A clear understanding of your competitive landscape helps you know what you’re up against. More importantly, it can let you know how to distinguish yourself as the go-to authority within your industry.
To map your own company’s competitive landscape , attract more customers, and generate more business, follow the three steps outlined below.
1) Research Your Competitors
Before you can begin setting yourself apart from your competition, you have to understand what they’re doing in the first place. Even before that, however, you have to understand who your competitors are.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find your competitors online. You can start by simply searching general terms related to your industry and see which companies pop up on the first page of Google results. Or, if you’re a location-specific company, you can add a location modifier to your search for a more accurate idea of the competitors in your area. For example, if you’re a pet food manufacturer in Las Vegas, you can find local competitors by searching “dog food in Nevada”.
Perhaps the most useful way to find competitors is to ask new customers about companies they used before (and why they left those companies). This simple question takes all of the guesswork out of finding relevant competitors and provides you with a clear list of competitors who deserve to be on your radar.
2) Analyze Your Research
With an idea of your competitors, now it’s time to start mining actionable insights. You’re going to want to take note of the services your competitors offer, what they’re doing well, and, most importantly, where you think you have them beat.
This last part is so important to know because it helps you understand where you might be able to develop a competitive advantage. For example, you might find that the majority of your competitors beat you on price, but only because they use cheaper building materials. Higher-quality products that last longer could then be where you focus the majority of your marketing efforts.
However, as important as it is to understand where you can beat your competitors, it’s equally as important to understand which tactics you can borrow from your them. For example, if your competitors outperform you in terms of engagement on social media, it would be wise to learn the types of posts they’re creating, which hashtags they’re using, and how they’re interacting with their online community. You can then incorporate what you learn into your own social media strategy.
3) Put Your Research into Action
You might know every single thing about your competitors, but if you’re not using that information to benefit your own company’s strategies, then what’s the point? Therefore, with a thorough understanding of your competitive landscape, you then need to figure out how to use what you’ve learned in your own company’s marketing strategies.
For example, let’s return to the example of your company offering more expensive but higher quality products than your competitors. Knowing this, you can start aligning your marketing efforts to highlight your product’s superior craftsmanship, longer operating life, and the fact that it saves you countless dollars in repair and replacement costs compared to what’s offered by competitors.
While this change in marketing will likely affect your advertising team at first, ideally you want your competitor insights to trickle down into other efforts as time goes on. For example, you can begin to change your visual branding, blog articles, social media posts, infographics, webinars, newsletters, and other forms of content to reflect your company’s advantage as well.
For more help understanding your competitive landscape and aligning your company’s messaging and branding to give you a competitive advantage, get in touch with the PR professionals at GYC Vegas today.