Check Out The Competition To Get a Leg Up on Them

Being an industry leader is a goal many companies hope to achieve.

While most companies prefer to be thought of as a leader rather than a follower, it doesn’t hurt to do a little of both. By paying attention to your competition, you put yourself in an advantageous position. You’re better able to follow industry trends, see what works and what doesn’t, and simply be more in tune with how their marketing makes consumers feel.

It’s like the adage of the athlete who relentlessly puts in extra time: doing another set in the weight room, working on free throws after practice, taking more swings in the batting cage, or running an extra mile instead of crashing on the couch watching Spongebob Squarepants. Why do they put in all that hard work? Because they know that someone else is. Knowing what someone else is doing pushes you to do your best.

Here are some ways you can keep an eye on the competition with the goal of using that knowledge to your advantage:

  1. Google Alerts: Signing up for Google Alerts on your competition is an easy, free way to see online activity by or about them. You can choose to be alerted on whatever you choose: competitors’ names, taglines, URLs and products. Getting alerts can help you monitor their latest offerings and deals, see what others are saying about them and stay updated on key terms used in your industry. Signing up only takes a moment – do it today!
  2. Sign up for their emails and mailings: If you want to see how they reach out to their customers, become an online “customer.” Signing up for their email and marketing campaigns helps you see if there’s room for improvement on your end. Pay attention to subject lines, promotions, language and images used in their marketing collateral.
  3. Get “social” with them: “Following” and “liking” your competitors is an easy way to see how they use social media to reach and interact with consumers. Do they “like” and comment on every post on their page? Do they seem to get a good response from their followers? What types of posts get the most “thumbs up,” shares and comments? How often do you see sponsored ads from them? How does that compare with your pages? Social Mention is a free tool that helps you monitor social media mentions, gauging whether feedback is positive or negative.
  4. Go undercover as a secret shopper: To really get a feel for what a shopping experience with them is like, see for yourself. Walk into the store or visit their website and buy something. How does their customer service compare to yours? What do you do better? What could you do better to be more like them? This is all practical, first-hand knowledge to help give you a better understanding of what you’re up against.

Want assistance on differentiating yourself from the competition? Contact us today so we can help set your company apart.

Joel Sensenig

Joel has earned Associated Press Society of Ohio awards for Best Headline Writer, Best Features Writer and Best Columnist. His goal for WebArt clients is to discover their passions and relay them to their audience.

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