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How to be ahead of your competitors

It is very important to know the strengths and weaknesses of their rivals. In any competition, whether it is a marathon at the Olympics or a marketing company for your business, you need to know the strategies and tactics of competitors.

Understanding and analyzing the strategies of your competitors opens up many opportunities for your business:

It is easier to identify your distinguishing features;
Develop strategies to exploit the weakness of competitors;
Effectively respond to rivals;
Determine how they can take away your business;
Protect and strengthen your relationships with existing customers.
To correctly analyze the actions of competitors, the first thing to do is to gather as much information as possible about them. Some of the most effective ways to learn more about opponents are listed below:

Competitor Sites
Currently one of the best sources of information are websites. Find out if your competitors have pages on the network, and whether they can register for them to receive newsletters for updates. After studying in detail the information provided on the website of competitors, you will clearly see how their site relates to yours. And this, in turn, will help you improve the website of your business. The competitors website gives you the opportunity to better understand the key features and benefits of the products and services you offer.

Internet search engines
A good starting point can be and search engines on the Internet, using which you can find information about your business, customers and competitors. Enter in any Internet search engine keywords that potential customers can use to find your business and see what the rating of your site, compared to your competitors. Find out if your competitors are using advertising on the Internet, if so, see how their advertising affects potential consumers.

Associations (unions)
An association is a voluntary association of legal entities. Usually for large business areas it is very convenient to create such associations. As a member of such a union, you can provide data, articles and information relating to your business. It is possible that the association of your business industry publishes a magazine, by subscribing to which you will receive information about what is happening in the area of ​​your business, how your competitors are doing, and in general “keep abreast”. Be sure to check if your competitors directly release any print publication to give yourself more status.

Buy from competitors
One of the most reliable ways to obtain information is to purchase from your competitors. By purchasing one of the commodity units, you can experience it well as a direct consumer. This allows you to give an objective assessment of your business and correlate the product with the proposed by your company. If your company sells services, you can contact the competitors office and, as a consumer, find out all the information from them.

Your customers
Your customers, regulars or those who, for whatever reason, no longer call on your company, are the most valuable source of information. Earlier we wrote about this in the article “Listen to your customers.” Regular customers will be able to tell you why they like to deal with you more than with your competitors, and how you can improve your business. Those customers who have switched to your competitors will be able to clearly tell you about the advantages of the chosen company, what attracted them and what could make them return to your company. In the study very often it turns out that the price is not the main determining factor.

Promotional activities of competitors
It is a good idea to create a file (or files) about your competitors, which would contain information about the promotional activities of companies. It is important to analyze not only advertising messages of competitors, but also how they communicate with customers, how they behave in social networks. All this is useful to you when developing your own marketing strategies and media tactics.

And it is always important: do not try to imitate your competitors. They can cope with some tasks better, and just using a good example is easier to learn. But being ready to fail is important too.

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