Unlike big brands, small businesses generally do not have the resources to track their competitors’ marketing strategy without spending a lot of money and time.
But if you make a regular process of it, there are many ways to track your competitors easily and effectively.
Here are six places your competitors track your marketing activities!
And you, as well, can start today:
- Sign up for Google Alerts
- Connect with competitors on social media
- Enroll in your competitors’ mailing and promotions
- Become a secret shopper
- Visit their trade show booths
- Monitor your competitors’ website
1. Sign up for Google Alerts
Getting updates on your competitions’ activity online is absolutely free via Google Alerts, and it couldn’t be easier to set up.
Just insert your competitors’ names into the search query and select which results you want to be notified of — including news, blogs, video and discussion.
You can have those notifications sent to you as they happen, every day or weekly, just right in your email inbox.
2. Connect with competitors on social media
Make sure you track both the brand and its key leaders to get a sense of what they are doing.
As a restaurant owner, you may want to follow the names of restaurants you compete with
As well as the chefs and restaurateurs to get a full picture of their activity.
3. Enroll in your competition’s mailings and promotions
Sign up for your competitors’ e-mail and direct marketing campaigns, commonly known as Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) programs.
Become a regular “customer” and you’ll quickly see what kind of offers they provide and how they stack up to yours.
4. Become a secret shopper
Conduct shopping trips to try out your competitors’ customer experience, both online and in-store.
Purchase your competitors’ products to see what the process feels like.
Take notes on the customer service techniques you are seeing, as well as how the assortment of products are sourced, merchandised and priced.
5. Visit their trade show booths
When you go to trade shows, be sure to pick up your competitor’s materials.
if you are in the home furnishing industry, attending a local home show is a great place to pick up competitive brochures, pricing and product line information
So that you can stay current to industry trends and marketing strategy fits your potential customers.
What is the goal?
Of course, the goal here is to make sure all the marketing elements that form your brand experience are better than those of your competitors.
If you see something that doesn’t seem to be working, could the same be said of your marketing?
Determine the most effective ways to engage your customers.
It’s very easy to identify those other brands that offer exactly what you do.
Look beyond the obvious and follow your indirect competitors as well. Who are the competitors that can draw time, attention and money away from your brand?
For example, if you run a local gift shop, other gift shops are not your only competition.
You are competing for shoppers at other local stores, movie theatres, florists and restaurants in the area as well as online gift shoppers.
Many small businesses see online brands as their biggest competition, regardless of location.
Looking at your competition’s marketing strategy more broadly will help you understand all the marketing messages directed at your customers.
Only then can you stay on top of your game.
Now, Your Turn
Do you know any website or free tool that you use for tracking your competitors? Or you may have heard but don’t know if it works well.
Name them here in the comment so we can discuss 🙂