Why You Should Watch Your Competition

Image courtesy of mack2happy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Some say you should ignore your competition and focus on your own business and your own goals. However, you can learn a lot and even improve your own business and marketing by watching you competition.

Understand What You’re Up Against

When you know who your competition is and what kinds of marketing they use, you can better understand what you need to do to compete with them. You’ll now what it will take to stand out and get your target market’s attention, and you may even better understand what kind of messaging you need to use. Knowing what your competition does gives you a good look at the market and what your business will need to do to succeed.

Gauge Success

You likely won’t have an inside look at your competitions’ success and failures, but you may be able to get a sense of what kinds of marketing strategies resonate with your market, assuming you share a target market, and what kinds don’t. Take note of what kind of messages your competition uses and what kinds of tactics they use, and then watch what happens. Are these businesses successful? Or do they seem to be falling behind? Analyze their strategies, and then use what you learn as you create and execute your own marketing strategies.

See What Your Market Sees

Your target market is inundated with all kinds of messages and advertisements, many of which come from your competition. When you step back and look at your competition, you can see the industry as your market sees it.

Try to set aside what you know about the market and your business and look at all the things your potential customers see as they learn about and experience you and your competitors. What would you change about your approach that would encourage people to choose your business over the competition? The answer to this question can help you make your strategy even more effective.

A screenshot of Samsung’s iPhone-mocking commercial. Image source.

Create Competing Campaigns

It’s not unusual for brands to create competing campaigns. Samsung has been known to produce commercials that openly poke fun at the iPhone and its users. This bold marketing strategy can work for some brands, but isn’t for every business. Whether this approach is for you or not well depend on your business, industry and markets. Even if you decide not to openly mock your competition, you can use subtle messages that oppose what your competition is telling its market.

For example, if your competitor claims to offer the most affordable products, you could run a campaign that highlights the idea that you get what you pay for, and that although your product is slightly more expensive, it is of a much higher quality.

Watching your competition can help you understand what you need to do to stand out and get your market’s attention. This practice can also help you see your strategy and tactics from your market’s eyes and even create campaigns that oppose your competitions’.