and forums, for instance, offer tons of juicy chatter direct from the source. When these data streams are combined and centralized together with technology, it's easy to see when customers reveal prized nuggets of information about the competition's products, customer service, or reactions to sales pitches.
4) Follow Industry News Online
Hungry journalists and bloggers eager to get the latest scoop on your industry may be reaching out to your competitors for expert opinions simply because of the information they publish online. Tracking trade blogs or online publications for certain keyword phrases can show you what journalists are saying about your competitors: good or bad. Get into the habit of following industry bloggers and you'll find out how competitors are generating new prospects online and free e-PR. Doing this alone will help you fine tune your online marketing initiatives tremendously and help you to know your competitors better over time.
5) Crash Competitor Events & Webinars
Companies attending industry events can show you who they're targeting in the act. Many companies use these events as a vehicle to launch new initiatives or products so it’s a great way to know their messaging and their audience's reaction to it. Webinars are also a great source especially if you find a way to attend them and record your findings. If you make a habit of doing this, you'll know how to switch things up a bit.
Knowing the competition does not mean you have to trail or copy their every move. But you want to monitor these areas to help you understand your competition, their strategy, and what your company can do to stay competitive. CI technology can be very useful since following different websites online can be extremely costly and a waste of time if done manually.
There are many ways to know your competition online: some more easy than others. To learn how to gain a competitive advantage using business intelligence and competitor monitoring software in your department, download one of our helpful competitive guides.
What do you think? Do you regularly monitor this information? What other information is also crucial to understand your competition?