The internet may have leveled the playing field between big companies with fat wallets and start-up entrepreneurs, allowing both to compete for the same online business on equal footing but it doesn’t mean that there will be an equitable distribution of the pie either.
Stalking competitors in the real world is like doing a James Bond movie – You spy, interrogate and do action stunts You disguise, lie and do unethical stunts. However, if you have an online business (Such as websites, softwares, e-products, online services, etc.), then it’s a completely different level, and it’s a lot more convenient to stalk. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re in the offline niches – you can still analyze your competitors online, but it’s harder especially if the competitor doesn’t have any strong online presence.
Most online businesses gets the biggest chunk of the pie from leads generated by organic searches, online advertisements, social media and online communities/groups. The SEO battle is by all accounts always fiercely fought with every contender in constant search of the right keywords to use that will bring in the magic numbers.
At any rate, you need accurate competitive information to be able to pursue any of these marketing options. This is where competitor analysis comes into play. It’s time to stalk! =)
Why Analyze your Competitors
In business, it always pays to be one step ahead of your competitor but to be able to do this you need to get your hands on a load of marketing data about your competitors. The process gathering and analyzing competitor data is called competitor analysis. Its ultimate goal is to know enough about your competitors to be able to think like them so you can predict what moves they will make in the market.
Doing a competitor analysis should put you in a vantage point and provide you with the following benefits:
- You’d be able to anticipate the responses of your competitors to any strategic moves of other competitors. This will put you in a better position to draft the most appropriate marketing strategy that will give you an edge over all of them.
- You’d be able to understand and better appreciate all the why’s and the how’s of your competitor’s marketing moves in reaction to important changes or developments in the industry. This way, you’d be able to map your own response that will put you at a vantage point.
- You’d be able to learn where and why your competitors are better than you as well as identify their weaknesses.
- You’d be able to identify opportunities early and be the first to get a crack on every opportunity that presents itself.
- You’d be able to check the areas where you can still improve on your business.
- And most important of all, you’d be able to clearly define the values that will set you apart from your competitors and make people choose you over them.
Basic Ways to Effectively Analyze your Competition Online in the Philippines
- The first thing you must do is to identify the total number of your competitors and list those who are in direct competition with your company. Monitor the top 5 in your list. Do a Google Search, Check out communities in your niche, Go through online local directories, etc.
- Evaluate the websites of your top 5 competitors relative to your own site. Look into the design elements, usefulness, engagements, messaging, and ease of use. Evaluate their products and services too to identify the differences between yours and theirs. Look for any gaps in the market which you can exploit.
- Monitor the online statistics of your competitors to include website traffic, targeted audience, page rank, backlinks, social engagement, online reputation, and paid search if any.
- List and analyze all the benefits and claims of your top competitors.
- Get the marketing grade of your site and those of your top competitors to get a more detailed view of where you stand relative to your competitors. You can use Hubspot’s free online Marketing Grader tool or you can use other competitive analysis tools like SEMRush or AdGooroo if you have some money to spare.
- Automate your competitor data gathering to lighten your day to day monitoring burden. You can set up your Google Alerts or Technorati Watchlist to notify you every time any of your chosen keywords appear in other blogs or web pages.
Competitor Analysis is always an Ongoing Process
The Philippine online market is such a dynamic place where everything is constantly evolving. Your competitors are always in a constant state of change adjusting to and adapting with the changes in the market place. You need to keep abreast of all these changes if you are to maintain your competitiveness. The first thing you must do is to consider competitor as an ongoing process – something you must constantly attend to for as long as your business is in existence. Without competitor analysis, your competitors will bury you alive.
Paul’s Last Words:
Online Competitor analysis is without a doubt one of the most important marketing tasks you need to attend to. Without the marketing intelligence gathered by it, you won’t be able to draft a winning marketing strategy that will put you on top of your competitors.
Below is a summary of what competitor analysis will do for you.
- It will give you a clear picture of your competitors’ marketing strategies – the past, and the present as well as their possible strategies in the future.
- It will provide you with a sound basis to draft your own marketing strategies that will ensure you gain competitive advantage over the others.
- It will help you realize what your strengths and weaknesses are relative to your competitors.
- It will help you identify opportunities and gaps in the marketplace left untouched by your competitors and which you can exploit to your advantage.
- It will help you know and neutralize the threats to your marketing strategies before they even appear.
- It will aid you in knowing who your direct competitors as well as those who may pose a marketing threat to you and your products.