Can you afford not to be monitoring your competition’s marketing efforts? For most of us, studying the competition is not really our favorite way to spend our marketing dollars. So, how do you stay ahead of the competition without breaking the bank? We’ve got 5 easy, cost-effective techniques that may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
1. Check out their website
Watch for updates like product launches, added site capabilities, and customer responses — anything that might indicate they’re getting a jump on you in terms of products or services. You might also find areas where you excel at something they don’t and can highlight that advantage.
2. Follow their social media
As a follower of their brand pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. you’ll get automatic updates about your competition’s activity, including their marketing efforts.
3. Monitor their activity across the internet
Set up a free Google Alerts account and be notified of any online media activity that features your competition. You can see news about them, blog posts, and videos. You can specify whether you want real-time alerts, or daily or weekly batches of alerts.
4. Shop their products and services
First-hand experience with their brand shines a bright light on what they’re doing better or worse than you. While you’re “shopping,” examine everything from product assortments and prices, to package design and customer experience.
5. Receive their e-mail and direct mail promotions
It’s easy to get on their mailing lists. Then, everything they’re doing in these marketing channels is delivered to your inbox for free. Through their website, you can usually request brochures and other sales literature; or you can pick them up at a trade show booth.
Consistency breeds success
The key to success is regular monitoring. It won’t cost you much in money, but it will take a little of your time. Being tuned in to what your competition is doing with their mar-com efforts, can help you differentiate your brand.