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4 simple steps for effective competitor analysis

As a full-service digital marketing agency that thrives on helping businesses grow, we think effective competitor analysis is essential. After all, who wants to go into the boxing ring not knowing who their opponent is? To gain an edge over your competitors and stay ahead of industry trends, you need to be proactive rather than reactive – and that can only be done from anticipating your competitor’s next move.

What is competitor analysis?

The purpose of competitor analysis is to fully understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to the market you’re in. Not only will it help you to see your own flaws [and perfections], but it will highlight gaps where you can do things 100 times better and receive even more attention from valuable customers.

Whether you’re just starting out, or have been in the game longer than Bill Gates, doing a thorough competitor analysis can kickstart a more strategic, profitable chapter of your business and get you feeling more in control of where you’re heading.

At 3 Phase Marketing, we’re all about running your own race and standing out from the crowd – but if you want to do that, you’ve got to know who the crowd is, right? That’s why we’ve put together 6 simple tips for effective competitor analysis to get you started:

1. Figure out who your competitors are

It seems obvious, but lots of businesses don’t even know who they’re up against – let alone their strengths and weakness. There are two main types of competitors to look at:

  • Direct competitors: those who sell the same products or services as you, aimed at the same target market.
  • Indirect competitors: businesses offering the same or similar products or services as you but could be targeting a different audience with a slightly different need. If you sell bouquets of flowers online, an indirect competitor could sell gift hampers and therefore have the potential to take away some of your business.

Use a Google search to find out what companies are offering the same or similar products to you. Even just by searching for the name of your own business, Google will show you what businesses are similar to yours. Searching for the product and service in your geographical area, for example, ‘digital marketing agency in Sydney’ will show you those competing for your audience locally.

Did you know that the Australian Taxation Office releases small business benchmarks each year? You can use this to compare similar businesses to yours. and help sniff out what competitors are up to in your industry.

2. Compare the basics

Once you’ve got your list of competitors, it’s time to evaluate some basics, including:

  • The geographical areas they operate in
  • The social media channels they use and how many followers they have
  • Pricing – are they a high or low-cost provider?
  • What’s their market share?
  • What channels do they sell on?

It’s not all about the facts and figures – digging a little deeper to examine how your competitors see themselves can be the key to great competitor analysis. Take a look on their website and social channels to investigate their messaging and values too. How do they compare to yours? In what ways might they be trying to relate to future customers in ways you hadn’t yet considered?

3. Customer reviews and engagement

One nifty way to figure out where there might be gaps in the market [that you can take advantage of] is to read customer reviews. What are customers asking for more of? What don’t they like about your competitor’s product or service? Could you improve on shipping times? Customer service?

Take advantage of the free market research out there to figure out how your business can be the best it can be.

4. What’s their content like?

Some businesses use TikTok, others use podcasts, others use informative webinars. Are businesses like yours reaching audiences in ways you’ve never considered before? What content resonates with customers the most?

We’re allllll about effective digital content marketing at 3PM because we know it can literally turn a business around. From lead generation to the creation of meaningful B2C relationships – great content is everything. When you know what content your competitors are putting out there, you can figure out what they’re doing that resonates, and which falls flat.

Think outside the box, and inside their shoes

At 3PM, we know that thinking outside the box and always staying curious can unlock real success. So, if you’re inspired by a business who isn’t a competitor, that’s okay too. You could sell bread rolls but prefer to look at Rolls Royce’s customer service strengths and weaknesses than at other local bakeries.

It’s all about putting yourself in the shoes [or the slippers if you’re in lockdown right now] of your customers and thinking about what would make them tick [and click].

If you need tailored advice about how your business can grow and deliver your customers something bigger and better, contact 3PM today. Whether it’s taking a look at your SEM, getting found on Google through SEO, or crafting a killer content marketing strategy – we’ve got you covered.

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