Conduct a Competitor Analysis in 6 Easy Steps

Conduct a Competitor Analysis in 6 Easy Steps

I get asked alot ‘why do you need to do a competitor analysis’? It is an important part of a marketing plan, it’s not done to copy what others in the market are doing but it’s about seeing how competitors are positioning themselves.

So, what is a competitor analysis? It is the research, analysis and comparison of players in the market which allows you to see how they are positioned, what services they offer and their current strategy. This will help you differentiate yourself in the market so you can stand out. It will also let you see what prospective clients will see when selecting and what choices they have.

To conduct the analysis find their website, look at their social media channels and the ways they choose to advertise. I have put together a template for you to include all your findings (when you click on the link, the document will automatically download).

Let’s conduct the competitor analysis!

Step 1: Who are your competitors?

List a maximum of ten direct competitors, think about ones you know and also do a google search to find others. Include only ones that are in direct competition, and consider your niche and location especially if you are restricted by your product or service offerings (e.g. if you are a plumber and only service parts of Melbourne, do not include Sydney competitors).

Step 2: Look at their brand positioning and personality.

Have they marketed themselves as a leader in the industry, are they quirky or serious? Are they a luxury brand or an everyday one?

Step 3: Write down the products and services they offer.

Notice the words they use to describe them. Have they packaged them together and how? Do they offer multiple services or specialise in just a few?

Step 4: Who are they targeting?

Are they targeting small businesses, a high-end consumers or retailers – look at their offerings, pricing and channels they use to work this one out. How are they emotionally connecting with their prospective customer? What problem and solution are they focussing on?

Step 5: Look at their strengths and weaknesses.

What are they doing well, what could they improve.

Step 6: What channels are they using and how?

Are they printing out flyers and doing a letter box drop, do they have a website and monthly newsletter, which social media channels are they using (if any)? Do they have sales, do they share valuable content? Check what marketing channels they use and what they use them for.

What to do with the template and findings when you are finished: this exercise will give you insights into your competitors, what they do and how. This will help you work out your place in the market and how you can differentiate yourself.

See what others are doing well and what improvements they could make, these will give you some ideas of what you can do and what you can do differently. Remember, it’s not about copying, it’s about being unique and doing it differently!

6 Common Marketing Mistakes and How To Overcome Them

6 Common Marketing Mistakes and How To Overcome Them

Last year I was interviewed by Auspicious Arts where we talked about common marketing mistakes and how to overcome them. Our chat inspired me to write this blog post so that my readers can learn from these mistakes and get the most out of their marketing efforts.

Mistake 1: No market research

You need to know if there is a need for the product or service you are offering, who your competitors are and how to position yourself in the market. It doesn’t have to be onerous but get out there talk to people who buy similar products and services and get their insights. You can also do a survey using free online tools, or access other online material to help you understand the market.

Market research gives you very valuable insights into what people are looking for, what appeals to them and how to position yourself in the market accordingly.

Mistake 2: They don’t have an ideal client

You can’t talk or target to everyone, your message will be too diluted, won’t connect with anyone and won’t stand out in the crowd. Know who your ideal client is, who are you targeting, are they a consumer, a business owner or government and what position do they hold? Understand your ideal client, their pain points and frustrations, and then solve their problem better than anyone else.

Pick that one person that you love to work with, that one person that lights you up, and make them your ideal client. This will help you connect with them, write better content, share posts about issues that your ideal client relates to, and don’t worry you won’t scare people away doing this. It means your marketing will be consistent and people will connect with it.

Mistake 3: Doing too many things

I see this one all the time, people have amazing ideas, want to do too many things, get overwhelmed and spread themselves too thin. They either don’t get much done or the things they do aren’t strategic.

As your budget progresses and evolves, continue referring to your SMART objectives. Stay focused and remember your goals – they will always inform what your next step will be!

Mistake 4: They don’t ask for help or outsource

It can be hard to ask for help or outsource for many reasons. Even just talking about your idea or problem with someone else can give you clarity. A problem shared is a problem solved (ok, maybe halved).

As your budget progresses and evolves, continue referring to your SMART objectives. Stay focused and remember your goals – they will always inform what your next step will be!

Mistake 5: No marketing plan

Don’t yawn or stop reading yet, planning your marketing is important. It doesn’t have to take months to do this. Get a calendar and start to write down what events you want to attend (e.g. markets, expos, etc.) and what other marketing activities you want to do throughout the year.

Write down themes and ideas for content and plan ahead. If you don’t want to do a full twelve months start with three months. It will help stop that overwhelm and you can spread your marketing and budget throughout the year. Remember to tap into special dates if they relate to your ideal client (e.g. environment day, Mother’s Day and Christmas day).

Mistake 6:Don’t evaluate their marketing

This is another step in marketing which is often left out, business owners don’t look at what marketing they have done, evaluated what has worked and what hasn’t. Why is it important? It is full of marketing insights to take your marketing to the next level.

Grab a coffee and write notes after each marketing activity. For example, after going to an expo write down what was good, bad and what ideas you have to make it better next time. When a similar event comes up you are equipped and ready to take it to the next level.

Let me know your thoughts, have you seen these ‘mistakes’ out in the market? How have you seen businesses overcome them?