When formulating a marketing and sales plan, one of the best places to start is with your competition – what better way to get a feel for what is working, what you can do better, and how to set yourself apart? As Steve Strauss discusses in his article How to Research Your Competition, using marketing research and competitive analysis is key in understanding the market landscape.
So just how should you research your competition?
1. Start with their website – it should contain history, product or service positioning and other useful information.
2. Do physical research – visit their store, call their customer service or purchase from them…what better way to see how they do business than to become their customer?
3. Speak to their customers – either literally or though their reviews and feedback.
4. Attend industry events – where they might present, attend or share information.
In short, once you do your homework, knowing what the competition does right (and wrong), can help you set your business and strategy apart and give your business the boost it needs.